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  • February 2019
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Teen Underground Cafe Is Back–and Bigger Than Ever!


Teen Underground Cafe, an after-hours performance & arts program for teens, is coming–and it wants your participation!

Through Teen Underground Cafe, we hope to turn Libraries all over the city into after hours showcases of teen talent. As one part, we will soon be scheduling eight Teen Underground Cafe Presents… at the Main Library (in Oakland), in which we’ll be looking for teens to fill two slots of 30-40 minutes of material of all kinds–music, poetry, improv, you name it–as well as one teen to feature their visual art of choice in the Main – Teen Department for a month after the event. (Think of it like your own private opening party.)

Performers and artists will be compensated for their time and efforts. If you are a performer or visual artist and would like to be considered, please submit the following information to teenundergroundcafe@carnegielibrary.org:

  • Name
  • Performing or artist alias or name of group
  • Description of performance or art
  • Link to any recordings or documentation
  • E-mail address
  • Phone number

Additionally, the Teen Underground Cafe is going to travel all across the city for a series of after hours Open Mic Nights. The stage will be yours to feature your music, poetry, and more. And with a full PA system and back line of drums, guitars, and amps, you may meet a fellow collaborator–or even get scouted to feature more of your work at Teen Underground Cafe Presents…!

Our Open Mic Nights will be happening the following months at the following locations. Tune into our events page for more info as it comes:

  • Feburary 2014: Knoxville [Saturday, February 22, 2014 ; 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM]
  • March 2014: Hill District [Thursday, March 27, 2014 ; 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM]
  • May 2014: East Liberty
  • June 2014: Brookline
  • July 2014: Carrick
  • August 2014: Hazelwood
  • September 2014: Squirrel Hill
  • November 2014: Homewood
  • January 2015: West End
  • March 2015: Sheraden
  • April 2015: Allegheny
  • May 2015: Woods Run

Hope to see you there!

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

More creepy halloween fun is happening @ your library this week

To follow up on Marian’s excellent roundup of spooky activities around the city’s libraries from last week, here’s what’s happening this week.

At Allegheny today we have Halloween Minute to Win It:

Do you have what it takes, or are you too scared? Test yourself during our spooky Halloween rendition of “Minute to Win It.”

Monday, October 28, 2013
4:00 PM
1230 Federal Street Pittsburgh, PA 15212
this could be you today. photo via Escondido Public Library's flickr

this could be you today. photo via Escondido Public Library’s flickr

Tuesday you can attend the ZOMB-FEST  at the Hill District:
Zomb-Fest 2013 kicks off with brain corn hole, snacks and learning the Thriller dance. Then we’ll have a professional make-up artist teach you how to Zombie-fy yourself with real theatrical makeup. Then you can hit the Photo Booth and capture the gruesome moment! Eat yummy, freaky Halloween snacks!
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
October 29, 2013

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

2177 Centre Avenue at Kirkpatrick Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

photo of the author as a zombie

photo of the author as a zombie

or view a scary movie at East Liberty‘s Teen Time!
There will be a selection of movies to choose from – classics and new releases, and some popcorn and apples to snack on.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
130 S. Whitfield Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15206

not the actual selection of movies. photo via nomadic lass on flickr

not the actual selection of movies. photo via nomadic lass on flickr

There’s also face painting at Allegheny on Tuesday:
Join local artist Lauren Toohey as she teaches you the basics of face painting. She will also talk about making a living as an artist. Have your face painted, then put your skills to use at our Halloween Carnival by painting a friend’s face!
Tuesday, October 29, 2013

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM


1230 Federal Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

And a pre-Halloween party at Brookline:
Halloween is creeping around the corner! Put on a costume and do your part to get in the spooky spirit by partying up with us pre-Halloween.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

708-710 Brookline Blvd.

