About Rose

Teen Librarian

On My Own: Yes, We Really Can Cook

Cooking Outside the Pizza Box: Easy Recipes for Today’s College Student

by Jean Patterson and Danae Campbell

College kids living on their own for the first time are startled to realize that now they have to cook for themselves. Included are nutritious, appetizing, more healthful and less expensive recipes to try without relying on the local pizza parlor or the burger joint every time hunger pangs strike.

Cooking Up a Storm: The Teen Survival Cookbook

by Sam Stern and Susan Stern

A kid’s gotta eat! What better way to make sure that the food on your plate hits the spot than to make it yourself? From omelets to mouth-watering desserts and addictive but healthy snacks, try these suggestions to help keep your brain awake during that dreaded exam time.

The Healthy College Cookbook: Quick, Cheap, Easy

by Alexandra  Nimetz

In less time and for less money than it takes to order pizza, you can make it yourself! Three harried but health-conscious college students compiled and tested this collection of more than 200 tasty, hearty, inexpensive recipes anyone can cook — yes, anyone!

Help! My Apartment Has a Kitchen Cookbook: 100 + Great Recipes with Foolproof Instructions.

By Nancy Mills

Compiled by a college guy and his Mom, this cookbook grades recipes on a “Very Easy,  Easy, and Not So Easy” scale. Also included are some of  Mom’s tips and warnings. A number of the recipes are vegetarian in honor of his vegetarian girlfriend.

How to Boil Water: Life Beyond Takeout.

By Food Network Kitchens

This book really does tell how to boil water, along with plenty of other tips and recipes just right for the beginning cook.

I Love Trader Joe’s College Cookbook

by Andrea Lynn

Looking for some relief from microwave mash-ups, fast food fiascos, and cardboard crust pizza delivery?  Whip up late-for-class breakfasts, backpack-friendly lunches, and as-hearty-as-mom-made dinners.  All the ingredients come from Trader Joe’s so they are both inexpensive and scrumptious.

Look, Dude, I Can Cook!: Four Years of College Cooking Made Easy

by Amy Madden

These recipes start from the basics, then move on up to more complex recipes. Included are tips, suggestions and techniques that will provide a solid foundation for future cooking skills.

A Man, a Can, a Microwave: 50 Tasty Meals  You Can Nuke in No Time

by David Joachim

Fifty guy-friendly, nuke-able meals using packaged ingredients that are fun to make and great to eat. Check out such tasty dishes as “Italian One-Dish Fish,” “Teriyaki Beef with Broccoli,” and “Painless Paella.”

$5 a Meal College Cookbook: Good Cheap Food for When You Need to Eat

by Rhonda  Lauret Parkinson

Need a break from the monotony of your meal plan? Can’t afford to waste money on lukewarm takeout? Well, now you can ditch the dining hall’s soggy excuse for the Monday-night special thanks to this appetite-saving book packed with cheap, easy, and delicious recipes.

The (Reluctant, Nervous, Lazy, Broke, Busy, Confused) College Student’s  Cookbook

by Joshua N. Lambert

An everything guide to a college students need to know about food, cooking, and taking care of a kitchen. From using an oven to preparing a cream sauce, included are step-by-step instructions for every situation involving food — from the all-night study session to the first date.

Starving  Students’ Cookbook

by Dede Hall

Just learning to cook?  Check out these appealing cooking how-to tips, health, nutrition information, vegetarian recipes and more.

The Teen’s Vegetarian Cookbook

by Judy Krizmanic

Recipes for all types of vegetarian dishes are accompanied by information and advice on vegetarian diet and quotes from teenage vegetarians.


Teens, Technology and a Treasured Friendship Rekindled

I recently read an article in the Chicago Tribune that warmed my heart and challenged me to  embrace even more deeply the convictions of  teens who believe that “ nothing is impossible. “ I applaud each teen that may be challenged to embrace a cause, and  then work diligently to make a life changing difference in another’s life.

A school librarian at Madison Junior High in Naperville, Illinois was investigating a forthcoming author visit to compliment a unit on the Holocaust.  During her research, she learned that Fern Schumer Chapman, had written an historical fiction book that chronicled her mother’s childhood experience with the One Thousand Children  program.  This initiative was a “quiet underground movement that facilitated the removal of small groups of children from Germany”, and then place them with families in the United States.  “Ten children at a time were shipped out of Germany on cruise ships.”

