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  • June 2018
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New Year, New You

Welcome to 2014- a fresh start, a clean slate, a chance to kiss a dog!  Wait, what?  I don’t know what compelled little Michelle Tanner to kiss a dog, but I do know that people love the beginning of a new year because it symbolizes renewal.  New Year’s offers an opportunity to shed any disappointments from the previous year, to look forward, and to transform yourself.  If you made resolutions but you don’t have a plan of action or know where to start, we can offer support!  Some of our very own Teen Staff have shared their resolutions for 2014 below.  If any of these resolutions sound similar to yours, remember that the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has books, programs, and electronic resources that can help you achieve your goals.

Erin from CLP – AlleghenyMine is simple- slow down.

yoga exercises for teens    stress 101

Sheila from CLP – Hill District: My resolution is to cut the amount of time I look at my iPhone in half and double the time I spend reading.

you are not a gadget  winter of our disconnect

Whitney from CLP – Teen at Main: Mine is to start an Etsy shop.

quick cash for teens   start it up

LeeAnn from CLP – Teen Services: Eat less bread.  And wheat, in general.

healthy eating   going organic

Joseph from CLP – Teen at Main: Ride my bike to Washington D.C.

holy spokes  bike snob

Michael from CLP – Hazelwood: To stop using (and misplacing) USB drives and start using “the cloud”.

tubes   rough guide to cloud computing

Morgan from CLP – Teen at Main: My resolution is to organize my inbox and stay on top of it!

  it's all too much

Mine?  In 2014 I’d like to brush up on my Spanish language skills, find the courage to start riding a bike to work, learn how to use a sewing machine, run my first 5k, and find more time to read.  Wish me luck!

Winter reads

If you’re reading this on the 25th, I hope you have time today to relax and read a good book! Here are some suggestions if you want to get in the wintry spirit. These would all be great selections, and they’d all count for the Winter Reading Raffle!:


Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett

At 9, Tiffany Aching defeated the cruel Queen of Fairyland. At 11, she battled an ancient body-stealing evil. At 13, Tiffany faces a new challenge: a boy. And boys can be a bit of a problem when you’re thirteen … But the Wintersmith isn’t exactly a boy. He is Winter itself–snow, gales, icicles–all of it. When he has a crush on Tiffany, he may make her roses out of ice, but his nature is blizzards and avalanches. And he wants Tiffany to stay in his gleaming, frozen world. Forever. Tiffany will need all her cunning to make it to Spring. She’ll also need her friends, from junior witches to the legendary Granny Weatherwax. They–Crivens! Tiffany will need the Wee Free Men too! She’ll have the help of the bravest, toughest, smelliest pictsies ever to be banished from Fairyland–whether she wants it or not. It’s going to be a cold, cold season, because if Tiffany doesn’t survive until Spring–Spring won’t come.


Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

“I’ve left some clues for you. If you want them, turn the page. If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.” So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the New York Times bestselling authors of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?


Zombie Winter by Jason Strange

Which is worse, a long, cold winter, or a town of zombies?


The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell

Something is wrong in the house that Lin’s family has rented; Lin is sure of it. The clocks tick too slowly. Frost covers the flowerbed, even in a rain storm. And when a secret key marked “Twistrose” arrives for her, Lin finds a crack in the cellar, a gate to the world of Sylver. This frozen realm is the home of every dead animal who ever loved a child. Lin is overjoyed to be reunited with Rufus, the pet she buried under the rosebush. But together they must find the missing Winter Prince in order to save Sylver from destruction. They are not the only ones hunting for the boy this night. In the dark hides a shadow-lipped man, waiting for the last Winter Prince to be delivered into his hands.


