Tag Archives: books

Combining My Two Favorite Spaces: Public Libraries and Public Markets

(PITTSBURGH, PA – April 6, 2011) Strip District shoppers and residents will have a new place to access free books and information.  Starting Friday, April 15, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will extend services to the Strip District’s
Pittsburgh Public Market, becoming a part of the public market’s “fresh and delicious combination” of local artisans, farmers and bakers. The extended service pilot is part of the Library’s LYNCS (Libraries in Your Neighborhood
Community and School) initiative.

Forgive me for lack of eloquence, but this development is FREAKING AWESOME. As public libraries suffer severe budget cuts that lead to shorter operating hours, staff reductions, and locations closing entirely, the Carnegie Library is continually figuring out how not to just sustain itself on its modified resources, but thrive. That’s librarians for you: You cut their budget by half and they’ll figure out how to accomplish everything with 50% the expected funds. I’m not advocating the challenge – it damn near criminal how public libraries are under appreciated – but they are up to it.

Joining up with the Public Market is an incredible way to bring more resources to an area that is steadfastly maturing into a desirable, livable place to take residence, but it is also an amazing way to bring books, media, and information to the thousands of working folks that come in and out of the Strip District every day. It’ll provide weekend resources to those who lose their access to a public library when the Downtown and Lawrenceville branches close on the weekend.

The press release – quoted above – goes on to mention that this is an innovation in the public market category. Despite the large wave of public markets opening up in cities and towns across the nation, no one has thought to include a space for public library access. It makes perfect sense to me: Eating, shopping, living, learning.

LYNCS: PPM will offer an on-site collection of materials for checkout, return services, media, and computer services, as well as a small staff to run services and see to visitors’ needs. The proximity to the Public Market will lend itself to a specialization in food and agricultural writings and events. I, for one, am excited to see what sort of food and book related events they will have lined up in the next few months, as well as the potential book collection they will have accessible to all those with a Carnegie Library card. (Looks I’ve got some fines to pay off…)

For now, if you’ve got Friday, April 15th free, think about stopping by the opening celebration for the new library. The schedule is as follows:

Friday, April 15 / 10 am
Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting

Friday, April 15 / 12 pm – 12:30 pm
30 Books in 30 Minutes
Librarians will share 30 great titles in just 30 minutes.

Friday, April 15 / 5 pm
Timbeleza is a Brazilian percussion ensemble based out of Pittsburgh, PA that has been performing since 2005.  Their
goal is to expose people to samba as well as invigorate the community with music and performance.

Saturday, April 16 / 9 – 11:30 am
Drop-In Story Telling
Storytellers will intrigue and inspire audiences with their stories for young and old.

Sunday, April 17 / 12 – 2 pm
Gadget Lab
Staff will demonstrate how to use the Library’s downloadable services with eReaders and MP3 players.

Good Morning, Amy!

Amy Sedaris has a new book out, Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People, containing much the same design and sense of humor as her first pseudo how-to guide, I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence. If you haven’t had a chance to check out I Like You  yet, absolutely do. It’s filled with a zany sense of can do in any host situation, whether you’re hosting a reception for a funeral or a discount movie night for your friends. While the tone and look is firmly tongue-in-cheek, there’s also a lot of really good, effective ways of decorating and setting up a party, not to mention an array of fantastic recipes (some, admittedly, with less than impeccable directions, but that’s not really the point). For anyone who loves hosting and has a bit of a warped sense of humor, this book is a must have. I know that as soon as I have a little extra money, I’ll be picking up her new, crafting-focused book and be on my way to making crafts for Jesus and bunnies.

And did I mention funny? If you’re not familiar with Sedaris’s former series, Strangers With Candy, now is the time to catch up, at least if  you have a decent digital cable package: LOGO, the network that specializes in GLBT programming, is currently running episodes from all three seasons. Or you can just go ahead and buy the DVDs, cause if you’re like me, you’re going to want to anyway. (Also, if you buy the complete series, it comes in a commemorative trapper keeper.)

In addition to being unbelievably hilarious and a top-notch domestic maven, Sedaris is also a killer guest on talk shows, cooking shows, etc. I’ve included a few clips of her, as well as a surprisingly cute video she did for Microsoft.

Also, check out this great AVClub  interview with her, posted just from this past Wednesday.