You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Teens’ category.

The NYT has recently run some pretty depressing articles about the experiences and opportunities facing young adults in this time and place.

These Children Are Our Future “shares a hypothetical statistical portrait of the high school class of 2013” and Young and Isolated  contends that low-income twenty-somethings are not only struggling from a lack of money but from a deep lack of trust and sense of belonging too.   The May 2013 unemployment rate for 16-19 year olds was 24.4% – more than 3 times the overall rate. Black youth face a 35% unemployment rate — leaving less than 2/3 of Black teens looking for work able to find it.

At the same time, teens are accomplishing some great innovations and taking leadership in our communities in myriad ways.  The Maine Youth Action Network supports youth-adult partnerships and leadership development. In fact, Maine ranks #1 in the country for teen volunteerism.  (Also, A PEW study released yesterday revealed that despite the stereotype of teens bound only to devices, teens read more books than their adult counterparts and LOVE their libraries — libraries love teens too!)


Only The Young Poster by James Gannon

Against this backdrop comes Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims’ film Only the Young. Catch it tonight @ the POV Series (Main Branch, 7:30pm – FREE!). Chris Gorman, from MYANwill facilitate tonight’s conversation and share stories of Teens taking action on behalf of themselves and their communities.

You can also watch it online between July 16th and August 14th.  Contact Kim at for a Choose Civility resource guide.

As we develop our “Choose Civility” initiative, questions about digital citizenship and digital civility come up a lot. While many experience parts of web 2.0 as breeding ground for incivility, there are some great projects aimed at promoting healthy and open access to ideas through digital channels.

Earlier this year, The MacArthur Foundation partnered with Facebook. Mozilla and the Family Online Safety Institute to launch “Project Connect.”  The first event under this umbrella was an all day “hackathon” in NYC.  They awarded prizes in the following categories, but perhaps more importantly have an open grant competition to provide up to $10,000 to nonprofits interested in sponsoring summer programs for youth to create new ideas:

Social Tools for Social Good – Enabling people to create a culture of kindness and respect that enhances civic participation.

Social Tools that Enable Control of Information – Helping people understand how to control their information, and manage privacy and security.

Social Tools that Enable Literacy – Helping people build, access, and understand or make components of the Web.

The twitter feed #projectconnect reveals tons of fascinating sounding ideas (and a few shout-outs to the New York Public Library Labs).  Winners will soon be featured on the Platform For Good Resource Page.  I am especially interested in learning more about “That Could Be Your Sister” — an app to help deter cyberbullying and “Congregate” — an app that will help people come together for civic engagement.


For Earth Day 2013, why not read a book?  The Earth Day Network has compiled these excellent booklists that deal with environmental literacy will help educate you on sustainability.

Suggested Reading List: Grades K-3

Suggested Reading List: Grades 4-8

Suggested Reading List: Grades 9-12



The Portland Public Library Teen Team and The Telling Room are proud to bring you a one time showing of THE WHOLE WORLD WAITING film at the Portland Public Library Rines Auditorium on Thursday FEBRUARY 21, 2012 at 6pm.

Young Writers & Leaders (YWL) is a free, afterschool literary arts program for teenaged refugee and immigrant English Language Learners ran by The Telling Room. The program runs for nine months each year, engaging each student in weekly afterschool sessions that provide unparalleled opportunities to work directly with some of Maine’s best writers and artists, creative writing and arts programming and job skills and leadership training.

Teaching artist Sonya Tomlinson and filmmaker David Meiklejohn created The Whole World Waiting to showcase all fifteen students from The Telling Room’s Young Writers & Leaders program (2011-2012) in three-minute segments. Each story tackles the myths of America told from the perspective of immigrant and refugee youth.

YWL is offered in partnership with Portland, Deering, and Casco Bay High Schools, and has served teens from Haiti, Burundi, Rwanda, Congo, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, Sudan and Kenya, improving their writing skills, academic performance, social and emotional wellbeing, and their chances of future success.
This viewing was made possible through a long standing partnership between the Portland Public Library and The Telling Room

Library: 871-1700 ex 772

Thursday FEBRUARY 21, 2012
Rines Auditorium

Film begins at 6pm and will be followed by a panel discussion with a group of teenagers from the Telling Room’s Young Writers and Leaders program

The Portland Public Teen Library is proud to announce the The Multilingual Leadership Corps Program at the Portland Public Library!