When she was 12, Chapman’s mother, Edith, met Gerda, another young girl on one of the ships,   and they became good friends.  After arriving in New York, Edith was sent to Chicago and Gerda was sent to Oregon to be reunited with extended family.  Edith had always carried a deep love for Gerda and always dreamed of reuniting with her friend.  Somehow, life got in the way, and as each grew into adulthood, they never gave up hope that they would eventually met again.

After Chapman’s presentation at the junior high school, the Social Science teacher expressed to her class that “each time that she teaches the Holocaust, she always wished there was something she could do.”  One of the students stood up and boldly stated, “Why can’t we find her?”  The students were deeply touched, so with the assistance of the school librarian and their teachers, they formulated an action plan, and then embarked on a journey of discovery.  They spent days doing research in the school Library, immersing themselves into the digital world of research.

Kudos to our school and public librarians for your tireless resolve to be an advocate for teens and to provide open access to information.  Teaching students how to effectively navigate through library databases may appear to be arduous and draining especially after you have rendered that same presentation to multiple classes in a single day.  Just when you think that no one is listening, remember those eighth students in Naperville, Illinois who embraced a cause, then worked diligently to make a difference.  A mega Shout  Out to all of those students for their resolve and for their “determination and fortitude” to reach out and change the world. These tenacious individuals were instrumental in reuniting two friends after a 73 year hiatus, but more importantly, they stamped their digital footprints on that World History canvass. In the process, they made it all come alive.



Kmitch, Justin. (2011 May 13). Naperville students reunite two women after 73 years. Daily Herald. Retrieved from http://dailyherald.com/article/20110513/news/705139918/print/

Madison Junior High School Students Use Social Networking To Reunite Holocaust Survivors. Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/16/madison-junior-high-holocaust_n_862599.html?view=print
ONE THOUSAND CHILDREN® INC.  (OTC)     http://www.onethousandchildren.org/

Swasko, Mike. (2011 May 15).  Naperville students reconnect women who fled Nazis in 1938  Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-05-13/news/ct-met-naperville-reunion-0514-20110513_1_naperville-students-seattle-paper-nazis

Saying Goodbye

Several weeks before I retired, I planned my very last Teen Advisory Board (TAB) meeting.  Instead of conducting business, I decided to have a party and invite former and current member so that I could officially say goodbye and hug everyone. I knew that several of the teens that had graduated from high school were attending colleges in Illinois, but I had not the faintest idea if anyone would be home that weekend.  When I did not receive any replies, I assumed that everyone was just too busy.

When the doors opened on the day of the party, I was speechless and I just could not stop wiping the tears!  One of the former members told me that she had not been home for a couple of months, but she just had to come to say thanks and to give me a hug.  When Ryan, a young man who always “marched to the beat of a very different drummer” arrived, I said “you came”!  He looked at me, said, “why did you think I would not come?  I could not miss it.  Everyone lavished me with gifts, then, expressed their love, thanks and appreciation for my encouragement.

Over the years, I frequently wrote letters of recommendation when the students were engaged in the college application process.  When I received an e-mail from a former TAB member, I was so overwhelmed with such pride for him.  Mark was unable to attend the party, but he expressed his thanks for the help and guidance that I had extended to him.  “Your service in organizing student run programs and the Teen Advisory Board was so helpful for me. Thank you also for all of your recommendations.  I am in my second year studying Architecture at Cooper Union in New York City and I cannot believe how much I am taking in. My sights are limitless for the future…”  I must have gone through a box of tissues, and will always carry a special place in my heart for this talented, focused young man.

I may no longer work at the Teen Services desk, but I will always be an advocate for teens, so I look forward for opportunities to stay involved.  One of the current TAB members organized a team for the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life overnight walk at her high school so I signed on to walk in memory of my sisters.  We met for lunch during Spring Break just to chat and to finalize plans for the event.  One of the local high school librarians asked me if I would be interested in participating in the teen book discussion group that is held after school once a month. A middle school student invited me to attend her school play that was performed on a Saturday evening. What a stellar performance!  She just bubbled when I presented her a bouquet of Roses…

I am reminded of a line from a Spiritual that continues to resonate from the core of my being. “If I can help somebody as I pass along this way… then my living shall not be in vain”.  If you are having a challenging day, may I encourage you to “keep on keeping on.”  You may never know how much you are impacting the life of a teen.

Rose Allen

Teen Librarian, Retired


Are They Getting on Your Last Nerve?

If there is one thing that I have learned during my years as a librarian, it is that I will treat teens with respect and I will always require the same from them. I am not their friend; however, I will try very hard to remember their names, always acknowledge their presence, then, try very hard to engage them.

