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Black History Month Spotlights Return to CLP Carrick!


Every Tuesday in February last year, CLP Carrick’s weekly teen program, Teen Thing, focused on a different African American pioneer with a creative activity related to the accomplishments of said pioneer.  We made stop-motion zombie flicks in honor of Duane Jones, flipbook comics for Frank Braxton, 3D glasses for Valerie Thomas, and watched a documentary about the arts scene in Brooklyn in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

It was all pretty awesome.

So… when the topic of continuing the weekly Black History Month events came up this January, Teen Think, Carrick’s Teen Advisory Group, voted unanimously to continue the spotlights with this year’s theme of music.  Throughout February, Teen Thing will be spotlighting innovative and influential African American musicians who have significantly contributed to the sounds of rock, jazz, punk, and hip hop – and it all starts this week!

Tuesday, February 4th
Teen Thing / Black History Month Spotlight: Blues and Early Rock and Roll

The mysterious Robert Johnson

Into artists like Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Jack White, and The Black Keys??? Come find out about the African American blues and rock musicians that influenced them – artists like Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson, Lead Belly, Muddy Waters, and Chuck Berry.

Oh, and make your own harmonica while you’re at it!


Other events include:

Tuesday, February 11th
Teen Thing / Black History Month Spotlight: All That Jazz

Pittsburgh’s Mary Lou Williams


Tuesday, February 18th
Teen Thing / Black History Month Spotlight: Punk 101 – Bad Brains

Washington D.C.’s legendary Bad Brains


Tuesday, February 25th
Teen Thing / Black History Month Spotlight: Hip Hop and Change

Saul Williams


Find out where the music you like comes from at our Black History Month Spotlights!  Teen Thing happens every Tuesday afternoon from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM and is open to anyone in grades 6-12 or age 12-18.



Jon : Carrick

Welcome To America’s Most Livable City?

The number of stories praising Pittsburgh keep piling up. From Most Livable to Best Places to Retire, from Top City for Geeks to Best Place to Buy a Home, Pittsburgh seems like the new cool place to be. But if everybody all over America saying Pittsburgh is so great, why is Pittsburgh rapper Jasiri X calling Pittsburgh “Clicksburgh, Pistolvania?” Is it true, as Jasiri X says, that Pittsburgh has the highest rate of Black poverty among 40 comparable US cities? Is Pittsburgh the “Most Livable City” in the United States?

stopshooting

These are important questions to ask. Jasiri X is talking about Black poverty, and since almost 30% of Pittsburgh’s residents are African-American according to U.S. Census data, that’s three out of ten people.  That’s a lot of Pittsburghers. U.S. Census data shows that the rate of African-Americans who live in poverty in Pittsburgh is around 35.6%– certainly among the highest rates in the country. People who live in poverty have a harder time paying for housing, food, transportation and even the things that would help to lift them out of poverty, such as getting a college degree.

To make matters worse, in some of Pittsburgh’s poorest neighborhoods, there has been an increase in gun violence recently. In 2013, little Marcus Lamont White, Jr., a baby in East Hills was killed when somebody started to shoot at a community barbeque. Wiz Khalifa’s uncle was shot and killed outside the Steak ‘n Shake at the Waterfront in January, 2014. Late that same month, Hosea Davis, the man who saved a girl at the East Liberty Target from a man with a knife was shot ten times with a high-powered gun in the back. Four of the nine homicides in Allegheny County as of January 29, 2014 were African-American. In 2013, 42 of the 62 lives taken were African-American.

Gun violence and poverty levels in Pittsburgh beg the question: if Pittsburgh is the Most Livable City, who is it most livable for? How would the levels of Black poverty and gun violence in Pittsburgh affect national praise for Pittsburgh if they were taken into closer consideration? Is Pittsburgh still “Most Livable” in spite of its challenges? What do you think? How do we explain the differences between some Pittsburghers’ experiences with poverty and gun violence and national articles about how great Pittsburgh is? And finally, what are Pittsburghers doing about these problems?

There are many groups and individuals who are trying to stop gun violence in our city. One of them is Vanessa German, a spoken word artist who lives in Homewood. She exhibits her visual work and performs internationally. Vanessa created the signs that say, “Stop Shooting-We Love You” that you might have seen all over Pittsburgh. They are one of her responses to shooting in her neighborhood and beyond. Vanessa also runs ArtHouse—an after-school house where kids can come to do art alongside her. You need to hear Vanessa German if you want to better understand the strengths of Pittsburgh. She’s amazing! Here is a link to a recent performance Vanessa did about the beauty and challenges of Homewood: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aktAjeFqtvw

Another is Sharon Flake, the Pittsburgh author of The Skin I’m In, Bang!, You Don’t Even Know Me and Pinned, among others. Sharon writes about kids who are dealing with poverty and violence. Sometimes reading about situations like yours can make you feel less alone. Reading about kids unlike you can help you to understand the world from many perspectives.

Bang!

