Tag Archives: children

Branches are people too.

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Come visit us!

With all of the amazing activities taking place at the Mothership Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh-Main (language lessons, poetry, author visits, crafting) it is easy to forget that CLP has 17 neighborhood branches and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. And we’re all busy little bees, planning awesome programs for all ages, all year round. But since I’m the manager of CLP-South Side, let’s talk about me!

Every Week

TeenLoungeTeen Lounge
Mondays 4-6 pm
The South Side Library is the place to be every Monday afternoon. There’s tons of fun happening at Teen Lounge from gaming, snacking and crafting, to working on projects around the Library and around the South Side. Come and kick it at Teen Lounge.

Crochet & Knitting Club,
Wednesdays 5:30-7:30 pm
Join us for our Crochet and Knitting Group. We are a group of friendly crochet and knitting fans, looking to teach and learn from other friendly crafters. Bring your current projects or start something new!

Storytime
Thursdays 11 am – 12 pm
All kids are welcome at these storytimes designed for children 18 months to age 5. Get up and get moving with stories, songs, rhymes and silly fun! In these 30-40 minute storytimes, children and adults will actively explore books that expand the imagination and inspire self-discovery.

Gaming
Saturdays 12-3 pm
Feel like getting your game on? Head down to the library for an assortment of video and tabletop games for all ages! Meet new people to challenge, or bring a friend along for gaming fun.

Special Events

All Day Movies
Thursday, 11/28- Family Blockbusters
Saturday, 12/13- Holiday Favorites
Friday, 12/26- Holiday Favorites
Join us at the library for an all day movie marathon! Each month we’ll feature a day long celebration of films on a fun theme.

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The Labs
Monday, 12/8
3:30 pm – 6:00 pm
The Labs is the place to make and learn with art and technology. During this workshop, teens can explore a variety of processes with the help of mentors. Mentors will provide equipment and expertise related to music/audio production, design, circuitry/robotics and photo/video. Stop by and make something cool with us!

IMG_20141111_142113 (1)Work. Nights.
Thursday, 12/4
6 pm-midnight
Scott talked about Work. Nights. in a previous post, but I wanted to remind everyone that it is taking place at CLP- South Side!
Accelerate. Collarborate. Innovate.
Stay up late at the Library. Network. Get stuff done. Connect with other innovators. Research your ideas and jumpstart your ingenuity! Come to the library for:

  • a creative co-working environment
  • guidance from library professionals well-versed in technology, entrepreneurism and more
  • late night snacks and coffee

GingerbreadGingerbread Houses
Saturday, 12/6
11 am – 1 pm

Add a sweet touch to your holiday with edible arts and crafts! We’ll supply the gingerbread, icing and decorations—everything you need to make a delicious gingerbread house. Due to limited space, registration is required. 412-431-0505 or southside@carnegielibrary.org

Book Sale
Saturday, 12/13
10 am – 5 pm
Browse our new and gently used books. Homemade baked goods will be available for purchase, as well as gifts made by our Crochet and Knitting group. All proceeds benefit the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh- South Side Friends group.

MakeAndDoMake-and-Do
Saturday, 12/13
2:30 – 3:30 pm
Be social, Be spontaneous and Be artistic! Check out this program dedicated to cooking, crafting and technology based making for teens.

Whew! This is only one month of one branch’s activities! You could probably find something to attend every day of the month if you tried. Hope to see you here!
suzy

 

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A Garden of Children.

“The days are long but the years are short”

Copyright Natalie DeRiso

What do you mean I start Kindergarten today? Didn’t you just have me?

This well-used saying can be found in parenting magazines, on blogs, and painted on wall hangings scattered all over Pinterest; and every parent knows why. In the middle of the day when children are crying and demanding attention; when the dirty and clean laundry piles have accidentally mixed together; when dishes are spilling out of the sink and it seems like there is no end in sight. There are moments when you can see the hours stretch out in front of you and can’t help but wonder if you will ever get caught up. Then, suddenly, you look down and are startled to realize that somewhere along the way a child has replaced your baby. Gone are the rolls of fat and coos of yesterday. Your baby is now all legs and elbows with her own opinions and likes and dislikes and you can’t help but wonder, “Where did the time go?”

Today my eldest child starts kindergarten. She has spent the last 5 years and 7 months with me, or being watched by my mom while I worked. This is the first time she will be away from home and in the care of others. Add to the equation a brand-new, two-month old baby sister and I am a little emotional about all of the life changes in our little family. I spent the summer avoiding the reality of the situation but last week, as I was reading an array of kindergarten themed picture books to my daughter, it finally dawned on me that we were no longer years or months away from it happening. Kindergarten was just a few short days. As I stared at the illustration of a little boy heading off to school, holding back tears and swallowing the lump in my throat, I tried in vain to figure out how 5 and a half years had disappeared right before my eyes.

Maybe tomorrow it will be a little easier.

my teacher is a monster

My Teacher is a Monster (No, I am not) by Peter Brown.

