Following The Following

When it comes to popular TV shows everyone always mentions the obvious ones like The Walking Dead, Scandal, Game Of Thrones, or Orange Is The New Black (I watch most of these). One show that I rarely hear come up is The Following. If it weren’t for intrigue based on seeing trailers for the show or word of mouth via Twitter or my Netflix queue, I probably wouldn’t ever know about the show. I’m glad that I know about it now.

The show centers around former FBI agent, Ryan Hardy, (played by Kevin Bacon) who is roped back into a case surrounding serial killer Joe Carroll, who killed fourteen girls. Carroll was an English professor and author with an obsession with Edgar Allan Poe. It then launches into a game of cat and mouse with Hardy trying to find Carroll, but Carroll is always a few steps ahead. Carroll is never alone in his plots. He has a cult of followers who help him by doing various things including committing more murders.

This show is full of terror and suspense. Sometimes you can least expect what’s going to happen next. The show directly references multiple Poe works including “The Raven“, “The Tell Tale Heart“, etc. This show should be getting more attention than it does. It is intriguing, exciting, unpredictable, and sometimes scary. The first two seasons are available in our catalog. The current season airs Monday nights at 9 p.m. on FOX.



Filed under Uncategorized

Spring Training

You didn’t think I meant baseball, did you? We’ll leave that for another post. I am talking about physical training, and the idea that you don’t need fancy gyms or high-tech equipment to get a great workout. In my case my workouts have matured to the point where any aspect of my environment can serve as the center of a workout. I run hills. I leap high objects. I drag odd items.

Now that the weather has broken, this sort of stuff should be a lot easier to do.

Here’s a few titles that address the sort of training I do and the activities that I try to ready myself for.

The Amazing Water Bottle Workout by Jason Greespan

Cardio 4 x 4 by Jay Cardiello.

Conditioning For Outdoor Fitness by David Musnick.

The Outdoor Athlete by Courtenay Schurman.

Your Body Is Your Barbell by B. J. Gadour.

Keep in mind as you look at these books that personal fortitude remains the key ingredient you need to bring to any program of exercise. If you possess the will, you can train in a 4′ x 4′ box and get something out of it. Fortunately we have the whole wide world to use as our gym, so get out and enjoy the warmer weather, and get fit while you’re at it!

–Scott P.




Filed under Uncategorized


Sir Terry Pratchett has gone off arm in arm with his most interesting character. Sad librarians–and other fans–are sad.

meme generated by author

meme generated by author

Terry Pratchett is most famous for his Discworld novels, and with good reason, as there’s a great deal about them to love. One element that makes the Discworld series so darned appealing is that there’s no one right way to read them. While there’s technically a series order, groups of books can also be chunked into mini-series that follow particular characters. Also, there are so many different things going on in different parts of the Discworld, you can start anywhere and make your way around the planet at your leisure. Talk about a reader-friendly approach!

Another appeal factor is the fact that the Discworld is just plain ridiculous. The flat planet floats through space on the back of four elephants, who are themselves supported by a very large turtle. Its major city, Ankh-Morpork, is quite possibly the least livable place in the universe, and yet none of its citizens seem to mind…most likely because the majority of them are the most amoral, absurd characters in literature. The city’s ruler, Lord Vetinari, is the least likable leader you could imagine, and yet the city operates slightly better with him at the helm than it would without him (thanks largely to his own efforts to keep it that way).  Oh, and the head librarian at the local wizard school, Unseen University, is an orangutan whose vocabulary is limited to the words “Ook” and “Eek,” thanks to a wave of magic gone horribly wrong. Absolutely everyone and everything in Discworld is an object of potential ridicule, and often a satire/parody of our own world. Nothing is ever taken too seriously.

So, it’s kind of a zany place.