Check out some of these great books about gun violence, growing up poor, and how in spite of hard circumstances, people find strength through their connections to other people. And if you want to read more about Pittsburgh’s best-of lists, gun violence in our city and other ideas in this blog article, here’s a list of links:

“30 Years of Hell With The Lid Off to Most Livable: How Pittsburgh Became Cool”

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2013/10/20/30-Years-Hell-with-the-lid-off-to-Most-Livable-How-Pittsburgh-became-cool.html

“18 Reasons Why Pittsburgh is the Greatest City on the Planet”

http://www.buzzfeed.com/zoetsiris/18-reasons-why-pittsburgh-is-the-greatest-city-on-d56b

Forbes.Com Rates Pittsburgh No. 1 “Most Livable City”

http://www.nationalurbanmedia.com/FORBESCOM-RATES-PITTSBURGH-NO-1-MOST-LIVABLE-CITY/

WYEP Gun Violence in Pittsburgh:

http://www.wqed.org/tv/gunviolence/

Vanessa German:

http://lovefrontporch.com

Sharon Flake:

http://www.sharongflake.com/

Sheila-Hill District

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

Christmas-ecard-Someecards
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

grumpy-cat-meme-christmasanimals---grumpy-cat-meme-pictures-humor-funny-cats-christmas-qcu3d2p8


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

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
Location:
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

Location:
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
Location:
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

Location:

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

Location:
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

Location:

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:
COME OUT AND ENJOY OUR FUN ACTIVITIES AND MORE! DON’T FORGET TO BRING A FRIEND AND/OR FAMILY MEMBER ALONG!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Location:
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!

Why is there a school desk at my library?

photo by flickr user spirobolos

photo by flickr user spirobolos

 

The unassuming all in one school desk/chair. Symbol of classrooms, the regularity of rows, and minutes of class either rushing or trickling by.

Why would you ever expect to see one sitting in the teen space of your public library?

You will see one soon at CLP – East Liberty and possibly in other spaces that provide services for the 18 & under demographic. It’s part of United Way’s Be There campaign. According to United Way president Bob Nelkin, it’s a campaign aimed at teens who miss a lot of school – a way to positively talk about the benefits of going to school instead of negatively punish kids who don’t want to go to school.

corporal punishment is exactly the opposite of motivation to go to school. photo by flickr user theirhistory

corporal punishment is exactly the opposite of motivation to go to school. photo by flickr user theirhistory

What do you think of the campaign? What motivates you to attend classes? What makes you not want to go to school? How could that be fixed or made better? These are some of the questions we’ll be asking at East Liberty as we decorate our desk. Feel free to add your answers in the comments.

great motivation: baby animals at school. photo by flickr user theirhistory

great motivation: baby animals at school. photo by flickr user theirhistory

Here at East Liberty we’ll get to decorate the chair however we want, and then display it in the Teen Section. Not only will it be a fun chance for sanctioned furniture “vandalism”, we will get more space for sitting and doing homework, or writing a note, or working on a personal creative project. Stop by and see it!

 

 

-Tessa, CLP – East Liberty

Authors. Stories. You.

palkatlogo

What do you and your friends do during sleepovers?

My friends and I used to bake and eat brownies, play MASH, wander the streets of our rural neighborhood in an attempt to find other friends who were unwilling to sleep or have movie marathons.   Whitney, who’s sitting next to me, would watch Xanadu, make crock pot cheese dip, and eat white cheddar Cheez-Its.

Authors Siobhan Vivian and Jenny Han aren’t so leisurely during their sleepovers.  They end up with great ideas for books like Burn for Burn and its new sequel Fire with Fire.  Hear these two awesome people talk about friendship, collaborative writing, and life as it relates to teens when Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures brings them to Pittsburgh next month!  Then, get a chance to chat with them while they’re signing books!


Siobhan Vivian & Jenny Han
Friday, October 11, 7pm @ Carnegie Library Lecture Hall
Get more info here.

Sequel to Burn for Burn

Don’t miss out on these upcoming author visits:

Daniel Handler
Friday, October 25, 7pm @ Carnegie Library Lecture Hall
Get more info here.

James Dashner
Friday, November 22, 7pm @ Carnegie Library Lecture Hall
Get more info here.

First book in The Mortality Doctrine series

Renaissance Festival Time!!

Fall might be my favorite time of year for many reasons.  Football season is starting (the Broncos are playing the Ravens tonight!!), the nights get colder and way better for sleeping, apples and pumpkins are coming into season AND it is time for the annual Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival!!  if you have never been there it is an awesome place to visit and I recommend it to anyone who has an interest in history, Game of Thrones or even dressing up in cool costumes!

2012-Photo-Contest-Joe-Meyers-Firebreather

There are four weekends left in the renaissance festival so enjoy it while you can!

If you are not able to make it to the Renaissance festival or you just want to immerse yourself into the 16th Century, the Library has some great books and movies.  Here are some of my favorites.

Maid of Secrets Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan.  After 17 year old Meg is caught trying to rob the Queen’s advisor, she is forced to work as a member of Queen Elizabeth’s secret Maids of Honor.  The Maids are her all female bodyguard team who protect and spy for the Queen.  meg’s first assignment is to spy on a handsome young Spanish nobleman.  The first book in a series, it is full of intrigue and action.



WickedandtheJustThe Wicked and the Just by Jillian Anderson Coats.  Cecily’s father is moving her from their comfortable English manor to a small town in the wild Welsh countryside.  The story alternates points of view between Cecily and the Welsh servant girl (Gwinny) who has to serve her family.  There are hard feelings on both sides of the English-Welsh struggle.  This book is set a bit earlier than the other ones, but it still gives a good feel for medieval times.

 

DarkFire  Matthew Shardlake series by CJ Sansom.  This series of historical mysteries features Matthew Shardlake, a hunchback lawyer in the time of Henry VIII.  he longs for a nice quiet life, but his sharp mind draws the attention of men like Thomas Cromwell and Thomas Cranmer.  These men force Shardlake to help them in their political dealings.  This series is a great introduction to the time of Henry VIII and Elizabethian England.

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