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Carrick student earns honors in the CLP Teen Media Awards


 More than 300 Allegheny County middle and high school age teens vied for awards in Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s 2016 Teen Media Awards competition. The awards were presented August 10 at the Carnegie Lecture Hall in Oakland.

The library’s Teen Media Awards are divided into two parts – The Ralph Munn Creative Writing Awards and the Labsy Awards -- and recognize a broad range of creative work.

“We are proud of the ever-growing role the library’s programs are playing in capturing the creativity of teens in intriguing ways that support their overall education and future career development,” said Kelly Rottmund, CLP teen services coordinator. “The teens not only can grow their skills but also engage with mentors and peers in learning and making. The Teen Media Awards serve as a platform for celebrating teens and their original content.”

The Ralph Munn Creative Writing program began at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in the 1970s, funded by an endowment from the estate of former library director Ralph Munn. After about 20 years on hiatus, the program was revitalized in 2008.

All “entries of quality” are published in an anthology, which is distributed to all of the public libraries in Allegheny County as well as to the schools whose students are published in the book. Each published teen also receives an anthology.

Cover art for the anthology is one of the award categories.

The Labsy Awards recognize the creative work of Pittsburgh teenagers in a variety of categories.

“The Labsy Awards are tied to The Labs @ CLP creative technology programming, but work doesn’t need to be created in the library in order to be eligible,” explained Ms. Rottmund.

The Labsy Awards are often judged by program partners. Judges have included filmmakers from Pittsburgh Filmmakers Youth Media program, artist educators from the Andy Warhol Museum, and DJs from WYEP-FM. Not only do these professionals validate the work of our teens but they also form ties and offer guidance about “next steps” for the teens to develop their ideas in our communities,” Ms. Rottmund added.

Tessa Barber, Ralph Munn Creative Writing Contest committee chair, and Corey Wittig, of The Labs @ CLP, assisted with the awards presentation.

In the Invention category with TechShop PGH as judge, First Place was earned by Amulya Garimella, 7thgrade, Dorseyville Middle School (Fox Chapel) for her “Brainwave;” Westley Bates, 11th grader at Carrick High School earned Second Place for his “Waterproof PC” invention.

First place winners in each category received $250 and second place winners received $100.

For more information about Library events and programs, visit


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