Have you ever had that one teen that arrives promptly right after school, enters the teen space, stakes out his/her territory then proceeds to get on your last nerve?

Teens know when we do not like them. Too often during extremely busy times, we may be inclined to offer minimal service to a teen when there are several impatient adults in line who really just need to wait their turn.  Teens may never approach the desk even when they are in desperate need of help.  Even if some of them love to read, they may not think that is cool for their friends to see them with a book.  It is vital that we step out from behind the desk as often as possible, mingle or just roam in the stacks as time permits. Most of the time, someone needs help but they are terrified of asking because they may have had an unpleasant interaction with a staff member who really does not like teens.

Programming is an essential service that libraries provide for all ages.  Just as it is so imperative that we solicit teen input as we are planning our slate of programs, it is crucial that we engage our teens one-on- one as often as possible.

Consider assisting teens as they are preparing for their college entrance prep by spending some time helping them to navigate the Library online databases that are available to them from home 24/7.  Encourage them to apply for some of those specialized scholarships that are often looked over during the application process.  One student informed me that he had learned of an organization that offered scholarships for tall people (he was well over six feet tall) and he reluctantly asked me if I would consider writing a letter of recommendation for him.   Likewise, offer to write letters of recommendation for that first paying job, or for a volunteer or internship position

Depending on the school district, many teens have to do a certain number of Community Service hours before they graduate, so I offer them service credit if they attend Teen Advisory Board Meetings, if they are participating in a Library Volunteer Program for Teens, if they assist me during a teen program, or if they accompany me on a field trip to a bookstore to purchase items for the Young Adult Collection.  If they are investigating a detailed project to satisfy the requirements for an Eagle Scout Badge, consider contacting your department heads at your library and inquire about possibilities. Always follow-up, then work closely with the individual who will be supervising the teen to iron out logistics so that the teen will know what is expected of him/her.

One of the teens who was working on His Eagle Scout Badge, asked me it there was a project at the Library that he could investigate in order to fulfill the final arm of the requirements for this prestigious award.  I spoke with the Technical Services Department Head and she informed me of the RFID project that was in full swing. She expressed that she would love to have a committed teen to assist as it would help to move the targeted completion date up.   After training and learning the logistics, Andy trained, then, supervised a team of Scouts to assist him. This dedicated group successfully tagged 6, 000 items during two weekends.  When Andy’s parents invited me to speak at his Eagle Scout ceremony, I was so honored and so impressed to be present at such an inspiring event.  After all of the speeches were done, Andy hugged me and expressed how much he appreciated our giving him a chance to fulfill a dream.

I will never forget a day when I dashed into my local Jewel Supermarket to pick up a couple of items before I headed for points west and home.  I was in the checkout line and noticed a tall young man at the register.  He smiled at me, and then asked if I remembered him.  He did not look familiar, so I apologized and said no.  He proceeded to tell me that when he was in the eighth grade, I helped him with his research paper when his class came to the library for a field trip.  He said that he would always remember me because I helped him to find the information that he needed and he was able to get an A on his paper.  He is currently a student at DePaul University. Yes, the tears started to roll down my cheeks.

We have all learned that safety pins that are pierced into strategic parts of the anatomy; pink or purple spiked hair or Jeans that are threatening to fall below the knees at any given moment, does not define an individual. That teen may just be trying to make a statement about finding himself.  We never know when we might impact the life of a teen.  If today’s teens could travel back in time to the last century when I was in high school, they would probably think that I was extremely bizarre.  Let us never forget that weird, obnoxious,  teen who is always hanging out at the Library and getting on your last nerve, may, in just a few short years,  be your doctor, your dentist, your counselor, or your stockbroker.

Denim Crafts Under $25.00

Teens Going Green

Are you looking for a low budget “Green Program” to encourage teens to reduce their Carbon Footprint?  If so, encourage them to recycle old Denim Jeans.  These projects do not require any sewing.  To keep costs down, ask each participant to bring a pair of old jeans to the program.  I also sent out an e-mail blast (several months before the program) to my co-workers and asked them to donate their old jeans that they really needed to throw away.  I wanted to have extra fabric just in case anyone forgot to bring a pair of jeans. Visit a dollar store or a fabric store and check out the remnant bins for ribbon.  Fabric paints or other embellishments may be used to jazz up the bag.