After the Snow by S.D. Crockett

The oceans stopped working before Willo was born, so the world of ice and snow is all he’s ever known. He lives with his family deep in the wilderness, far from the government’s controlling grasp. Willo’s survival skills are put to the test when he arrives home one day to find his family gone. It could be the government; it could be scavengers — all Willo knows is he has to find refuge and his family. It is a journey that will take him into the city he’s always avoided, with a girl who needs his help more than he knows


The Wickit Chronicles: Ice Road by Joan Lennon

It’s the harshest winter anyone can remember, and the vast waterways of the Fens are frozen solid, transformed into an Ice Road. The conditions are ideal for a surprise invasion by young King Arnald’s banished uncle. Wickit Monastery is under threat too a bitter illness has struck down almost all the brothers, and a ghost walks across the snow. Can the orphan Pip and Perfect, the stone gargoyle, save the Brothers, their friend the King, and their country?


Star Crossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce

On the lam after a failed theft, 16-year-old runaway Celyn bluffs her way out of the city with four young nobles. She finds refuge as maid to one of them, Lady Merista, in a snowbound mountain castle. When Lord Daul discovers Celyn’s thieving tendencies, he forces her to spy for him. Delving even deeper into the castle’s secrets than she reveals to Daul, Celyn’s eyes are opened to the myriad secrets and schemes of its many guests and occupants. In choosing her path, she confronts her own past, uncovers a rebellion that could lead to civil war, befriends a prince, contemplates religious persecution, and faces betrayal.


The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

On the Midwinter Day that is his eleventh birthday, Will Stanton discovers a special gift — that he is the last of the Old Ones, immortals dedicated to keeping the world from domination by the forces of evil, the Dark. At once, he is plunged into a quest for the six magical Signs that will one day aid the Old Ones in the final battle between the Dark and the Light. And for the twelve days of Christmas, while the Dark is rising, life for Will is full of wonder, terror, and delight.


Trapped by Michael Northrop

The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week. That it would be “one for the record books,” as the forecasters safe and dry in their TV studios would later say. That it would become not just a matter of keeping warm, but keeping alive & Scotty and his friends Pete and Tommy are among the last kids waiting to get picked up at their high school that day, and it doesn’t take them long to realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn’t seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when Krista and Julie, two hot-to-the-point-of-being-distracting freshmen, are sleeping in the next classroom over. But then the power goes out. Then the heat. Then the emergency generator. As the snow piles higher and higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, tempers rise and friendships fray….


Help! I’m a Prisoner in the Library by Eth Clifford

Mary Rose and Jo-Beth are sisters who hardly ever agree on anything, but they both feel as if this night will never end. First their car runs out of gas in an unfamiliar city and their father goes in search of a gas station. Then Jo-Beth makes Mary Rose go with her to find a bathroom and they stumble across a curious old library. And then, worst of all, they get locked in! But their troubles are just beginning. Is Jo-Beth right about the library being haunted by banshees? Or is there a logical explanation, as Mary Rose claims?

– Tessa, CLP – East Liberty (not a prisoner in the library)

Yes, Virginia, There is Teen Stuff Going Down at the Library This Week

No school and nothing to do???  The Library’s got you covered!  Here’s a brief glimpse of what’s going on this week:

Monday, December 23

Teen Time @ Lawrenceville / 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Gaming @ Main, Allegheny, and East Liberty!

Open Lab @ Main and Allegheny!

Tuesday, December 24


Wednesday, December 25

Thursday, December 26

Teen Lounge: Pop-Up Flix @ Brookline / 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Teen Time @ Knoxville / 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Teen Creative Writing Workshop @ Beechview / 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

iPad Playground @ Squirrel Hill / 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Friday, December 27

Bad Movie Fridays @ Main / 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Gaming @ Main, Allegheny, and Sheraden!

Saturday, December 28

Teen Manga Club @ Beechview / 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Movies All Day @ Main / 10:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Aquaman and Aqualad gingerbread cookies from Teen Thing @ Carrick

For more teen happenings at a Library near you, be sure to check out the EVENTS slider on the Teen Page!

ALSO!  Don’t forget about the Teen Winter Reading Raffle, which is going on now till January 15th.  You could win stuff just for reading!

