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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Teen Tech Tips #33: Using Fusion Tables for Mapping 
Welcome back to the blog for some exciting, web-based fun! One of our past topics Geographic Information Systems (GIS) covered analytic map-making software that you can use for school research projects.

But what if you simply want to plot a set of waypoints on a map to embed in a blog? A Google Fusion Table can be created for free using Google Drive. Check out our example map below of all 18 Library branches:



Collecting and Formatting Your Data


The most important part of putting together your map is correctly formatting your data into columns. In fact, when working with databases and spreadsheets, it is best to think of your columns as fields and your rows as separate entries in each field. Let's take a look at an example together:



This table is organized into two fields (Location and Address), and we see the first 11 entries--one for each branch. Each field has a specified data type, text for branch, and addresses has been formatted as location.

The table we made is very simple with no additional information, but you can add as many fields as you want. Your fields can include links to photos or websites, so be creative. The information will be displayed on the location marker on your map.

You can create and edit a spreadsheet using Excel or Google Spreadsheet and upload it to Google Drive. (Note: you will need to sign up for a Google account, which is free. You can use any email address and do not have to create Gmail account.)

Making Your Fusion Table


Once you have logged into your Google Drive account, select the 'Create' button. At the bottom of the drop down dialogue box, select 'Connect to More Apps' and search for 'Fusion Tables'. This will add Fusion Tables to the list of documents that you can now create.

You can create your table from scratch using Fusion Tables or upload a previously created table from you computer.

Once you have create a table with addresses (you can also use Geographic Coordinates for locations that do not have an address), click the 'Map' tab and Google will geocode your addresses and create map of you locations. You can select the drop-down menu from the 'Map' tab to edit the map style and settings.

Publishing and Sharing your Map


Once you have fine tuned your map and are ready to share it, select 'File > Share' and set you parameters. You can share it with one or more people and email a link to your map, or you can select share publicly and publish in a blog post or website.

To share on another site, select 'Tool > Publish' and copy the HTML embed code into your blog or site.

For more, check out this Video Tutorial

Using Map Maps for School


We have only really scratched the surface of what you can do with Fusion Tables. Here a few great ideas to take your next school project to the next level.

Autobiographical Photo Tour - make a map of the important places you've been and link to photos
Historical Locations - Civil War battle sites or Ancient Greek cities
Study Plants and Animals - map plant habitats or animal migration

Want to master Fusion Tables? Be sure to check out these informational resources and tutorials - click here.

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Fun Programs at Your Library 
Did you know that we have lots of programs and activities for teens at the Library? Keep an eye on our program calendar for upcoming programs. You can click on “Events by Location” to check for programs at a specific branch, or click on “Events by Type” and then on “Teens” to look for teen programs at all the branches at once. Just FYI, it’s always a good idea to call the branch hosting the program to register beforehand so they don’t run out of room or supplies for the program.


(source: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dr_Who_(316350537).jpg)

Programs for September


Just to give you an idea of what’s coming up in September: At Middletown we are having a celebration of all things Doctor Who on September 30 at 4 pm where you can come dressed up as your favorite Doctor, Companion or Villain for the costume contest and show up how knowledgeable you are about our favorite Gallifreyen with the trivia contest! Middletown will also have a Digital Cartooning program on September 25th at 4 pm. Also keep an eye out for Teen Tuesdays at Iroquois at 3:30 with DIY tech for comics, microcomputers, coding and app making. Fairdale has Tabletop Roleplaying gaming on Tuesdays at 4 pm. On September 5th at Newburg will be Open Mic Night with Prolific at 6 pm. Southwest Branch will host the Teen Code Club September 9th at 3:30, and Westport will have a Digital Collage program on September 11th at 3:30. You can decorate your Teen Summer Reading messenger bag at Jeffersontown September 9th at 4 pm and attend the Mortal Instruments party at St. Matthews September 14th at 3 pm!

Looking ahead to October


We also have tons of programs planned for October: At Middletown on October 29th at 4 pm we are celebrating the Day of the Dead with sugar skulls and papel picados. The Highlands/Shelby park branch will host its annual Teen Halloween Party on October 31st at 4 pm, and you can make Q-tip skeletons at Southwest on October 30th. Bon Air’s Teen Book Club will have a literary showdown between Suzanne Collins and Veronica Roth. You can Get Your Craft on at Jeffersontown October 21st at 4 pm. Fairdale will have an Origami Night October 17th at 6 pm, and check out the Teen Art Club at Shawnee October 10th at 6:30 pm.

I have barely scratched the surface of teen programming at LFPL over the next couple of months. Please look at our Calendar of Events to see a list of all the upcoming teen programs. Hope to see you at some of them!

-Emily Mauldin, Youth Services, Middletown Branch

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