Our New Teen Website!!!


Hello all!

I’m here to let you know that we’ve moved the BPLTeenBlog to a new space directly onto the Boston Public Library’s website. Please visit us here from now on as we will not be posting anything else to this blog. Here is the parent BPL website: www.bpl.org and here is the Teen space: www.bpl.org/teens

I hope you like it! We’ve put a lot of work into it and now everything should be much easier to find. Check it out. Let us know what you think. And thanks to anyone who read our blog here. We hope you’ll enjoy it’s new location even more.

Resume Workshop January 26th!!!


NEXT THURSDAY at 3:30pm in the Teen Room at the Central Library the Mayor’s Youth Council will be giving a resume writing workshop you do not want to miss!

Employers love to see potential employees who arrive prepared to get the job. Having a good resume is one way to accomplish that. To impress your future employer,  learn to write a great resume from the folks at the Mayor’s Youth Council, and get yourself ready for that summer job.

This workshop is only a few weeks before our Job/Internship Fair happening on February 11th from 12pm-3pm!

So if you’re looking to go to the Fair, then you should definitely check out the resume workshop to get your resume up to par and ready to hand out! Also, if you attend the resume workshop, don’t forget to attend the Fair so you have a place ready to accept your resumes!!!

Hope to see you there!

Stealing Your Identity Online


No one wants to know it happens. Certainly, it’ll never happen to YOU. Why would anyone want to steal your identity and act as you? That’s what you’re thinking.

What are they thinking? Ah! Here’s an unsuspecting person who’s innocent in every part of his life. I can become him, and run up a credit card bill that’ll cost him millions and me nothing. Here’s someone who’s freely given me every aspect of his life so that I can be him and get a college degree… wonder if Harvard Law would let me in? Or even, Hey, now that I know everything there is to know about this guy, I can pretend to be him online and his friends will never know the difference. I’ll say bad stuff to his girlfriend and she’ll break up with him… He wants the same job I do, let’s see how I can ruin that chance for him… what else can I do?

Plenty.

This is what could happen if you fill in all the missing blanks on FaceBook’s new Timeline. You’re telling the world every little detail about your life, and that’s not a good thing. It makes it easier for hackers to break into your email, and even take over your computer. Why? Because oftentimes people use passwords related to things from their life. What’s your mother’s maiden name? Or the name of your first dog? The street you live on? What high school do you go to? It only takes a good hacker a few minutes to go through your information and come out with a good password or two.

When you get your first bank account and your first paycheck goes into it, you want to make sure it stays there until YOU take it out. Right? Be aware that any passwords or codes you use could easily be found out by those hackers.

Right now, yes, your personal information is out there, on Facebook and other social networking sites, but as a Sophos Security researcher has stated, it’s not in an easy to search form. The newly unveiled Timeline will make it that much easier for hackers and identity thieves to steal anything they want from you, including yourself.

Imagine getting your driver’s license. You’ve been driving for a few years and you’ve got a spotless record. Then you begin driving in a new state and get pulled over for speeding, or because you simply forgot to use your turn signal. When the police officer runs your name, he or she might discover that your licence has been pulled in another state and that you’re not allowed to drive. Why? Because someone else has the exact same name as you. But who’s to say you’re not that person? Now you can’t drive until you get the situation sorted out. In both states. That’s a real situation a friend of mine found himself in, only because there really is someone else out there with his exact first, middle, and last name. But, someone else could be posing as you and you could find yourself in that same situation, regardless.

Or what about someone competing for your job? What happens if they gather that information you’ve freely given them and use it against you to get the job you’ve been trying for?

In short, posting personal information online is a dangerous thing to do regardless of what form it’s in. But Facebook’s new Timeline only makes it easier for crooks to get into your life and ruin it in ways you never thought possible. And it doesn’t matter how old you are. Whether you’re 5 years old, 12, 16, or 62, crooks can do damage that might take you forever to repair. So please be careful when you’re out there posting information about yourself, no matter where you’re posting it.

For more information on Facebook’s Timeline and the problems it could cause, check out this article on ComputerWorld.com  http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9220240/Facebook_s_Timeline_will_be_boon_for_hackers?taxonomyId=17&pageNumber=1

Teen Dating Violence: The Do’s and Don’ts of Breaking Up


I’m sure many of you have seen the car insurance add on TV recently with the school dance going on in the background, right? Remember the song that was being played? It was called “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” and it was originally sung by Neil Sedaka back in the 60’s.

Why do I mention it? Because that song title is true. Breaking up IS hard to do. Breaking up with your car insurance might be easy because someone else can do it for you these days, but when you’re breaking up with another person, someone you might have even loved at some point in time, there is no one else who can do it for you. So, knowing this, how can you make it easier? Well, the Melrose Alliance Against Violence (www.maav.org) has a list of do’s and don’ts for breaking up that you might find useful for yourself or for passing on to a friend in a tough situation.

DO’S:

-Explain the reason, if you can

-Be respectful

-Listen

Find ways to take care of your feelings. For example:

-Keep a journal

-Talk to friends

-Exercise and/or play sports

-Listen to music

-Seek counceling

It might be easier to break up if you can agree on the following things:

-Will you still hang out together?

-Can you still call each other?

-Do BOTH of you still want to be friends? If you BOTH agree: In what ways will you both be friends? And how are you going to handle things with friends who know you both?

