Tag Archives: First Floor

What I Love

Dear Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh,

Perhaps it is a little early in our relationship to tell you this (you’ll recall that tomorrow marks our four month anniversary together), so forgive me if I’m being presumptuous.

But tomorrow is also Valentine’s Day, so this is the perfect occasion to say those three little words.

I’m in love.

With everything about you.

I love that you allow me to check out up to 50 books at a time.

And that nobody at the circulation desk blinks an eye when my fines creep higher and higher.

And higher.

I love the secret window that allows me to look down upon the dinosaurs.

I love that someone put a warm scarf on Dippy the Dinosaur during this long cold winter.

I love the quiet sense of history I get whenever I walk in the building.

I love that kids don’t have to be quiet.

And that kids all over the globe are discovering the Library online through My StoryMaker.

And that our libraries are the cool places for teens to hang out.

I love the way that Main looks at night.

And that you can come enjoy the Library After Hours.

I love that the First Floor librarians are enablers, telling me to “take as many as I want” when they see me browsing the stacks.

I love the conversations that happen among strangers on our Facebook page.

And among real life Library users when you find yourself browsing in the same stack, interested in the same thing.

Chalkboard I love reading the chalkboards.

I love when I feel guilty about taking a new display book from its stand, I know another excellent one will quickly replace it.

I love that I can renew my books online at 11:59 p.m., avoiding a fine by mere seconds.

I love when a donor tells me that he or she loves the Library.

I love that brilliantly magical moment when a child gets his or her own library card and for a few seconds, traveling back in time and becoming six years old again.

I love getting lost in the stacks (I need to carry a GPS) and discovering a new author.

I love that we have a GLBT section on the First Floor and that it’s not hidden away.

I love that we offer so many diverse programs and events.

I love that we offer Sensory Storytimes for children with special needs.

I love that when we were looking for a family-friendly place to go with my son with autism, we came to (and were welcomed at) the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Main.

I love that every one of our CLP branches is different.

I love the immensely talented staff members I’m privileged to work with and call friends.

I love going to meetings and coming back with five books.

And recommendations of five more to read.

I love the peacefulness of the International Poetry Room.

I love being able to hear a new-to-me song on the radio while driving into work in the morning, and checking it out so I can listen to it on my drive home.

Or downloading it via Freegal.

I love walking up those worn marble steps.

I love that patrons can drink coffee anywhere on the first floor.

And that a Donor Plus Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh card offers a discount at Crazy Mocha.

I love that I could continue this list forever.

And that there is still so much more at the Library to fall in love with.

Love, Melissa F.

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Things that make librarians sad

 

Here are a few things that your favorite librarians may find depressing, in no particular order.

A view of the Lecture Hall from behind the building.

A view of the Lecture Hall from behind the building on an obnoxiously lovely fall day. I had to go to work shortly after taking this picture.

1. When you tell us how nice it is outside. Yes, we’d love to enjoy the day too, but someone has to be here to make sure you get all of those bestsellers and magazine articles, not to mention the ever-important headphones for the computers.
 
2. Books that are returned with sand trapped in their jackets. From a technical point of view, this is bad because the sand will damage the book’s cover. From a morale point of view, this is bad because the book got to go to the beach but we didn’t. This is especially depressing during the winter months.
 
3. The places that people leave things. One of my clerks once found a Naruto DVD in the second floor men’s toilet. Not just in the bathroom, mind you, but actually in the toilet. I think he should have earned hazardous duty pay for rescuing it (don’t worry, we threw out that one and ordered a replacement copy). 
 
No DVDs have been found in this particular toilet. But don't be getting any ideas.

No DVDs have been found in this particular toilet so far. Please don't get any ideas.

4. The things you use as scratch paper. I have a note from a customer written on the back of an opera ticket stub. No big deal, you say. But this particular ticket stub was entirely in Italian. Librarians don’t get to go to Italy very often, you know. Maybe if we presented it to the management as an outreach program?

5. Mysterious stains. More specifically, the coffee stain that we found on our new carpet the morning after it was installed. So from here on out, you’ll have to keep all of your Crazy Mocha treats down on the First Floor. We may lighten up a bit eventually, but that won’t be for another ten years or so.

6. When you say scary things on the phone. Today a customer told me that he was driving on (major highway) at (illegal speed) while talking to me, so he couldn’t get his library card out to tell me his number.  Please, call us later. The library has all sorts of nifty things to be sure, but it’s not worth risking your life.
 
That’s quite a list of downers, isn’t it? So how do you cheer up a depressed librarian? It’s really pretty simple: take care of your materials, return them on time, don’t put things in the toilet, and visit us often. We’d love to see you.
 
Or you could just take us to Italy….
 
-Amy
 

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No Shushing in this Library

Back in the ancient days of yore, libraries around the world were known as shushing zones.  That meant no talking above a whisper, no humming and certainly no music.  Perhaps my factitious tale of library history is slightly exaggerated, but it certainly can’t be argued that times have definitely changed. 

As part of Celebrate the Arts Sundays, the First Floor hosts the Sunday Afternoon Music Series the second Sunday of the month from 2:00 – 3:00 pm.  Despite its formal name, the series welcomes an array of performers that are just as diverse as the tastes of our patrons.  From chamber music to roots revival, there is something for everyone.  Performances usually take place in the Quiet Reading Room and warm weather even invites the opportunity for outdoor performances. 

This Sunday, the series features classical guitarist Chris Anderson.  Anderson describes his approach as balancing “pieces at the core of the classical guitar’s repertoire with others that are rarely heard.” 

Sunday Afternoon Music Summer Series

Circuits of Steel
Sunday, May 11, 2008
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Rick Gribenas, Margaret Cox, Steve Boyle and tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE are four artists representing the Circuits of Steel compilation series, which showcases Pittsburgh’s electronic/experimental music scene. Expect sounds far beyond conventional boundaries.
 
Resonance
July 13th, 2008
Resonance is a world fusion ensemble made up of five musicians: three percussionists, guitar and bass.  They use the distinct sound of the steel drum to draw audiences into their compelling mix of Caribbean jazz and global fusion music.

Jennie Snyder
August 10th, 2008
Jennie Snyder, a rural Pennsylvania native, performs her mountain-flavored roots originals in the vein of Gillian Welch, Buddie and Julie Miller, and Hazel Dickens.  She is currently at work on her first solo record.

 

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