Tag Archives: Denise

Career Resource Workshops

Do you have a hard time traveling to Oakland, or do you just prefer to avoid it whenever possible?  If so, you’ll be glad to know that the services of the Job & Career Education Center are coming to a branch near you!  We’ll be visiting the following locations to present our Career Resource Workshops

Your local branch probably offers its own workshops, too. For example…

East Liberty just hosted a “Resume and Cover Letter Boot Camp” class, put together by a partnership between CLP, the Bloomfield Garfield Corp. and Wireless Neighborhoods.  If you missed this class, you can contact East Liberty or the JCEC to find out about similar opportunities.

Karen Litzinger, a frequent guest of the library, just presented a workshop at the Squirrel Hill branch called “Retire, Rewire, Renew: Explore and Plan For Your Future.”   If you missed this event, Joseph P. D’Anna, a counselor at the Career Development Center, will be presenting “Learn Interviewing Techniques, How to Negotiate Offers and How to Transition Into a New Position” at Squirrel Hill on June 20.  Call Squirrel Hill if you have any questions or would like to register.

There are also several sessions left in the eight-week Job Seeking Basics series at Woods Run.  Contact them for more information.

And of course we’re planning more events and workshops all the time.  Check with your local branch or the JCEC to see what’s currently being offered.


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What’s New in the Job Center

There’s a lot going on in the Job & Career Education Center these days.  First of all, the Job Club is meeting from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM today.

What does it take to be successful in your job search? Many experts believe that being part of a group can help. Exchange ideas and offer support to other job seekers during this informal time of networking. As a Job Club member you can share employment experiences, advice and encouragement while participating in discussions and activities geared towards helping you achieve your career goals. Registration not required.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

We’re also still scheduling Resume and Cover Letter Assistance Appointments on Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday evenings (call 412-622-3133 to register) and offering Mock Interviews on Mondays from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM (no registration required).

On Friday we’ll be hosting An Introduction to CareerLink in the PC Center.

Elizabeth Neidle of Allegheny West CareerLink will introduce participants to CareerLink services, including their workshops, the Commonwealth Workforce Development System (CWDS), and more.  Registration is required.
Friday, April 27, 2012
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Next week we’re offering a Neighborworks Financial Literacy Workshop.

This Financial Literacy Workshop is part of the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board’s Imagine! Career Week program, and it will cover the steps in how to develop a budget; tracking expenses and creating a savings plan for your goal; and identity theft and what steps to take if you find yourself a victim. This workshop will also include education on laws that were passed to help to protect consumers from predatory practices; what makes up FICO scores; and ways to improve and/or protect it.  Registration is required.
Monday, April 30, 2012 
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

And the Spring 2012 lineup of Skills for Success Speaker Series events is well underway.  You can still register for the following dates:

Of course, you’re welcome to call or visit the Job & Career Education Center any time you have a career-related question.


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Free FAFSA Completion Assistance

The following post first appeared at CLPTeensburgh, and has been reprinted here with permission of both the author and Corey Wittig, Teensburgh blog administrator.  From time to time the library blogs publish essays that are of interest to audiences outside their normal readership, so to stay current with everything going on at the Carnegie Library, please make sure to follow not only Eleventh Stack, but also CLPTeensburgh and Story Pockets, our blog for children, parents and educators.

Filling out the FAFSA is quite possibly the least exciting part of going to college.  If you have to fill one out and you’re just not into it, why not bring it to the library?

You’ve probably heard of PHEAA — the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.  The sole reason they exist is to help you with your financial aid.  On Saturday April 21, a PHEAA representative will be at the Main library in Oakland to guide you through the whole form and answer any other financial aid questions you might have.  You’ll need to bring your (and/or your parents’) completed tax return, W-2 forms and any other income information your family might happen to have.  For more information on what you need to get ready, check out PHEAA’s FAFSA help page.

After filling out the FAFSA you become eligible for specific funding for Pennsylvania residents, but you have to get the state grant form in by May 1st.  Grab that money while you can, people!  Then we can talk about scholarships, grants, and other kinds of financial aid.  Almost everything requires that you’ve already filled out the FAFSA before you can apply.  But if you want to get ahead on scholarship research, you can call or visit the Job & Career Education Center on the Main library’s second floor.

We have a limited number of computers available, so you will have to register for this event.  Call (412) 578-2561, or fill out the form at the bottom of the event listing here.  Anyone who is filling out a FAFSA is welcome – teens, adults, and families.


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It’s not you; it’s me.

