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  • October 2011
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Read to the People: 1400 @ 4400

This weekend I had one of the best 24 hours of my life.  For a full day I was surrounded by people who loved books, who loved libraries, and who weren’t afraid to step outside of their comfort zones to share that love.

Inspired by the Queens and Brooklyn Public Libraries’ 24 Hour Read-In, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh joined forces with the Our Library, Our Future campaigners to stage our own 24 hour read-a-thon.  When we started planning, we knew it would take a lot of work.  Read to the People: 1440 @ 4400, as we named it (1440 minutes at 4400 Forbes Ave.) would require at least 144 volunteers to read, more to help run activities, lots of social networking, and coffee.  Lots and lots of coffee.

Well, we pulled it off.  We had more volunteers than we had time slots, we had coffee, we had donuts, we had cardboard cutouts of Andrew Carnegie.  And when it was all over, hopefully, we had more library supporters than we had when we started.  Here are some highlights:

Senator Jay Costa kicked off the event with some opening remarks about the importance of the Our Library, Our Future initiative - and then was our first reader, reading a speech from another historic event that happened on the library steps: Andrew Carnegie's remarks upon the uponing of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

A group of teens from the Andrew Street School read from some of their favorite books, including The Skin I'm In and Lord of the Flies.

Holly Anderton, CLP - Main, got muddy. Luckily, she was wearing her rain boots!

Local Young Adult author Sharon G. Flake read from "You Don't Even Know Me."

The Pirate Parrot and the CLP Library Mascot had a show down.

Joe Wos from the Toonseum drew us a story about a fairy princess while Mary Frances Cooper, our Deputy Director, assisted.

Fireworks went off and it was very loud...

But Molly Krichten, Coordinator of CLP - LYNCS, kept reading despite the noise.

It got really, really cold, but luckily we had snuggies and coffee to keep us warm.

And our fearless leader, Mary Monaghan, had tartan blankets.

David Conrad showed up to hang out with Andrew Carnegie...

And eventually the sun started to come up.

We received a VERY important delivery.

PPS Superintendant reads one of the Best Books for Babies as the 24 hours comes to an end.

So, we made it. We were exhausted, hyped on caffeine, and unable to string together a complete sentence by the end of it.  But hundred of people took part or watched, and they ALL heard about Our Library, Our Future.  And hopefully added another book to their “to read” list at the same time.  I know I did!

Will we do it again next  year? Maybe…but hopefully next year I’ll be able to sleep a little!

One Response

  1. Nice one, Karen! Glad I got to experience the event through your photos (I was in Chicago!).

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