I’ve been reading Discworld novels since I was a kid, and while I haven’t pulled them off the shelf lately, there are a few I’d like to give another go, just for the sake of a proper farewell. These include:

Mort. Being Death is a pretty big job, so naturally he needs an apprentice. Mort likes the mortsound of Death’s recruitment pitch, and the benefits are terrific! But Mort is a bit of a bumbler, and so of course things go hilariously awry; also, dating becomes somewhat awkward. This was my first Discworld novel, and I found it highly amusing that Death ALWAYS SPOKE IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Several years later, when A Prayer for Owen Meany came out, I honestly thought Irving swiped that trick from Pratchett to render Owen’s unique voice in text; I’m sure now that he didn’t, but considering how Owen Meany turns out, that’s a little too spooky for words. Recommended for readers into gallows humor.

guards Guards! Guards!. Everybody knows dragons are extinct, so it’s a bit of a surprise when one swoops into Ankh-Morpork, breathes fire all over the place, and declares itself king. Coincidentally enough, a rare book on dragon-summoning has disappeared from the library at Unseen University. Hm.

It’s up to Sam Vimes, long-suffering Captain of the Watch, and his rag-tag group of guards to figure out what the heck is going on and how to set it right without getting burned to a crisp, magicked into something awkward, or otherwise killed/humiliated. Vimes and his men are hysterically inept; luckily, so is just about everybody else in the novel. Guards! Guards! is the beginning of the Watch mini-series, including–but not limited to–Men at Arms, Feet of Clay, and The Fifth Elephant. Recommended for Three Stooges fans, and anyone else who likes wacky, madcap bumbling in their fiction.

Hogfather. T’was the night before Hogswatch, and all through the Discworld there are a whole mess of problems. For starters, the Hogfather has disappeared and is unable to deliver his toys this year, something Susan hogfather(Death’s granddaughter) is going to have to remedy. To do so, she’ll have to deal with an assassin named Teatime, who’s been hired to eliminate the Hogfather. An action-packed adventure that also manages to be a poignant comment on the nature of childhood beliefs in particular, as well as myth and ritual in general. The perfect remedy for those who no longer believe in childish things, and very comforting to those who never stopped.

Going Postal. When con artist Moist Von Lipwig (yes, really) is finally caught, he’s given a choice: be hanged from the neck until he is dead, or be put in charge of the Ankh-Morpork post office. It sounds like a no-brainer for postalMoist…at least, until he starts the job and finds out just how much of a mess he’s gotten himself into.

Hindered at all turns by assassins trying to kill him, a rival communication system that’s threatening to make the post office obsolete, and the tormented cries of countless undelivered letters, Moist is determined to get the post office back up and running if it’s the last thing he does…which it just might be. Snarky commentary on competing technologies, lots of physical comedy, and a little love story to boot (Pratchett’s characters are often hopelessly crushing on unattainable people), this is a good pick for a reader who wouldn’t care for some of the more magical aspects of the Discworld, but would still appreciate the comedy.

Rest in peace, Sir Terry, and thank you for the many fine laughs you’ve given us, both in Discworld and elsewhere. Or, as your librarian might say, “Ook, eek, eek ook ook.”

–Leigh Anne


Filed under Uncategorized

History Matters with Author Steve Berry


Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of ten Cotton Malone adventures, four stand-alone thrillers and four short-story originals. Photo credit: Kelly Campbell

History matters for so many reasons.

For New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author Steve Berry and his wife Elizabeth Berry, Executive Director of International Thriller Writers, history is important because it establishes roots and creates community pride.  It teaches, inspires, makes our communities more attractive and encourages travel and tourism. Saving our historical assets and preserving our past teaches us about ourselves.

Carnegie Library is Pittsburgh is delighted to welcome Steve Berry and Elizabeth Berry to the Library on April 2 for a series of special fundraising events.  All proceeds benefit the Heritage Fund at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, established to preserve and enhance the Library’s cultural treasures, including historic collections, artifacts and facilities, while helping make them accessible to the public.

Below are details on the Writer’s Workshop, Cocktail Reception and Writers LIVE!

Join us and be inspired by Steve’s message that history truly does matter.

History Matters Schedule of Events – Thursday, April 2

Writer’s Workshop | 11 am – 3 pm
led by Steve and Elizabeth Berry
CLP- East Liberty
Cost: $100 (includes lunch)

Steve’s writing workshop is a master class on the craft of writing. In it he shares what has made him a New York Times and internationally bestselling author with 15 million books in print worldwide. His techniques work for fiction, non-fiction and memoir and are equally useful for absolute beginners, aspiring writers and published authors, all of whom have taken his workshop.