Pittsburgh, PA 15226

mutant cyborg costume by don pezzano on flickr

mutant cyborg costume by don pezzano on flickr

Then on Wednesday you can get candy at Brookline.. if you win a game:
Happy Halloween! On your way out the door to mega-candy acquisitioning, stop by the library for Teen Lounge. We’ll be distributing candy in the manner of Deal or No Deal. Will you hit it big, or will you end up with a toothbrush?
Thursday, October 31, 2013

3:00 PM – 6:00 PM


708-710 Brookline Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15226

a toothbrush. by dave lanovaz

a toothbrush. by dave lanovaz

And on Thursday, Knoxville is having a Spooky Teen Time:

Thursday, October 31, 2013

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

400 Brownsville Road

Pittsburgh, PA 15210

this could be what it's like at Knoxville's Teen Time. You'll never know if you don't show up! photo by minxlj on flickr

this could be what it’s like at Knoxville’s Teen Time. You’ll never know if you don’t show up! photo by minxlj on flickr

Remember, all of this is IN ADDITION to Carrick’s Haunted Library, Labs events, regular Teen Time activities, Art Clubs, AND MORE. Check the local teen evens near you on our teen event feed!

Gardening Thyme

Gardening Thyme Facebook event image

Mt. Washington

Mt. Washington

Squirrel Hill

Squirrel Hill

Main Library

Main Library

Main Library

Main Library

Woods Run

Woods Run



Allentown Pop-up

Allentown Pop-up



West End

West End

West End

West End

East Liberty

East Liberty

South Side

South Side



Garden Dreams Urban Farm and Nursery

Garden Dreams Urban Farm and Nursery

White House Kitchen Garden

White House Kitchen Garden

Click here for more information about the Gardening Thyme Community Gardens and Programs.  It’s not too late to get involved with your library’s community garden.  Fall planting starts soon.

Sticks and Stones (No Name Calling Week)

January 23 – 27 is No Name Calling Week , a national initiative started to combat bullying in schools and help prevent teen suicide.

Reading the stories of others offers insight, comfort and a much needed escape when faced with bullies, drama, and stress. The Library carries many titles that tell stories of bullying, harassment, survival, and triumph.

Check out the books below to see if one of them speaks to you! And always know there is a Teen Specialist at every CLP location if you need someone to talk to!

Have you ever felt different because of how you look? Age. Weight. Gender. Complexion? The Skin I’m In by Sharon Flake talks about the self-esteem issues black girls face when they are darker skinned. Maleeka is self conscious of her complexion until her whole life is changed when she meets a teacher with a rare skin condition. Check out this book if you want to hear about how Maleeka finds love with a boy named Caleb, overcomes her bully Charlese, and learns to love the skin she’s in!

Darell Mercer moves from Philadelphia to California. There he finds a new life, a new school, and a new bully. After spending months in fear, he is faced with a big decision. He can either keep running from his bully or find some way to fight back. To find out what happens to Darell check out The Bully by Paul Langan.

Thirteen-year-old Vladimir Tod really hates middle school. Bullies harass him, the principal is watching him closely, and the girl he likes prefers his best friend. And Vlad has a big secret: His mother was human, but his father was a vampire. With no idea of the extent of his powers, Vlad struggles daily with his blood cravings and growing fangs while trying to hide his identity. On top of everything he is being stalked by a vampire hunter! Check out The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer and read all five books in the series to find out what happens to Vlad!

Much like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Loser List tells the oddball story of Danny Shine. He is a geek who loves reading comics, trading comics, drawing comics, and buying comics. Find out how he loses a best friend, gets humiliated in front of the whole school… and somehow still manages to save the day!

In 50 Cent’s book Playground he uses his life experiences to tell the story of a 13 year old bully named Butterball. In the story, Butterball finds himself overweight and unhappy in a new school. One day, in an angry haze, he fills two socks with D batteries and heads to a fight at the playground. You will have to read to find out what happens to Butterball and how he finds redemption.

-Michael @ CLP Hazelwood

Time Capsule Books (inspired by Parks and Recreation)

"Sometimes I think she's in the Volturi."

In a recent episode of the hilarious Amy Poehler vehicle Parks and Recreation, which chronicles the bumbling Parks Department of and the odd assortment of townfolk who inhabit the small Indiana town of Pawnee, Amy Poehler’s dream of building a time capsule that can perfectly… encapsulate the town is dashed when a crazed man demands that she include the one book that means more to the world and has done a better job of portraying the sparkling, undying experience of love and the human condition more than anything.

You guessed it. He wanted Twilight.

But what if you were the one who got to choose which book would go in your time capsule? I asked a few of the teens hanging out in the Teen Department, as well as our local librarians to see what they had to say.

13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher

It’s just really good. This girl kills herself and makes tapes about why. Depressing, but good.