Jon : Carrick

Tiny cabbages and fluffy cookies: the yin and yang of easy seasonal cooking

Yesterday, as you probably already noticed, was an officially winter day. The light was sharp, as if to better illuminate the dead bleakness of everything (except kale plants). It was weather designed for hearths which is to say, it was so cold that it seemed a physical imperative that I bake something before my fingers froze off.

photo of Oslo by flickr user watz

photo of Oslo by flickr user watz

The library is a great place to start looking for food to make and ways to make it. Cooking and baking isn’t scary, it’s just another skill learned by practice, and why not start now before some of you go off to college and have your kitchen and relatives-full-of-mental-recipes access taken away from you? Dan, another library employee, just posted on our Eleventh Stack blog about the wonders of being able to check out cookbooks from the library. The library even has programs where you can learn to make actual food – check out the Cook’s Cupboard photos from CLP – Hill District!

However, I’m the first to admit that a book full of recipes can be intimidating. Especially long recipes. Especially this week when faced with such a longstanding food tradition type holiday such as Thanksgiving, where there seems to be so much pressure to do things the Traditional Way.

So I’m going to give you two of my favorite, easiest things to make and share (or not) when the weather does its cruel about face in November. There’s one savory and one sweet.

First: Brussels Sprouts.

Brussels sprouts get a bad rap. After broccoli, it’s probably the most cited green thing that children won’t eat. This could be because… are people still boiling these vegetables? Steaming them to be healthy? Either way, stop it. You’re making Brussels Sprouts look bad. They’re not bad! They’re really cool. They are tiny cabbabges that grow on stalks and as a tiny version of something, it is inherently cute. (Technically, the Brussels Sprout is “the ‘bud’ or small cabbage-like head which grows in the axils of each leaf [of the plant].” – Douglas E. Sanders, UNC)

photo by flickr user cornelius bartke

photo by flickr user cornelius bartke

Just one sprout has 22% of your daily Vitamin C. Which means only 5 sprouts have OVER 100% of your daily Vitamin C. But who cares how many vitamins it has if it doesn’t taste good? I can tell you that they taste good.

Here’s how:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2. Cut sprouts into halves or quarters depending on your personal preferences and time

3. Place in ovenproof pan. This could be a casserole dish or brownie pan.

4. Splash olive oil over the sprouts. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5. Roast for an hour, or until they look like this:


photo by flickr user shutterbean

They will be crispy on the outside, tender all the way through, caramely but not sweet.

Are you against olive oil and/or roasting? Do you have a food processor or sharp knife and patience? Then cut them up raw into tiny slivers, cut a tart apple up, squeeze lemon over it, and eat (optional: cheddar cheese and thyme and a little olive oil.)

I got this 2nd option from a cookbook I took out from the library and highly recommend:


Second: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

File baking under Another Thing You Don’t Need to Be Afraid Of. Most basic cookie recipes are this: Mix butter and sugar together. Put in other wet ingredients. Mix dry ingredients. Combine. Bake.  The ratios of the ingredients are what makes a chewy, crispy, or cakey cookie.

This one is no exception. It produces cookies that are more like tiny fluffy cakes. I use this recipe from The Food Network, but I use: a little less sugar, a little less chocolate, and a little more pumpkin.

photo by flickr user Gudlyf

photo by flickr user Gudlyf

As Vanilla Ice says: Yep yep. 


You could put marshmallows into these cookies, and substitute canned sweet potato for pumpkin!

You could make them gluten free and make your GF friends so happy!


You could also make them vegan!


You could put in dark chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate!


Yours In Food,

-Tessa, CLP – East Liberty

Let Toys Be Toys

A few days before Halloween, I received a holiday catalog in the mail from Toys R Us. I was a little miffed at the commercialism of the holiday season being pushed upon me  at such an early date!

Flipping through the catalog I noticed the division between boys toys and girls toys and I got upset. Companies are still advertising their products to promote the same gender roles of the 1950’s. These  stereotypes are so outdated! I am just about as outraged and frustrated as Riley.