Workshops are broken down to four 50-minute sessions with a 10-minute break between each. The fourth session is by Elizabeth Berry, Steve’s wife, a literary marketing executive and the Executive Director of the International Thriller Writers. The day concludes with a Q&A and book signing.

Cocktail Reception | 5:30 – 7:00 pm
with special guests Steve and Elizabeth Berry
CLP – Main (Oakland), Large Print Room
Tickets: $125

Please join us at a special reception to raise awareness about the need to protect, restore and conserve the Library’s cultural treasures. Presentation and remarks at 6:15.

Guests must be 21 or older to attend. Please bring a valid photo ID.

Writers LIVE! | 7 – 8 pm
Featuring Steve Berry, author of The Patriot Threat
CLP – Main, Lecture Hall
Presented in partnership with Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures
Tickets: Free with registration

Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of ten Cotton Malone adventures, four stand-alone thrillers and four short-story originals. His latest novel, The Patriot Threat, which features an appearance by Pittsburgh’s Andrew Mellon, dares to ask the startling question: is our federal income tax legal?

A book signing follows the program with copies of the author’s books available from Mystery Lovers Bookshop.

Reservations are required for all three events. Call 412.622.6276 for more information.

~ Melissa F.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


Kirby and Mr. Bernd - photo from the Music Department Archives*

Music librarian Kirby with bust of Library donor Julius Bernd*

I started actively taking photos in the 1980s. I attended many classes at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, worked in a photo lab, and began a freelance business shooting anything from weddings, head shots for actors, and slides of artwork. The digital revolution came right as my oldest child was born.

I own boxes and boxes of negatives, including one from my mother, large format negatives from my beautiful Konica, and slides of my own artwork. My collection includes VHS tapes of performances I participated in over the years, Super-8 movies, digital video tapes, and over 100 short web-cam videos of my children as babies that I haven’t been able to view in years. On top of everything else, I saved thousands of photos from my old PC to an external hard drive, which is not compatible with my new MacBook.

I want to preserve it all! I want to see this stuff again! This is my life! HELP!

Luckily help is at hand.

Preservation Fair: Preserve Your Family Treasures

The Preservation Fair is a one-day public event where you can learn how to properly store and maintain your precious family keepsakes and treasures. Over 30 professional conservators, archivists, and librarians will be on hand to discuss your individual interests. Free demonstrations and lectures will be presented throughout the event.

Bring a family treasure for free basic conservation advice. One hand-carried item per visitor. No dollies or carts. No appraisals or valuations will be given.

The focus of the speakers at this event will be learning what can be done to preserve your paper and digital photos. Just what I need!!

The speakers:

Dr. Alison Langmead, Asst. Professor at the University of Pittsburgh will discuss the rationale for digital preservation and offer approaches to care for your family’s treasured digital documents.

Jim Burke, Adjunct Asst. Professor of Photography at Pittsburgh Filmmakers will talk about ways to preserve photographic images from all eras and about his work digitally restoring old and damaged photographs.

Exhibitors include conservators specializing in books, documents, paintings, textiles, houses, photographs and films. Historical Societies, Genealogical Societies, and vendors dealing in conservation and preservation supplies will also be represented.

Check this link to see a full list of exhibitors, speakers, and what to expect at the fair: Preservation Fair – Preserving Family Treasures

You can also check the Facebook page: Preservation Fair – Facebook Page

The Preservation Fair is the ongoing legacy of my favorite library school professor and graduate advisor, Bernadette Callery, who passed away in 2012. I was a student volunteer of hers at the 2009 Preservation Fair. The breadth of the expertise at the fair was quite impressive, as I am sure it will be at this year’s event.

Can’t make it?  Don’t worry!  Your librarians have created a few useful online guides to pertinent subjects:

Antiques & Collectibles – Identify and price your antiques with these print and online resources.  This will point you to specific guides like Antique Furniture and Saving Your Family Treasures.