Yesterday, a friend sent me the link to an interview with author Susan Cain on NPR – Quiet, Please: Unleashing ‘The Power Of Introverts’.  I enjoyed it and shared it on Facebook, and another friend pointed me to the companion TED talk – Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts.  (Trust me, this video didn’t feel like it was nineteen minutes long when I watched it.)  Cain is knowledgeable and convincing, and I can’t wait to get a copy of her book.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
by Susan Cain

In 2003, Jonathan Rauch wrote a popular essay for The Atlantic called Caring for Your Introvert: The Habits and Needs of a Little-Understood Group, in which he wrote,

“Science has learned a good deal in recent years about the habits and requirements of introverts. It has even learned, by means of brain scans, that introverts process information differently from other people (I am not making this up).”

Since reading this, I’ve been keeping an eye out for more information on the science of introversion.  I’m guessing it’s a relatively recent trend, because it doesn’t seem like there are a ton of books out there.  But of course, the library does have a few interesting titles –

Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life is Your Hidden Strength
by Laurie Helgoe


image via Goodreads

The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World
by Marti Olsen Laney

image via Goodreads

The Happy Introvert: A Wild and Crazy Guide for celebrating Your True Self
by Elizabeth Wagele

So if anyone’s looking for me in the next couple of days, you know where I’ll be  – off by myself, quietly reading my way through a suitcase full of books.



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What’s New in JCEC

A lot has been happening in the Job, Career and Education Center lately.

We’ve scheduled spring dates for our Skills for Success speaker series, starting with Job Hunting after 50 in April.  (We’ve tried to address topics of interest to our customers, so if there’s something you’d like to learn more about, please let us know!)

Due to their overwhelming popularity in 2011, we’re offering more Resume and Cover Letter Assistance appointments.  They’ll now be held on Tuesday afternoons, in addition to Wednesday evenings.  Registration is required and openings book up quickly, so call soon.

Job Club, our discussion group that provides job hunting support and networking opportunities, returns on February 29th.  There is often a theme or activity for each meeting, but feel free to bring any job hunting questions or concerns you may have.

We’ve also started giving Mock Interviews, on Mondays from 11-12.  There is no registration; just walk in and speak to a staff member.

And in addition to our monthly JobWire email newsletter we’re now sending Job Watch updates, in which we pass along the latest openings and job fairs that cross our desk.  To subscribe, email jcec@carnegielibrary.org with Job Watch / JobWire in the subject line.

Since JCEC and the PC Center have joined forces, our services have started to overlap.  You can now see all of both departments’ events in one handy calendar.  There is always a link to the most current calendar on this page, and we send a link in the JobWire newsletter when the new one is ready.

As always, if you have any questions or would like to register for one of our programs, please stop by, call (412) 622 – 3133, or send us an email.

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Wired Differently

Right now I’m reading Following Ezra: What One Father Learned About Gumby, Otters, Autism, and Love From His Extraordinary Son, by Tom Fields-Meyer.

Fields-Meyer’s experience writing for People (among other publications) is evident in his warm, conversational writing voice.  He faces the challenges of raising his autistic son with patience and optimism, and appreciates Ezra for who he is, rather than grieving for the child that wasn’t.

As I read Following Ezra, I often find myself thinking about Daniel Stefanski’s  How to Talk to an Autistic Kid.

While his book isn’t exactly a memoir, Daniel has created a clear and accessible window into his mind.  He explains some of the things autistic people do that can be frustrating for neurotypical people, such as getting stuck on a conversational topic or failing to interpret body language, and gives practical advice for addressing these situations.

While the world can still be a frustrating place for people with autism and their families, it’s encouraging to see this much support.  A few years ago I read the memoir of a man who grew up with autism before it was commonly diagnosed –

Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison.

Robison describes how many people reacted negatively to his “Aspergian” mindset and behavior, mistaking them for character flaws.  But his differences ultimately led him to a career and a life that he loved; and after his diagnosis at the age of 40, he came to see them in a more positive light.

(Side note – Robison is the older brother of Augusten Burroughs, whose memoir Running with Scissors also covers their childhood.)

Of course, these are just a few people’s stories.  The autism spectrum is a huge topic, and the library has a lot of information about it.  If you’re interested in learning more, don’t hesitate to visit or give us a call.



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Get Your Twenty Twelves, Already In Stock

The new year may have just begun, but the library is already carrying some new titles.  Here are a few books dated 2012 that are currently in circulation. 

Brush up on the latest interviewing techniques with 101 Successful Interviewing Strategies by Eric Kramer.

Draw up detailed vacation plans (or at least make your fantasies more realistic) with Cancún and the Riviera Maya by Fodor’s.

Conquer your performance anxiety with The Natural Speaker by Randy Fujishin.

Round out your education with Focus On Community College Success by Constance Staley.

Prevent any broken-resolution guilt with The Virtues of Our Vices: A Modest Defense of Gossip, Rudeness, and Other Bad Habits by Emrys Westacott.

