Self-Directed Learning at CLP

A lot happens in five years: falling in love and breaking up, finishing school and starting work, making and losing friends, losing and gaining confidence and, above all, learning, lots of learning. Five years can be full of turbulence, but you can get through them with the help of a good anchor. In my case, I found the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Trans Women Share Their Stories

This reading list brings together a hard-partying rock star, an excommunicated Scientologist, an everyday teenager, A TV personality with a budding career and a New England professor. What these women all have in common is that they were designated male at birth, but later transitioned to womanhood, allowing their outward gender expression to match their inward gender identity. What they also have in common is that they all shared their stories in riveting books that highlight the ways different parts of their lived experiences and identities intersect with gender.

Year in Volunteering – 2016

There’s no way one blog post can capture the scope and scale of the work that CLP volunteers do (The final numbers aren’t in yet, but to-date, volunteers have contributed more than 34,000 hours to CLP in 2016!), but this post is meant to be an overview of the work they do to make our library, and indeed, our community, stronger. If you’ve ever wondered about how we’re able to accomplish so much, this is a reminder that our community has a lot to do with it!

In the Company of Women

Grace Bonney’s new book, In the Company of Women, includes gorgeous portraits and snapshot interviews with more than 100 women who are makers, artists, innovators or entrepreneurs. I was immediately interested in picking this up because I knew that many of my favorites were profiled (including Roxane Gay, Neko Case, Kate Bornstien, Janet Mock and Carson Ellis), and I’m glad I nabbed a copy, because, in addition to being a great read, this book introduced me to so many interesting, inspiring women who are now on my radar (Preeti Mistry, Rebecca Wood, Samin Nosrat, Matika Wilbur, Julia Rothman and the list goes on!)

2016 Election Resources

Tomorrow is Election Day, and we want you to vote. Here are some resources to help you decide which candidates to choose and where to find your polling place.

What is Rape Culture? A Reading List for a Difficult Topic

Recent high-profile news stories have brought the terms “rape culture” and “bystander behavior” into mainstream discussions about rape, sexual assault and gender violence. Although this can be a difficult to understand, emotionally fraught subject matter, these news stories are an opportunity for us to explore, discuss and understand these important topics in a more meaningful way.

I hated this Banned Book

Habibi by Craig Thompson is an epic, sweeping graphic novel. Set in a mythical, Middle Eastern-inspired country, it tells the interweaving stories of two characters who live much of their lives as slaves. The book contains absolutely fantastic illustrations, allusions to the Quran and the Bible, and themes of love, loss, hope and storytelling; it’s one of the top-ten most frequently challenged books in the United States. And I really didn’t like it.

Throwback Thursday: Election Season Reading Challenge

When it comes to politics, there is one thing that most people agree on: making an informed decision about your vote matters. Of course there are myriad ways to stay informed and educated, and it’s great to consult multiple sources of information. So, gearing up for the grind of election season, I decided to give myself a small reading challenge.

Kick-starting Creativity

If you would have asked me about a year ago, I probably would have told you I wasn’t a very creative person. Now I realize I was just working with the wrong definition, and making some pretty common mistakes.