Art Research Databases – Helpful tips for locating resources in print and online, and for learning about art.

Researching Your Art – Evaluation and Appraisal – Where did this come from? Who is this artist? Are they famous? and of course, how much is it worth?!?

Historic Preservation – Resources and organizations for preserving historic homes, buildings, etc.

Historical Societies & Commissions – Join a local group to learn about local history.

Biography & Genealogy – Genealogy resources.

Audio-Visual Resources in Pittsburgh – Vendors that convert film, video, photographs, and analog audio to digital (along with other guides).


P. S. I still print out my favorite digital photos just in case. Old habits die hard.

Changing the Bulbs - photo from the Music Department Archives*

Changing the light bulbs in the Music Department*

*Photos taken by Joelle


Filed under Uncategorized

My Man Jeeves

Back in my late teens / early twenties I became OBSESSED with all things British. Part of this had to do with me going off to college and broadening my horizons…but mostly it was because I was in DC and being an international school the dorms were equipped with international television…Oh the BBC of the late 90s…how I adored you. Suddenly, instead of watching reruns of 90210 late at night, I was able to “broaden my horizons'” with the likes of  Absolutely Fabulous, Keeping Up Appearances, and Are You Being Served?Most importantly I was introduced to the comic genius of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie in Jeeves and Wooster. The show originally ran from 1990 to 93, but enjoyed re-runs when I was supposed to be in my three hour finite mathematics class…guess where I was most Monday afternoons?

Of course the show opened up the writings of P.G. Wodehouse to me and left a deep impression on what dry wit and humor are really supposed to be about. Like all college students my interests eventually moved on to other authors but I have always kept a special place in my heart for Bertie Wooster and his man Jeeves.

It wasn’t until a few days ago while I was shelving some audiobooks that I noticed a NEW (as in 2013, not 1920) title in the series…Jeeves and the Wedding Bells, an homage to P.G. Wodehouse by Sebastian Faulks. I was both ecstatic and apprehensive. Here was the chance to read something new about two of my favorite characters…but could it really ever live up to Wodehouse? I decided to grab the audiobook and just go for it, without even checking Goodreads (caution to the wind, my friends).

Faulks introduces the book by acknowledging that it was a huge undertaking to try and write Jeeves and Wooster. How can you ever match a classic? He didn’t want to impersonate Wodehouse’s writing, but he wanted to create something similar; a new tune that reminded you of a beloved classic hit. I think he was on the mark; I laughed at Faulks’s version of Wooster just as much as I did when first reading the Wodehouse books. The plot is convoluted, the conversations are dense and best of all, Bertie is up to his best scheming with Jeeves cleaning up after him.

If you are someone who has recently been obsessed with any of the hit TV shows about roughly the same time period making the rounds (Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife, Mr. Selfridge, Grantchester or even Penny Dreadful) but have never read the original Wodehouse novels, then I say give them a go. And while you are at it, pick up the new Jeeves by Faulks. I promise, you will laugh.



Filed under Uncategorized

This Sick Beat (TM)

As CLP’s patent and trademark librarian, news items about these topics always catch my eye. Trademarks relating to popular culture are my favorite– did you know that Beyonce and Jay Z trademarked the name Blue Ivy? Recently Taylor Swift has been in the news for filing trademark applications for phrases from some of her songs, including “This Sick Beat” and “Could Show You Incredible Things.” Likewise, Katy Perry recently filed trademark applications for the “left shark” in her Superbowl performance.

Trademarks that make the news are often so crazy it might seem like you can easily get a trademark for anything! But in truth, most of us won’t be getting trademarks for the name of our first born, or sending cease and desist letters to someone after our Superbowl performance. This article does a really nice job of explaining why celebrities apply for trademarks on certain things, and why they may or may not be eligible.

As a Patent and Trademark Resource Center, we get lots of patent questions but far fewer trademark questions, for the simple reason that trademark law can be really tricky. But we’re still here to help! While we librarians can’t get into the nitty gritty of the law, we can help you start searching for trademarks, find forms or books about the trademark process, and find lawyers who are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized