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  • July 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

The Labs @ CLP: MLK Workshop

Aerial view of the March on Washington Photo credit: Getty Images

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s speech, “I have a Dream,” is considered one of the most important cultural and historical moments of the 20th Century. Dr. King was just one of the speakers at The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the largest protest demonstration in U.S. history. Check out an original flyer for the event from the archives of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania!

On August 28, 1963, more than 250,000 people of all races marched peacefully from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. to lobby for the passage of civil rights laws. Just two months earlier during a live broadcast, President Kennedy unveiled plans to pursue a comprehensive civil rights bill in Congress. The ‘March on Washington’ was one of the first protests to have extensive television coverage, so in addition to the quarter of a million people in attendance, millions watched from home. It proved that protests do not need to be violent to be powerful. The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom became the landmark event in the movement that led to the successful passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Dr. King thrilled the crowd with his “I Have A Dream” speech, but did you know that the his planned speech was originally called “Normalcy, Never Again?” The speech became known as “I Have a Dream,” but those words were never in the draft of original speech. They were ad-libbed into his speech after Mahalia Jackson, one the music performers urged him, “Tell them about the dream, Martin.” She had heard him talk about his dream a few months earlier at a huge rally in Detroit. Even though Dr. King was warned to stay away from talking about his dream by his adviser, due to it being “trite” and “cliche,” King was encouraged by Jackson to ignore the advice. Would the speech have had the same reach, political impact and resonance 50 years later without it? Score one for the dreamers.

Photo credit: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

Photo credit: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

The Labs invites teens of all skill levels to take part in workshops. Mentors lead project-based workshops according to the weekly theme, providing software and equipment tutorials. Workshops are informal, fun, and drop-in friendly. The Labs @ CLP is available to our teen patrons in grades 6-12.

This week all Labs locations will be celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington by recreating the event using Google Street View and the graphics editing program Adobe Photoshop.  Create 360 degree panoramic views of the march, while expanding your knowledge of Photoshop and its collection of blending tools. You’ll even be able to insert YOUR image into the historic photographs and take home a printed artifact of the finished product. This is a photography and design workshop that is not to be missed!

Tuesday, January 14th | 4:00 – 7:00 PM
CLP – Main
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Wednesday, January 15th | 4:00 – 7:00 PM
CLP – East Liberty
130 S. Whitfield Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Thursday, January 16th | 4:00 – 7:00 PM
CLP – Allegheny
1230 Federal Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

An example of what you can do at The Labs this week!

Created by Chris from CLP – LABS

Want more? Check out these materials about the Civil Rights movement in America.

lauren @ CLP – Woods Run

Teen Series Fiction In Order

In the past few weeks I’ve been working on a project to reorganize CLP – Main’s Teen Series Fiction shelves.

teen series

You may not have realized, but Teen at Main has a pretty extensive collection of Teen Series.  These are books that are all in the same world with similar or the same characters but written by completely different authors.  These books are perfect if you are looking for fast, fun reads with a lot of action and drama and a bit of romance, science fiction or magic.

These awesome books are housed at the very far end of the Teen Fiction stacks, opposite the fiction books in the V’s, W’s, X’s, Y’s, and Z’s.  So, if you’re looking for The Gossip Girl series by Cecily Von Ziegesar turn right around and take a look at other high school drama series, Juicy Central or any of the books in the popular Kimani Tru imprint.

This collection has just gone through a complete reorganization and is looking forward to some spiffy new signs in the near future, so come take a look at what it has to offer.

Here’s just a few of the awesome books you can find on the shelves back in the Teen Series Fiction section at CLP – Main Teen:


Happy reading!

Morgan – CLP – Main, Teen.

Fight for Your Fandom with FANTASY FACEOFF: ROUND II


Does this sound familiar? You’re sitting around the house with some of your friends, watching Dragonball Z, when the question is posed:

Who would win: Goku or Superman?

Passionate arguments ensue; you believe that Goku’s spirit bomb and SS4 kamehameha would be able to destroy even the Man of Steel, while your friends proclaim that Superman under Earth’s yellow sun would be impervious to even the most vicious Saiyan attacks.

Sound like a good way to spend time?

If so, you should definitely check out FANTASY FACEOFF: ROUND II, a chance for you to pit your favorite fantasy, sci-fi, comics and pop culture characters against each other in a game inspired by March Madness!

It’s all going down at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main – Teen (Oakland) this Saturday, November 23rd, from 2:00 – 5:00 PM. Bring the name of your favorite fandom character and see how they stack up. Here is the faceoff schedule:

ROUND 1: Vote! Narrow a list of favorite characters down to top competitors.

