Monthly Archives: April 2008

How do you want to spend the next 6 months?

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend the biennial conference of the Public Library Association in Minneapolis.  I went to all kinds of sessions, with topics ranging from leadership, services to the GLBT community, readers’ advisory, a romance author panel, to recruiting and educating new librarians.  I learned about many fun and exciting things that other libraries are doing, and it was truly inspiring to gather with thousands of other librarians who are working so hard to serve you, The Public.
One of the most interesting sessions I attended, however, was one called “Bridging the Divide:  Libraries Transform Communities.”  All about civic participation and citizen engagement, the session focused on the use of deliberative dialogue to discuss the most challenging and divisive issues we face, both locally and nationally.  As we get ready to go to the polls tomorrow, and again in November, the ideas and approaches I discovered seemed especially timely.  Politicians seem to find it necessary to debate, differentiating their point of view from their opponents and doing their best to convince us that they know best; however, as a society, we may want to take a different course.
The basis of deliberative dialogue is gaining an understanding of multiple perspectives of an issue.  In fact, an essential part of the process is to explore at least three or more approaches to each issue, which serves as a starting place for developing entirely new solutions.  Which is where the library comes into the picture as a central place that provides information on any topic one might want to address.  These programs, in which groups of citizens gather to speak with one another, to explore the issues, and to build consensus, are offered all over the country, in libraries, schools, community centers and other settings.
While I would love to offer such a program here at this library (let us know if you’re interested by commenting or emailing!), we don’t have to wait for a formal session to learn about viewpoints other than our own.  In addition to many, many books, and several magazine and newspaper databases that provide news articles about a myriad of topics, there are three databases that are here for the purpose of learning the multiple sides of current issues.  Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center, Issues and Controversies, and CQ Researcher gather book chapters, articles, essays, and other full-text reports.  All three are available from inside and outside the library with a Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh library card, so you can start discovering how others might be thinking about an issue right now!  Bring your new-found knowledge to your next “discussion” with your brother-in-law or your neighbor.  It could make the next six months a whole new experience for you.


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Have you read any 2008 Eisner Awards nominees?

This week the 2008 Eisner Award nominations were announced. The Will Eisner Comics Industry Award, named after the “father of graphic novels” himself, is one of the most esteemed recognitions comics creators can boast. The Awards recognize excellence in comics, webcomics and graphic novels.

Hopefully, it will come as no surprise that CLP includes nearly all of the nominated works in our Juvenile, Teen and Adult Graphic Novel collections. Why not see for yourself how great they are?

  • Rutu Modan was nominated for her critically acclaimed Exit Wounds.
  • Shaun Tan–who has beautifully illustrated children’s books as well–earned three nominations for the stirring, silent The Arrival.
  • Naoki Urasawa’s manga thriller Monster earned a nod–or was it a shudder?

Other nominees include:

Some folks have noticed the glaring omission of Frederick Peeters’s Blue Pills, about a man who falls in love with an HIV-positive woman.

What about you? Did you read any stunning graphic novels or comics this year that didn’t make the list? What did you think of the nominated titles you were savvy enough to read?


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You can read every book, EVER

The title of this post is a little bit of an exaggeration, but it’s also kind of true.  You may not have the time, let alone the intellectual capability to read every book (oh, don’t act offended: you know it’s true).  But in theory, your library card gives you access to just about every book that exists, and the magical key is only three little letters long: ILL.


ILL stands for Interlibrary Loan, and it simply means your library can borrow items from other libraries for you, usually at no charge.  I hate to admit it, but sometimes the local library doesn’t have a book or journal article you need, or an album you would like to hear, or a movie you would really love to see. Maybe you don’t want to buy it.  Or maybe you can’t buy it, because it’s out of print or very rare.  No PROBLEM-O!


When I’m helping customers look for items that aren’t in CLP’s collection, I first check, which is a comprehensive catalog of more than 1.2 billion items in more than 10,000 libraries worldwide.  I verify the title and then check to see what libraries own it.  Sometimes, customers are happy to see, a nearby library has the exact item they are looking for.


To place an ILL request, go to our homepage and then select Using the Library, and then choose Interlibrary Loan (ILL).  To create your account, select First Time Users, which explains how your ILL account works.  Enter your library card and contact information, and then you are free to order your items, all by yourself.  You can even check the status of your items later by signing in on the Interlibrary Loan Logon page.  But of course we are always happy to help if you feel confused. 