What is it like when you run into your mean teacher OUTSIDE of school? Robert is about to find out maybe his teacher isn’t so bad, after all.

planet kindergarten 2

Planet Kindergarten by Sue Ganz-Schmitt

Kindergarten: The final frontier. Kindergarten is a fun space mission for this astronaut!

countdown to kindergarten

Countdown to Kindergarten by Alison McGhee

What happens if you can’t tie your shoe? Will they still let you into kindergarten? (YES! They will!)

the pirate of kindergarten

The Pirate of Kindergarten by George Ella Lyon

Swashbuckling and high seas adventures can’t compare to kindergarten!

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Teacher! Sharing, Helping, Caring by Patricia Hubbell

It can be scary to spend the whole day with a new adult, luckily teachers are awesome!

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Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten! by Hyewon Yum

Is this new kindergartener worried about his first day of school? No way…but guess who is? Mom!

-Natalie

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Howdy, Partner!

There have been many great partnerships throughout history – Orville and Wilbur, Hillary and Norgay, the Steves (Jobs and Wozniak), Rodgers and Hammerstein, Ben and Jerry,  the Curies, Bert and Ernie, Sherlock and Watson, Katniss and Peeta  -just to name a few. These partnerships, whether real or fictional, were formed over like interests and are a testament to what can be accomplished when people work together towards a common goal. Right here in Pittsburgh, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is creating some great partnerships with the goal of literacy throughout the city.

I’m extremely fortunate to be a part of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Office of Programs and Partnerships (OPP). Within this department which is housed at the East Liberty branch of CLP, we have a great collection of staff reaching out to a variety of groups in their own unique way, forming partnerships and conducting programs throughout the city to promote a variety of literacies within the community.

The BLAST crew regularly head out to the Pittsburgh Public Schools and related events, connecting with our city’s young readers and future leaders, aiding in early learning and literacy skills.

The Labs @CLP work at providing space and time for teens to connect to new learning experiences via technology.  Teens, an often neglected and misunderstood demographic, are able to engage with fellow teens and library staff through unique, technology-centered literacy.

LYNCS, of which I am a member, reaches out to various groups in Pittsburgh to provide a variety of literacies in neighborhoods, communities and schools. We run the gamut of providing pre-school story times, senior citizen technology programs, information and hands-on technology  at community events, and financial and job literacy to Allegheny County Jail inmates alongside our colleagues from the various neighborhood branches. In addition, the LYNCS crew has managed a temporary, pop-up library in the neighborhood of Allentown, bringing library services and programming to a community lacking easy access to our neighborhood branches and their services.  Over the past year and a half that we have been in this temporary setting, we have had the pleasure of working with great community partners to provide access to library services, unique programming and a community center for this often neglected and little known Pittsburgh neighborhood. A great result of the partnerships formed with various Allentown and other Hilltop groups, has led to the pop-up library  transitioning to the Allentown Learning and Engagement Center (ALEC), a project which would not have been possible without the partnerships formed with our community neighbors.

outreach

LYNCS colleagues at an outreach event.

 

The entire staff of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is working to reach out to all of the city neighborhoods, not only through library services and programming within the neighborhood branches, but also through a variety of outreach initiatives encouraging literacies beyond its brick and mortar locations. We are happily building new partnerships, whether it’s at the circulation desk or in a city park, not just during this National Library Week, but every day of the year.

-Maria J.

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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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None For Me, Thanks

I am child-free.

By choice.

I made this decision long ago, possibly before I even realized it. Thankfully, my husband agreed. I realize this is not always the case, but it is an important choice worth considering and thinking about.

When I was a teen, I babysat but I just never really liked taking care of children and found the attention required to give a child exhausting. My mother told me it was because they were “other people’s children” and that, when I had my own, I would feel differently.

Society pressures us, but especially women. Being Hispanic, my family didn’t understand but eventually came to accept our decision. I have never felt that so-called maternal urge, if there is such a thing.

Then, when I was 23, I met a woman who was happily married without children. She finally put into words what I could not. It was just something she and her husband did not want to experience and they were content with each other and  did not want to change that.

It was a revelation.

There is a financial cost I did not want either. Did you know that one of the highest bankruptcy predictors is whether or not someone has children? When I asked for financial advice, the first thing a good friend told me was, “don’t have kids.”

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Every so often, this topic pops up in the media; Time magazine recently did a cover story about it. And like money, religion, politics, and food, it’s very controversial.

There are several books in the library on this life-changing decision. If you or someone you know is trying to decide, these might be helpful.

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Two is Enough : a Couple’s Guide to Living Childless by Choice by Laura Scott

childfree

Complete Without kids : an Insider’s Guide to Childfree Living by Choice or by Chance by Ellen Walker

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No Kidding : Women Writers on Bypassing Parenthood

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Beyond Motherhood : Choosing a Life Without Children by Jeanne Safer

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~Maria, who loves being the favorite aunt

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Getting to Know Allentown All Over Again

Today we welcome another new blogger to the Eleventh Stack team, Maria J. You’ll be getting her take on the Carnegie Library, and librarianship in general, monthly from now on.

