NASA Maven Launch! 

Ok, let’s get one thing out of the way; I’m Lynette, and I’m a huge space nerd. There I said it – you can’t say you weren’t warned. Now that’s out in the open, I want to tell you all about my most awesome nerdy trip down to Cape Canaveral to watch the latest Mars launch; the MAVEN orbiter!


(Here you can see me in a group photo with the other librarians. Total proof I was there!)

This is the second part of NASA’s recent unmanned Mars missions. The first, you may have heard about, was the rover Curiosity; which is still up there roving around collecting samples. You can even see what @MarsCuriosity and @MAVEN2Mars are up to on Twitter. Curiosity’s Twitter feed is written from a first person – or first robot – perspective, so I find that to be a very amusing feed to check in on! Check out Spirit - my favorite cartoon done about Curiosity by XKCD. Between the cartoon and the Twitter feed, I can’t help but imagine Curiosity having a real personality not unlike the Pixar movie Wall-E.

Now that this second rocket has gone up, I meet a lot of people who are like, “Mars? What…? Didn’t we just send something up there?” Yes…we did, but it was a multi-part mission! MAVEN just doesn’t have the same level of public image that Curiosity has – but it doesn’t make it any less important. NASA has Curiosity roving down below getting pictures and taking soil samples, but MAVEN will orbit around the whole planet, give us a bird’s eye view, and let us take in information about the atmosphere. What we will learn from this mission is where did the atmosphere around the red planet go? There is strong evidence to support that Mars had an atmosphere much like Earth’s, which means there could have been running water – and maybe even microbial life!

Before I got to see the actual launch of the MAVEN rocket (which is mind blowing, and you should put a rocket launch on your bucket list), I got the pleasure of working with real NASA scientists! They schooled me (and about 40 other librarians who were training with me) all about Mars and the MAVEN launch. Let me share the more mind blowing facts:

  • Mars has no plate tectonics like Earth, its crust is solid.
  • Mars has 2% toxic water on its surface.
  • Meteorites usually explode on contact of hitting a planet – which is why you can’t find the evidence of what made the giant crater!
  • Mars has lost all, or almost all, or its magnetic field! Which without it the solar winds were able to strip away the atmosphere over time. No atmosphere, no planet protection for water or life. You can read more about Mars' atmosphere on Popular Mechanics' website.

-Lynette, Youth Services, Shawnee Branch



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Announcing Second Annual Teen Film Festival 

The Library is proud to annouce the second annual Louisville Young Filmmakers Festival slated for mid-March.

Students ages 12 to 19 are encouraged to submit their original film works to be shown at a red-carpet event at the Main Library.

Original films on any topic or genre are accepted. Films should be G- or PG- rated and suitable for a teen audience. Profanity and nudity are not allowed. Producers must be Louisville residents between the ages of 12 and 19. Films should be no longer than 15 minutes in length.


Deadline for Submissions is March 1, 2014

Submissions may be turned in, along with a completed entry form, at any Louisville Free Public Library. Submissions should be on a separate flash-drive or disc and addressed to the attention of “Michael Ward – Louisville Young Filmmakers Festival.”


Filmmaking Workshops

As part of the Festival, the Library will hold several workshops on film-making and editing. Students who attend the workshops will learn how to create, edit and manage their own digital content. All workshops will be held at the Main Library:

  • Saturday, January 11, 2:00 pm
  • Saturday, January 25, 10:00 am
  • Saturday, February 8, 2:00 pm
  • Saturday, February 22, 2:00 pm

For more information on the the fesitval, submissions guidlines, or workshops, email Michael.ward@lfpl.org.



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Creative Families 
Few artistic creations spring fully formed out of their creator’s heads, like Athena, with no previous influences. Often, a long chain of inspiration and cultural heritage influences the works that we watch, see, or read. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on what influences something you like, and not just because it helps you understand it. Exploring the artistic genealogy of a work that you like is a great way to find new things to be a fan of. Here are just a few artistic family trees – you can make one for your favorite creative work, too - click here!

Once you have, you can even work your way up the tree, and you’ll never run out of entertainment.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians Family


Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson & the Olympians books represent the latest in a long line – stretching back over 2500 years – of adaptations of Greek Mythology. Although Riordan wasn’t around to hear the Greek Myths told, himself, he certainly read adaptations, going back to Greek and Roman sources.

It doesn’t have to be complicated, though. A direct adaptation is a relatively faithful re-telling of another work. A book being remade as a movie is an example of a direct adaptation: the movie might leave some things out, or make some changes, but it will pretty much follow the original plot. An example of a direct adaptation is Grant Morrison’s 18 Days series by Graphic India. (Published on YouTube.) 18 Days is a retelling of the Mahabharata – one of the epic myth cycles of Hinduism, along with the Ramayana. Although both Percy Jackson and 18 Days are based on a source, the Percy Jackson series isn’t a straight re-telling of the Greek myths, but rather uses them as an artistic inspiration. 18 Days, however, follows the same plot as the Mahabharata, even though it chooses to tell the story in a different style (kind of like a sci-fi shadow puppet show).

You can do this with authors, artists, or directors, as well as books or movies! If you went to see a horror movie this Halloween season, it could probably trace its roots back to Charlotte Brontë or Edgar Allan Poe.

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Teen Tech Tips #35 Tech License Manual: 10 New Tricks 
Welcome back to the blog! As you can see we have been enjoying some awesome featured Halloween reads, but now it's time to get back into some techy fun.




Our very first Teen Tech Tips blog post featured some keyboard short cuts to help you save time and work more efficiently. Click here for a review.

We are happy to share David Pogue's TED Talk from Febraury of this year as an update and addition.

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Teen Tech Tip #34: Make Your Own Apps and Websites with Treehouse 
Welcome back to the Tech Blog! If you'll reminisce with us for a movement, you'll recall that we've had posts in the past about creating your own websites and mobile apps. Learning how to do that just got a thousand times easier with the Library's recent release of Treehouse - Click on the banner below.



Learning Adventures


Learn the basics for creating your own website, mobile app, or web app. The instructors recommend free software, show you how to create and edit apps and sites, and explain the process for launching a site or adding your app to a Marketplace.

Deep Dives


Want to know all there is to know about HTML, CSS, Javascript, Ruby, or Database Foundations? Then be sure to go through one of the Deep Dives to sharpen your skills.

So Much More


Each section is taught by a professional developer and contains video instructions, quizzes, code challenges, and a forum to reinforce your learning. The forums are moderated to keep the content relevant and to ensure correct information.

In the current job market, there is a strong demand for individuals with computer coding skills, and these careers are very well paying. Be sure to check out this amazing resource freely available through your library.

Have you tried Treehouse? We'd love to hear from you, so comment below.

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