ROUND 2: Debate! We’ll pull two character’s names from a hat, you’ll advocate for their merits, and they’ll be entered into the bracket. You have just a few minutes to convince the crowd why your character would advance to the next round, conquering their unlikely opponent.

ROUND 3: Last Warriors Standing! Design a play-by-play of this final, epic battle with your teammates.

Light snacks will be provided. Registration is encouraged to make sure we have enough for everyone.

You can register at this link and get reminded by RSVPing on Facebook here!

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

There’s a Battle on the Horizon, A Battle of the Books.

What do you get  when you mix a super fun quiz contest and the best teen books?


Start planning your team of 4 or 5 members now and be ready to register starting today.   The contest is broken into 3 grade levels, and there will be a new champion after each day of battle.

Today is also the hotly anticipated release of the contest booklist.  I have it from a contest organizer that, “The selected books for 2014 were chosen based on their student appeal, diverse subject matter and characters, representation of a wide variety of genres, and their literary merit.”  Sounds promising…

Pick up your grade level book lists after school at a Carnegie Library location near you and start planning  how to divvy up the list with your team.  Don’t forget to choose an adult to act as your manager.  Their job is to help organize your team and then cheer your on once game day arrives.   Finally, be sure to clear your schedule for the actual battle…

6th Grade Battle

Monday March 3rd, 2014

7th & 8th Grade Battle

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

9th -12 Grade Battle 

Monday March 10th, 2014

Check the website for more details, contest rules, team registration information and booklists.

~Brooke, CLP South Side


Mustaches are having a moment

Mustaches are really having a moment.  Mustaches now adorn shirts, pillows, shoes, duct tape, puppies- everywhere I turn there are mustaches.  But you see, mustaches were not always looked upon so favorably.  In 1965, the American Mustache Institute formed to combat discrimination against people sporting ‘staches and other fine expressions of facial hair, becoming ” the world’s leading facial hair advocacy organization.”  According to their website, the American Mustache Institute “continues to battle negative stereotyping that has accompanied the mustache since those glory years of the 1970s – the peak of mustache acceptance – fighting to create a climate of acceptance, understanding, flavor saving, and upper lip warmth for all mustached Americans alike.”

Please do not take offense, but unlike most trends, it actually seems like Pittsburgh has been a real leader in the recent mustache renaissance.  In fact, in 2011 Pittsburgh actually placed third on the list of Most Mustache Friendly Cities in America by the American Mustache Institute.  Further cementing our vanguard in the mustache world, the American Mustache Institute actually relocated to our fine city this past July.  And right now, the American Mustache Institute is soliciting votes to determine the winner of this year’s Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year!  The winner will be announced on Saturday, October 26 at an event they are hosting here in town.

Purely by coincidence, CLP Main- Teen is also hosting a Teen Halloween Mustache Bash for teens in middle and high school on Saturday, October 26 from 2 pm to 4 pm.  Instead of the usual scary/zombie/ghostly themed Halloween fare, we decided to capitalize on our culture’s current mustache obsession and celebrate ALL THE MUSTACHES!  We “mustache” you to join us for mustache themed games, treats, crafts, and a best mustache contest!

In the meantime, be sure to check out this book in preparation:

mustache growers guide

Happy National Coming Out Day!

Happy National Coming Out Day!

Rather, Happy (belated) National Coming Out Day – because NCOD was actually on Friday!

So, Happy National Coming Out Day – Week – Month – Year – Decade – Whatever. Take a moment to celebrate all the glorious gay, bi, trans, queer folks who make this world sparkle.


NCOD logo designed by graphic artist Keith Haring

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is observed annually on October 11th to celebrate individuals who publicly identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ). It started on October 11, 1988 to commemorate the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. The day is often marked by events like public rallies, festivals, and gatherings. For some, attending an NCOD event holds an important place in the gay rights movement as a rite of passage.

Fostering  support and building community is a HUGE part of any coming out or pride celebration. And LGBTQ folks and their straight allies are busy building community right here at the Library. Check it out!

CLP Teen Gay Straight Alliance : Bi-monthly Meeting

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Come join us for a meeting of the CLP Teen Gay Straight Alliance. This group is for all LGBTQ and straight teenagers who want to support each other and make new friends!

Classroom A – Main Library
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

In the mean time, check out some of these titles on LGBTQ history, life, and love!

GLBTQthe letter qqueerboyfriends with girlfriendsi am jbetween mom and joari and dantegrl2grltwo boys kissing geography clubheroshine

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