“Boys toys” Screenshot from http://www.toysrus.com

“Girls toys” Screenshot from http://www.toysrus.com

Why do all the girls have to buy pink stuff and all the boys have to buy different-color stuff? Toys R Us is certainly not the only culprit here. On Amazon, or on the websites for toy makers Mattel or Hasbro, for example, toys are sorted by age, category and gender. The toy industry is so heavy with gender stereotypes that there’s little room for personal preferences. Is there any doubt as to why there are less women in engineering when they are basically told that the toys that foster development in those areas are not for them?  Do we really need pink Legos for it to be socially acceptable for girls to play with them?!

An early 80’s Lego ad featuring promoting the sets as gender-neutral.

In March 2012, a Swedish toy catalog made headlines worldwide after reversing traditional gender roles by showing Spiderman pushing a baby buggy, and a young girl riding a toy race car.

Gender-neutral advertising from the Swedish toy company Leklust.

Other countries are also stepping up – speaking out and making changes. An organization in the United Kingdom has said “let toys be toys!” Let Toys Be Toys is a grass-roots consumer campaign, run and organised by parents. It calls on retailers to stop limiting children’s interests by promoting some toys as only suitable for girls, and others only for boys.  Two months ago the UK division of Toys R Us agreed to drop the gender stereotyping of its products to girls and boys. The goal of the partnership is to eventually phase out gender-specific marketing and to promote the idea of boys and girls being able to fully enjoy the same toys, no questions asked and no suggestions made.

It’s tool time for both girls and boys! Excerpt from the 2013 Toys R Us Holiday Catalogue (This is how the English spell catalog.)

Anyone can enjoy playing house. Excerpt from the 2013 Toys R Us UK Holiday Catalogue

Anyone can enjoy playing house. Excerpt from the 2013 Toys R Us UK Holiday Catalogue

Megan Perryman, Let Toys Be Toys campaigner, said:

 “We’re delighted to be working so closely with a major toy retailer and believe that there is much common ground here. Even in 2013, boys and girls are still growing up being told that certain toys are ‘for’ them, while others are not. This is not only confusing but extremely limiting, as it strongly shapes their ideas about who they are and who they can go on to become. We look forward to seeing Toys “R” Us lead the way to a more inclusive future for boys and girls.”

 Dolled by Chris Hallbeck

#480 – Dolled by Chris Hallbeck

Hopefully Toys R Us and other retail outlets in the United States will adopt this gender-neutral approach to toys. It will be a step in the right direction to foster gender equality.

Check out these books about gender stereotypes:
Pink brain, blue brain : how small differences grow into troublesome gaps--and what we can do about it by Lise EliotMy princess boy by Cheryl KilodavisCinderella ate my daughter : dispatches from the front lines of the new girlie-girl culture by Peggy OrensteinPackaging girlhood : rescuing our daughters from marketers' schemes by Sharon Lamb

Check out these book about classic toys:
The LEGO book by Daniel Lipkowitz100 classic toys for generations by David SmithToy time! : from hula hoops to he-man to hungry hungry hippos: a look back at the most- beloved toys of decades past by Christopher ByrneToys! : amazing stories behind some great inventions by Don L. Wulffson

lauren @ CLP – Woods Run

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Did you know that the word Halloween is a contraction of “All Hallow’s Evening”?  Halloween is tomorrow and that means something different to everyone.  Some of you may be looking forward to dressing up and trick-or-treating, by with friends and younger siblings.  You might be planning on handing out candy at home.  Others still might be turning out the lights, pretending they’re not home, and watching a scary movie or reading a scary book.  I myself may be doing the last thing on this list, finishing up the last book in the horrific Monstrumologist series, The Final Descent, by Rick Yancey.

What are your plans for All Hallow’s Eve?  If you’re looking for a good horror read to scare your pants off on Halloween night, check out these books!

Amber House


Texas Gothic

The Graveyard Book

The Halloween Handbook

The Madman's Daughter

The Monstrumologist

The Original Duct Tape Halloween

Happy reading!

Amy, CLP-Lawrenceville

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!

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