Blue Jean Bags


  • Pant Leg from old blue jeans (any size, but adult size will make a larger bag)
  • Ribbons
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Hole Punch
  • Fabric Paints


  1. Cut a 12 – 16 inch section from the lower part of the leg from an old pair of blue jeans.
  2. Roll down the top, then punch two holes in rolled down portion.
  3. Cut fringes on the other end of cut off leg.
  4. Tie Fringes.
  5. Cut a strip of ribbon into desired length.
  6. Thread ribbon into holes, then tie at one end.
  7. Embellish with fabric paint or just decorate as desired.

Denim Journal Cover


  • Adult sized pant leg from old jeans
  • Approximately 3 inches of the waist band from jeans, including button and button hole.
  • Pocket from blue jean
  • Fabric paint
  • Fabric glue
  • Composition book or a journal


1. Cut the upper part of the leg form an old pair of adult sized jeans.

2. Cut up the leg near the inside seam and flatten.

3. Lay the opened journal/composition book onto the fabric.

4. Trim around book.

5. Leave a half inch all around to fold in.

6. Fold in the edges of the denim n and glue to inside cover of the journal.

7. Glue down the first journal page and the last page so that these pages cover the denim

8. Glue a denim pocket to the front

9. Cut off a short piece of the waist ban that

10. Glue the button to the front of the journal includes the button and the button hole.

11. Glue the button hole, plus a small part of the waist band, to the back of the diary.

12. Embellish the pocket with fabric paint.

Denim Pillow


  • One pair of old jeans
  • Ribbon or long strips of denim cut from the other leg of the jeans.
  • Scissors
  • Stuffing or fabric scraps.


1. Cut off on leg of the jeans a desired length

2. Tie one end with ribbon or denim fabric strips.

3. Stuff with fabric scraps or stuffing.

4. Tie the other end.

5. Fringe each end of the tied portion.

6. Embellish with fabric paint.

Denim Pocket Magnets\


  • Denim pockets cut from old jeans.
  • Fabric paint
  • Craft Magnets
  • Ribbons, buttons, lace or any type of embellishments
  • Fabric or craft glue


Cut a pocket from an old pair of jeans.

2. glue ribbon, trim, etc to the pocket with fabric glue

3. Write “Leave a Note” or whatever is desired on the front in fabric paint.

4. Cut a strip from the craft magnet roll the width of the pocket

5. Glue magnetic strip to the back of the pocket.  Glue

Remembering the Little Rock Nine

I shall forever remember my parents’ reaction of fear, and jubilation on that day in 1957 when news broadcasts informed the American public that nine African American students were prevented from entering racially segregated Central High School in Little Rock by Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus.  President Eisenhower deployed the National Guard to escort those courageous students to class in the landmark desegregation of Central High School. These audacious   individuals became known as the Little Rock Nine and their journey toward educational justice has been judiciously chronicled in America’s history books.

Carlotta Walls LaNier was a guest of honor at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago in 2009. “In 1957, at age 14, she was the youngest Little Rock Nine member to integrate Central High School.”  I was so excited to receive a signed copy of her book, A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock and I will use it to share her story with my children, grandchildren as well as the teens that I serve.  “This act of courage and defiance by teens, who were not afraid to take a stand, became the catalyst for change in the American educational system.  By ushering in a new order, Carlotta and her fellow warriors became ‘foot soldiers’ for freedom.”

A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School by Carlotta Walls LaNier

When 14-year-old Carlotta Walls walked up to Little Rock Central High School on September 25, 1957, she and eight other black students only wanted to make it to class. But the journey of the “Little Rock Nine” would lead the nation on an even longer and much more turbulent path, one that would challenge prevailing attitudes, break down barriers, and forever change America. Descended from a line of proud black landowners and businessmen, Carlotta was raised to believe that education was the key to success. After Brown v. Board of Education, the teenager volunteered to be among the first black students–she was the youngest–to integrate nearby Central High School. But getting through the door was only the first of many trials.

Remember Little Rock: the Time, the People, the Stories by Paul Robert Walker

Just over 50 years ago, in Little Rock Arkansas, nine brave black students stood up for their rights and made history. The integration of Central High School in Little Rock changed the course of education in America forever, and became one of the pivotal points in the Civil Rights Movement. Paul Robert Walker uses eyewitness accounts and on-the-scene news photography to take a fresh look at a time of momentous consequence in U.S. history. Here, we get the story from all sides: the students directly involved; their fellow students, black and white; parents on both sides; military, police, and government officials.

Daisy Bates, civil rights crusader by Amy Polakow.