The Multilingual Leadership Corps program is run by Americorps intern, Danie Jeans, and Portland Public Teen Librarian, Justin Hoenke.

Together, we strive to reach our goal of serving ELL (English Language Learning) teens through mentoring, school skills support, community engagement and encouraging teens to enjoy themselves while embracing and overcoming the challenges of mastering a new language and adjusting to a bright new future! We welcome all members of the community to like this page and if you are a good Samaritan (which of course you ALL are) and would like to volunteer your time for some great events, or if you have suggestions, please feel free to message us.

If you are an ELL teen and have suggestions or are looking for resources for ANYTHING please contact us as we are here to assist you in any way we possibly can! We are located at the Portland Public Library (teen section) so feel free to pop in and say hi- we would love to see you:)

Please like our Facebook page to get up to date information and resources from this program!

The Portland Public Teen Library wants to know…what can we do for you? In order to find out what teens ages 12-19 want, we’re holding the SPEAK UP FOR A SLICE! event in the Teen Library on Wednesday January 23, 2012 at 1pm. Come on over after school, talk to our teen librarian and our intern, and tell us what the library can do for you! If you talk to one of us, we’ll give you pizza! It’s a win-win situation for everyone!

Open to Teens ages 12-19 only

This program is offered through the AmeriCorps ELL Multilingual Leadership Program, which is collaboration between the Portland Public Library and Goodwill Industries of New England. Pizza will be available on a first come, first serve basis.

Speak Up for a Slice

The Portland Public Library Teen Team is proud to announce Teen Homework Help at the Library. 

Teens ages 12-19, specifically English Language Learning Students (ELL), are invited to attend our open hours on Thursday December 13th 2012 or Tuesday December 18th 2012 to meet with our AmeriCorps Intern for any homework help they may need.

This program also offers one on one appointments for teens with our AmeriCorps Intern.  To set up a homework help session, please email at least one week in advance.

This program is part of a grant funded AmeriCorps position in partnership with Goodwill Industries of Northern New England.


The Teen Team (in collaboration with the City of Readers Team) is proud to present “A Correlation of Contents: Artifacts from the Mind of H.P. Lovecraft” by artist Christian Matzke. This installation will be in teen study room #120 from October 1st through October 31st…feel free to come on through and take a look!

A statement by the artist Christian Matzke:

The works of New England author H.P. Lovecraft have influenced both my art and my philosophy to a profound extent. Lovecraft wrote of an uncaring universe in which humanity is as insignificant as bacteria. His characters often end up in the sanitarium, and the few victories he grants them against the teeming hordes of chaos are Pyrrhic at best. And yet this is all simply the backdrop for Lovecraft’s true crowning achievement: the creation of a New England mythology.
The objects in this installation are steeped in this mythology and are my tribute to the legacy of Lovecraft’s imagination. Each one is drawn from an iconic story such as “The Call of Cthulhu” (1926) and therefore can act as a gateway for further reading. I hope they pique the curiosity of those who have yet to discover Lovecraft, and bring a shudder of recognition to those who have.

The title of the installation comes from the following Lovecraft quote:

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.” –H.P. Lovecraft, “The Call of Cthulhu” (1926)

-Justin Hoenke, Team Team Leader

It is with GREAT honor that I present to you the MAKE MUSIC AT THE LIBRARY 2012 album. This album was created at the Portland Public Library in our Teen Library Study Room #119 over four weeks in July 2012 and mixed and edited in August 2012.

For this program, we used:
1 Tascam Portastudio 424 Mark III
1 Casio CTK-450 Synthesizer
1 Shure PG58 Microphone

Many thanks go out to all of the teens that participated in this project, specifically Richard, Ilhan, Chrispo, Jordan, and everyone else.  Thanks for lending your talents to the album and sharing this music with the world.

-Justin Hoenke (Teen Librarian/Team Leader)


Blog Posts by Date

May 2016
« Oct    

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,527 other followers