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Robots and demons and schoolgirls, oh my!

How did you spend your weekend? I spent mine sitting in the one and only Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Manga Reading room at Tekkoshocon, our fair city’s one and only anime convention – you can read all about it at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Teen blog. Much thanks to Joseph for the lovely picture, to everyone who lent a hand, and to all of the busy readers who managed to eat 50 bags of corn chips but not get our books greasy, which is no mean feat.

So now that the convention is over, what better way to head off that dreaded anime/manga withdrawal  than by raiding the library’s collections? We’ve got all sorts of anime in Film & Audio, and the First Floor, Teen, and Children’s departments all have spiffy manga sections. And best of all, it’s free. But you knew that.


book jacket       book jacket       book jacket       book jacket       book jacket       book jacket

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Life on Mars

Life on Mars – an art show? The announcements are hot and heavy these days about the fact that “Life on Mars” is soon to open next door. In any other year, the announcements would be for the Carnegie International; this is the first time since 1896 that the Carnegie Museum of Art’s (CMA) international exhibition has been given a unique title.

So OK, another contemporary art exhibition that can provoke the “my-kid-could-do-that” thoughts, or can leave one wondering why in the world anyone would call this stuff art. On the other hand, think about going to the exhibition with your brain wide open ready to be shocked or startled – or occasionally soothed, believe it or not!

As a run up to the show itself, the exhibition’s website is a plunge right into the pool of increasing online inter-connectedness with the purpose of the website to get people talking before it opens. If this isn’t appealing, check out the history of the International both of its earliest years and, more pictorially, of its first 100 years albeit not online. The catalogs of the most recent exhibitions (1985, 1988, 1991, 1995, 1999/2000 and 2004/2005) all have insightful essays that unravel some of the mysteries one encounters in contemporary art. While the art collection is brimming with books about contemporary art and the search for meaning such as Art on the Edge and Over (Weintraub), there are other recent titles that focus on areas such as Bio Art, Destination Art, formlessness, convergences in art to name but a few. These are all fine if you are really eager to read more about contemporary art! If, however, you are not, and would rather explore the potential for a real life on Mars, check this out!


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Celebrating National Library Week

Did you know that it’s National Library Week? Yes, it’s true – a whole week to love your library even more than you usually do. May we recommend some ways to celebrate?

Do you remember the first time you fell in library love?  It happened to me as a pre-teen.  I was already a pretty serious library user, staggering to and from my house (uphill, both ways!) with armsful of books.  It was, however, the serendipitous discovery of The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death that made me the fine, upstanding individual I am today. Ten pages in, I realized that there was more on heaven and earth, Horatio, than I’d dreamed of in my philosophy.

I am, of course, a wee bit biased.  How did you get to know the library?  Tell the world by leaving us a comment, or sending us an e-mail.

–Leigh Anne

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Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

One week ago today was the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death.  In addition to being a leader of the civil rights movement, an anti-war activist, a tireless advocate of civil disobedience, and a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. King was also a noted speaker and an impassioned writer.  Despite the tragic occasion, it’s a good time to revisit some of King’s writings, listen to his speeches, or reflect on his life.  Below are a few places where you can find more information on Martin Luther King, Jr. 

 The African American Experience: This is one of our databases that can be accessed either within the library or remotely.  It contains full-text entries on notable African Americans and historical events.  Look here to find basic encyclopedia articles about King’s life, or to read some of his more famous writings, such as his Letter from Birmingham Jail.

American Radio Works: Go to this site to listen to a radio documentary about the last year of King’s life. 

American Rhetoric: This is a site that has mp3 files and the complete transcript of famous speeches.  Three different King speeches show up on their list of the Top 100 Speeches, with I Have a Dream ranking at number 1. 

Nobel Laureates: This link will take you to the list of Nobel Prize winners in all categories.  You can sort the list by year, category, first name, or last name.  Biographical information on all winners is available, or you can peruse the list of Nobel Peace Prize winners to see who won before and after King won the award in 1964.

At the library we quietly marked the occasion of King’s death by setting up a display of books in the second floor hallway, just outside the Reference Department.  Come in, browse the display, and take some books home with you. 


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