Bates was the NAACP coordinator who helped the Little Rock Nine become the first African American students to attend newly integrated Central High School in Arkansas. This vividly detailed biography shows how her personal experience growing up in the rural South stirred early anger yet instilled a stubborn pride that gave her the courage to fight hatred and become one of the most pivotal figures in twentieth-century American history. Blending Bates’ story with a rich, vivid retelling of the anti-segregation struggle and the emotional and physical toll it took on Bates, the Nine, and many others who changed society, Polakow traces how the civil rights struggles gained momentum, and the tension builds to a nail-biting climax. Follow-up descriptions of what became of those nine students are an inspiring testimony to the strength of the human spirit in the face of ignorance and hatred. (Roger Leslie 2003 Booklist)

The Little Rock Nine: The Struggle for Integration by Stephanie Fitzgerald.

In the fall of 1957, nine students in Little Rock, Arkansas, volunteered to integrate the city’s all-white Central High School. This group, known as the Little Rock Nine, soon found themselves in the center of a firestorm. Many people did not want black students to attend the school, and they fought hard to stop them. But the students faced the challenge with grace, dignity, and courage. They pioneered the way for equality in schools and demonstrated the power of freedom for all Americans.





Celebrating African American Librarians and Educators

Vivian G. Harsh

1890 – 1960

Described as “the historian who never wrote,”Vivian Gordon Harsh devoted her life to building one of the most important research collections
on African-American history and literature in the country. The first black librarian in the Chicago
Public Library system, she was appointed head librarian of the George Cleveland Hall Branch when it opened here in 1932. It was Chicago’s first library built for an African American community.


Dr. Robert Russa Moton

1916 – 1935

Dr. Moton was named president of Tuskegee Institute following the death of Dr. Booker T. Washington, founder and first president, in 1915. He was honored as one of the speakers for the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., May 30, 1922, and his contributions to humankind earned him honorary degrees from Oberlin and Williams College, Virginia Union, Wilberforce, Lincoln, Harvard, and Howard Universities.


Johnnetta B. Cole

At age 15, she entered Fisk University through the school’s early admissions program. She completed her undergraduate degree at Oberlin College and went on to earn a Master’s and Ph.D. in anthropology from Northwestern University.  In 1987, Dr. Cole made history by becoming the first African-American woman to serve as President of Spelman College. At her inauguration as seventh President of Spelman College, Bill Cosby and his wife Camille made a gift of $20 million to the College, the largest single gift from individuals to any historically Black college or university.


Carter G. Woodson

1875 – 1950

Known as the “Father of Black History,” Woodson (1875-1950) was the son of former slaves, and understood how important gaining a proper education is when striving to secure and make the most out of one’s divine right of
freedom.  Although he did not begin his formal education until he was 20 years old, his dedication to study enabled him to earn a high school diploma in West Virginia and bachelor and master’s degrees from the Universityof Chicago.  Woodson became the second African American to earn a Ph.D from Harvard University.


Christine Wigfall Morris

Christine Wigfall Morris, known as Mrs. Chris, started working as a librarian in Clearwater, Florida, in1949.  She  had never stepped foot in one of the city’s libraries before accepting the position. “It was a bad segregated area cause very few people went to the library,” said Morris, now 88 years old. “If they went to the main library, it was to return books from people they had worked for or from hotels.”

Thomas Fountain Blue

1888 – 1935

The son of former slaves, the Reverend Thomas F. Blue was the nation’s first African-American to head a public library.  He was a respected leader in the civic, religious, and educational life of the Louisville black community.  He was born in Farmville, Virginia. Upon graduating from Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in 1888, he gave a farewell address in which he urged his classmates to “let our every movement be characterized by unity of aim, unity of purpose and unity of act; then and not until then will the dark cloud of ignorance, superstition, and intemperance disperse, and education, intelligence, and virtue spread over our land.”

Edward Christopher Williams

1821 – 1929

Edward Christopher Williams received his bachelor’s degree from Adelbert College (the undergraduate men’s division of Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio) in 1892 as the valedictorian of his class. In 1894, he was appointed librarian of Adelbert College. When he graduated from the New York State Library School in 1900, Williams became the first professionally trained black librarian in America as well as the first black person to earn his livelihood in the field of librarianship, according to Eliza A. Gleason. Williams devoted a great deal of his time to collection building at WRU and laid the foundation for the present eminence of the collection there. When Western Reserve established a library school in 1904, Williams was appointed Instructor in bibliography and reference work, teaching courses in “Public Documents” and “The Criticism and Selection of Books.”