As a staff member of the CLP LYNCS (Library in Your Neighborhood, Community and School) department of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, I have had the pleasure of working in the Allentown neighborhood of Pittsburgh since October 2012.  Carnegie Library has established a temporary pop-up library at the corner of Arlington and Warrington Avenues in the southern Hilltop neighborhood, with the goals of bringing library service and creating community connections through February of 2014.

You can like the pop-up library on Facebook here

You can like the pop-up library on Facebook here

Allentown is one of those little surprises in the city of Pittsburgh which may only be recognizable to many for the reputation it has garnered through some unfortunate stories in the news. I have known this neighborhood since my childhood, when my siblings and I would come from Ohio to visit relatives who lived on the South Side slopes. It was a sense of homecoming for me to be able to come back to the community after decades of change–change for both me, and for this neighborhood.

While there are more empty lots and empty storefronts in Allentown these days, what hasn’t changed is the fact that these hills are filled with friends, families, and children. You may not realize this, as you travel along Warrington or Arlington on your way to the South Side or the other Hilltop communities, but if you were to stop in at the Pop-up, you’d soon realize the vibrancy of the neighborhood.

The little storefront which houses this temporary library quickly fills up with a variety of people and sounds. The clicking of keyboards and the laughter of children are often mixed with music from YouTube videos watched by patrons, the sound of ukuleles occasionally used in our programming, or the echo of traffic rushing by on Arlington Avenue on those days when we prop open the front door. The day I’m writing this happens to be a school holiday, and there are folks ranging from preschool to retirement in this little storefront-cum-library. While the adult patrons may be searching for jobs or reconnecting with old friends online, the younger kids are playing games on our iPads or XBOX, or creating works of art at the craft table we’ve set up to keep them busy during the day. This is definitely not your grandmother’s library, but nevertheless, the neighborhood grandmothers are no strangers to it!

Many of our visitors are familiar faces to us now after our having been here for nearly a year. They’ve become our friends, and sometimes we spend more time with them during the day than we do with our own families. We have made friends with young and old alike: staff and visitors have come to know and interact with each other on a first name basis, and we have come to know their personal stories, too. These are stories you couldn’t imagine by driving quickly along the cross streets, full of presumptions about the Hilltop neighborhood, but they are stories to which many of us can relate: stories of happiness and heartbreak, of homework troubles and homelessness, and also stories of hope. And every day, with each new visitor, we are introduced to another story, another friend, and, hopefully, soon, a familiar face and name.

–Maria J.

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Happy Birthday to Him!

I hope you will allow me to indulge myself for one blog post. (Although, I guess you can argue that I do that for every blog post.) It just so happens that today, my regularly assigned posting day with no interventions, is my son’s 11th birthday. He doesn’t know that I am writing this (I’m not sure he knows that I write for a blog or even what a blog is), but I will certainly show it to him later today.

7 months old

We all have strong feelings for our children. Hopefully, they are more positive than negative. I don’t believe I could have a better child. He is smart as a whip. It’s mostly A’s on the report cards, if not all A’s.  He is extremely well behaved. I don’t have to ask him to do his homework, he just sits down and does it when he gets home from school. He loves our family cats and eagerly helps clean the litter box and put food in their dish. He not only eats his vegetables, he asks for them and this includes asparagus, lima beans, and brussel sprouts. He is zealous about his interests and I admire that focused, single-mindedness (at least up to a certain point). He is caring and kind-hearted. He doesn’t understand why other children will  go out of their way to treat someone else badly

He enjoys building Legos and is especially fascinated with the Lego people. He collects Pokémon cards and pretty rocks.  He is fond of history,

2 years old

especially the French and Indian War, US Civil War, and World War II. Basically, all wars fascinate him and he watches the Military Channel as religiously as his mother watches the Cooking Channel.  We do find common ground watching shows together such as Bizarre Foods, Iron Chef, Cash & Cari, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  He is my favorite sous chef and I now find cooking without him to be lonely.

Lately, I have been thinking quite a bit about what we have in common.  I am grateful he has developed into a young man with whom I can share my interests.  I’ve always encouraged his passions and we’ve had wonderful adventures experiencing them (we still have a yearly pilgrimage every fall to see the trains at Horseshoe Curve in Altoona), but it’s reached the point where he is old enough to actively participate in what I consider to be fun. We like to travel to new places, stay in fancy hotels, eat in nice restaurants, and enjoy doing more ‘grown-up’ things together. I love going to restaurants with him and watching him blow the waiters away when he orders tuna tartare.

Christmas 2004

We both don’t like a lot of noise and commotion in the morning. We are night owls. Every New Year’s Eve he makes it to the ball drop and beyond while his grandmother and/or father snooze on the couch. We share a similar temperament and prefer to please other people as opposed to having conflict with them. We are a lot alike, but different at the same time.  I treasure both the similarities and the differences.  He is a joy and my life’s work.

So Happy Birthday to my baby boy, who isn’t a baby anymore…

-Melissa M.

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