~Lizz, 17

The Thief Lord, by Cornelia Funke

A bunch of kids living in a movie theater. It’s awesome.

~Saul, 13

Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld

It’s a good book, and it’s like a utopia–a lesson to the world.

~Carlisle, 13

Fade, by Robert Cormiere

It’s very thrilling.

~Merce, 14

Looking for Alaska, by John Green

‘Cause I like it.

~Sophia, 13

Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling

It’s very popular and is a new idea.

~Anishaa, 12

I asked some of the staff, too, and here’s what they had to say:

The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusak

Because it has a little bit of everything: history, guilt, morality, growing up, ethics and the power/gift of words. It is also funny and moving at the same time (hard to pull off) and it even has illustrations!

~Suzie Waldo, Manager, CLP-Knoxville

Uglies, by Scott Westerfield

Because it’s explores what could happen, if future scientific endeavors were fueled mainly by current American conventions of beauty.

~LeeAnn Anna, Teen Services Coordinator

Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel

It captures this golden age of graphic novels with fantastic storytelling and a modern coming-of-age story.

~Corey Wittig, Digital Learning Librarian

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

To teach people of the future not to let society progress to that point…

~Julianne Moore, Librarian, CLP-Beechview

Brutally awesome. I think it changed what the public thinks about young adult novels.

~Annica Stivers, Librarian, CLP-Beechview

The Freak Observer, by Blythe Woodson

Because it was the Morris Award Winner the year I served on the committee.

~Karen Brooks-Reese, Manager, CLP-Lawrenceville

Of course, I would choose

Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky


Charlie’s voice was rife with vulnerability, and his nearly breathless observations as he wrote to his anonymous friend were so poignant. Anyone who wants to remember what it’s like to be a thoughtful, feeling human being should read this book again and again.

Those are our “time capsule books.” What would you choose?

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

What Is A Caterpillar Afraid Of?

A dog-erpiller. 

(I’ll wait while you control your laughter.)

 April is National Humor Month, a month long celebration of laughter. Since I spend a lot of my time laughing or trying to get other people to laugh, I appreciate the therapeutic quality of laughter. Also, I think National Humor Month is way more amusing than say, National Soy Foods Month or IBS Month. (I said amusing, not informative.)

 In honor of people’s funny bones everywhere here is a list of humorous (dark and otherwise) titles for teens: 

Absolutely Positively Not by David LaRochelle, Winner of the Sid Fleischman Humor Award      

16 year old Steven Denarski is neat, likes square-dancing, hates sports  and has stashed a copy of Male Undergear catalog under his mattress. But he is Absolutely, Positively Not gay.

First French Kiss and Other Traumasby Adam Bagdasarian

Beaten up, kissed by a popular girl, and with plans to win the Noble Prize,  Bagdasarian’s wry humor and short vignettes capture the trauma and humor of getting through childhood. 

All-American Girl by Meg Cabot 

After saving the President  from an assassination attempt, sophomore Samantha because a national hero and catches the eye of the First Son. Obstacles abound as Samantha tries to navigate through social and romantic waters.

A Fate Totally Worse Than Death by Paul Fleischman

A vengeful ghost in the form of a Norwegian exchange student curse a trio of Mean Girls with incontinence, wrinkles and other signs of aging. A spoof of stereotypical teen scream books, this over-the-top satire has serious bite.

I am a genius of unspeakable evil and I want to be your class president by Josh Lieb

Oliver Watson is over-weight and most people think he is slow-witted. However, he is the third richest person in the word. Jon Stewart, Lieb’s former co-worker at the Daily Show, said about Lieb’s first effort: “If War and Peace had a baby with The Breakfast Club and then left the baby to be raised by wolves, this book would be the result. I loved it.”


Other titles to make the funny list:

-suzy, knoxville

Teen Advocacy Day

Teen Advocacy 011On Sunday, October 18th from 2:00-5:00 PM, Teen volunteers at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main, will be staffing an information table.


The library is in big trouble. The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has stood as a beacon of hope and a catalyst for improvement for over 100 years, and is too important to let the doors close on 5 branches.  We need to demand that the city increase the line item for libraries in it’s annual budget.  You can make a difference.


On Sunday you can:

  •  Write a Letter
  • Contact Politicians
  • Make a Donation
  • Get the Facts


I can’t wait to see you there!




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