DON’TS:

-Threaten

-Have sex one last time

-Follow the person to see who they are going out with

-Call, unless you’ve BOTH agreed this is okay

-Call the person names or spread rumors about them

-Isolate your self from friends and family

-Assume being friends means you’ll get back together

-Try to get the person pregnant

-Try to give the person an STD

Break up to:

-Scare the person to do things your way

-Get even

For more information about Teen Dating Violence and what you can do about it, check out the Melrose Alliance Against Violence website: www.maav.org.

Creating The Paper Airplane


Ever wondered how paper airplanes got started?

How old do you think they are?

Think one paper airplane is the same as the next?

Check out this article on Yahoo! to read about the possible history of the paper device, follow the videos to create your own, and then check out your local branch library to check out books on the subject! We definitely have a few here at Copley in the Teen Room!

http://games.yahoo.com/blogs/plugged-in/high-fliers-5-great-paper-airplane-designs-211731336.html

Getting FIRED over FACEBOOK?!


Yes, it’s possible! The Federal Trade Commission approved the creation of a “Social Intelligence Report” that your employers, or potential employers, can look at to determine what you’ve been up to and whether or not they want you for the job.

These reports generally flag four things you need to make note of to keep yourself safe, and hireable: racially insensitive remarks, sexually explicit materials, flagrant displays of weaponry, and other demonstrations of clearly illegal activity. The best thing you can do is to keep away from posting about these things on any and all social networking sites you might be on. Don’t do them in the first place, and don’t post about them, even if it’s something your friends are doing without you. They’ll check out your friends list and if you have too many “sketchy” people there, that’s a red flag for them too.

Also remember, this applies to ALL social networking sites. Not just Facebook. Tweets on Twitter are now being archived in other places as well, so be sure to keep your posts clean! As PC Magazine says, if you don’t want your dear old sweet grandmother to see it, don’t post it. Duh.

According to a 2009 survey from CareerBuilder, 45% of employers use social networking sites to screen potential hires. 29% through Facebook, 26% through LinkedIn, 11% through blogs, and 7% through Twitter.

18% of employers found something positive on social networking sites to encourage them to hire someone, while 35% found netagive things to keep them from looking at a candidate again. Notice the large gap between the two, and how relatively low they both are, the positive especially? Make note of that and don’t forget it.

There are five things that are sure to get you fired, or never hired in the first place:

1.) Digital Dirt – self-incriminating photos, or a blog about your drug habits and the night you went clubbing with some friends that went horribly wrong.

2.) Terrible Troll – Scrolling through tons of social media and leaving pointless comments everywhere you can, including as many curse words as possible. This makes it seem like you have nothing to do all day, and an employer might think you’ll spend your workday doing nothing. There’s also a reason curse words are called curse words. No one wants to hear them, so keep them to yourself, please. 

3.) Big Mouth – Talking about how much you hate your current or past boss(es). Your potential boss will wonder when (not if) you’ll start to bitch about them online, and they certainly don’t want to be seen in a bad light themselves. Just put yourself in their shoes. Would you like it if someone started talking trash about you online? The same thing is true for your friends. Even if you’re “just joking” it’s not cool to talk trash about anyone, regardless of what you’re saying. A future employer will take that as a sign that you might start doing that to your coworkers, setting the stage for a broken workplace.

4.) Copious Contacts and Comments – Having a lot of “sketchy” people listed as friends and subsequent “sketchy” comments from them. You don’t need to “friend” everyone who asks to “friend” you. Especially if you don’t know who they are!

5.) Keeping all comments negative, including things that should be positive like awards you might have won, or the fun you had on your date last night. You did have fun, right? Just remember not to go into too much TMI when you talk about that cute girl from down the street!  

Also keep in mind that some sites like Facebook don’t let you delete your profile. You can “deactivate it”, but that doesn’t delete it permanently. The only thing you need to do to get your profile back again is to sign in. It’s that simple. So before you decide to get a Facebook account, keep things like that in mind.

 Wondering what all these social networking sites are that I’ve mentioned?  Want to know the best ways to navagate through the digital world so you can get to the other side unscathed? Check out this article for additional information: Social Networking 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2389428,00.asp Even if you’re familiar with these sites already, it won’t hurt to give this article a quick read through. You never know what you might learn!

 The info for this blog post came from www.pcmag.com and www.mindflash.com.

Teen Dating Violence: Things Victims Should Know


If you are a victim of dating violence, here are four key things you should know, courtesy of the Melrose Alliance Against Violence (www.maav.org):

1.) You are NOT alone.

2.) The Abuse is NOT your fault.

3.) If it feels scary, it’s abuse.

4.) Get some help and support yourself.

Because our society glorifies violence and then often rejects its victims, it can be hard for those people, especially victims of sexual violence to come forward and seek help. Often they feel like they’re the only one suffering, when the truth is they are not alone. Many people are in a dangerous relationship, or have been in one, and don’t feel safe telling anyone.

No matter what the abuser says, it is never the fault of the victim. The abuser is always responsible for his or her actions, no matter what.

If he or she says something or does something to you, or even “for” you, that scares you, it’s abuse. Especially if it involves sexual acts.

Most people who find themselves in a bad situation don’t realize how bad it really is, whether they are the abuser or the victim. Thus, they won’t seek help. If any of the above lines ring true for you, it’s time to get help for yourself and your partner. There are many places you can go, such as your school councelor or you may call the Teen Dating Abuse Hotline at 1-866-331-9474. Their website is www.loveisrespect.org. And, of course, you can always check out the fine folks at Melrose Aliance Against Violence at www.maav.org.