This final title’s not technically “in stock” yet, as it’s still in the processing department being readied for circulation… but I couldn’t leave it off a 2012-related booklist. 

Is the End Of the World Near?: From Crackpot Predictions to Scientific Scenarios by Ron Miller.

I haven’t read it yet, so I can only hope this isn’t the last time I will ever say, “Happy new year!”


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Skills for Success: Fine Tune Your Résumé

Conventional wisdom says that the holiday season is slow for job hunters.  If you find that to be true, you can use the down-time to your advantage by upgrading your résumé skills.

This Saturday at 12 PM, the JCEC will be hosting the final Skills for Success Speaker Series workshop of the year –

Résumés have undergone changes in the past few years. Toss out the outdated and bring in the new. Show the value you will bring to an employer through a short profile of skills and achievements, by using numbers to indicate how you deliver results, and by demonstrating how your job skills match employers’ needs. Learn quick tips to create or update a resume that will appeal to employers and demonstrate the benefits of hiring you. Current trends in paper and online résumés will be discussed.

Presented by: Carol Silvis
Event fee: Free

International Poetry Room – 2nd Floor
4400 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Wes Roberts

Registration is required for this event.
You can register by calling 412-622-3133 or by filling in the form on this page and clicking on the Register button.

The Skills for Success Speaker Series began this fall, and took place at CLP – Main JCEC and several of the South Hills branches. We’ll be offering another round of programming in these locations next year.  To be notified when new events are scheduled, sign up for Jobwire (the library’s job and career email newsletter) by clicking the link on this page.

A very limited number of one-on-one résumé and cover letter assistance appointments with a qualified volunteer are also available in the JCEC, starting in January.  To see if you can schedule an appointment or get on the waiting list, call the JCEC at (412) 622-3133.

Whether or not you’re able to attend any of our events, you may also be interested in the library’s online Résumé Maker tool (which I reviewed last winter), or one of our many résumé advice books:

Happy holidays, and may 2012 be everything you wish for.


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Drafting Your Holiday Survival Plans

Maybe yesterday whetted your appetite for holiday cuisine.

Holiday Dinners with Bradley Ogden: 150 Festive Recipes for Bringing Family and Friends Together by Bradley Ogden

Or maybe you ate too much, and you’ve sworn a vow of moderation.

The Frugal Cook: Buy Cleverly, Waste Less, Eat Well by Fiona Beckett

Maybe you’re getting ready to go out for Black Friday, but you want to  shop wisely.

Consumer Reports magazine (image via Gizmodo)

Maybe you don’t have a lot of money for presents.

Crafting With Cat Hair by Kaori Tsutaya

Maybe it’s the relatives that stress you out.

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

Maybe you can’t wait to see them, but you have no idea what you’re all going to do.

Moon Handbooks: Pittsburgh

And what if you just want to hide out until it’s all over?

Daria: The Complete Animated Series

No matter what your situation is this holiday season, may you find something in the library that’s perfect for you.



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What Ails You?

Last week I was too sick to do anything.  I left my house twice in six days- once for a doctor visit, and once for a trip across the street to the mailbox.  I know a lot of other people are sick right now, too.  It may not even be winter yet, but cold season has clearly already arrived.

If you’re interested in getting to know the enemy a little better, stop into the library for one of my top five picks about germs.   (Don’t be afraid, we have hand-sanitizer.)

Why Dirt Is Good: 5 Ways To Make Germs Your Friends, by Mary Ruebush

Ruebush irreverently describes how the immune system works, the behavior of germs in our bodies, and how the American obsession with hygiene might actually be making us sick.

The Five Second Rule and Other Myths About Germs: What Everyone Should Know About Bacteria, Viruses, Mold, and Mildew, by Anne E. Maczulak

Maczulak details the germs that are lurking everywhere, inlcuding which ones could actually be dangerous and the (real) best ways of avoiding them.

The Wild Life of Our Bodies: Predators, Parasites, and Partners That Shape Who We Are Today by Rob Dunn

The modern human lives in a world with no predators and relatively little disease.  Biologist Rob Dunn explores the ecosystem we used to be a part of, and the possible consequences of leaving it.

Viruses, Plagues, and History: Past, Present, and Future, by Michael B. A. Oldstone

From smallpox to SARS, Oldstone recounts history’s most notorious epidemics, and introduces us to the scientists who are trying to identify and prepare for the next one.

Germs & Your Health, by Bill Nye the Science Guy

If all this germ talk is starting to make you uncomfortable, let Bill Nye explain how good nutrition, fitness, and sleep – along with a proper hand washing routine – can help ward off the plague.


(PS – Don’t forget that today is election day.  For more information on Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s referendum on the ballot, please visit ourlibraryourfuture.org.)

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