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Just the Facts
News and Notes from Reference Services
  February 2013- Vol 1, Issue 1
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Spotlight on Black History
Read More About It
Digital Discovery
Best of the Web
At Your Library
Welcome to the first issue of "Just the Facts," the official newsletter of the Reference Department at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Main location. Once a month you'll receive news and information about library books, services, and programs from our team of professional research experts.
Read More About It: Black History

Black History Month 2013 

Celebrate Black History Month with some real-world reads from the non-fiction collection!




Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life ofEslanda Robeson Mrs. Paul  Robeson, Barbara Ransby. Her own accomplishments long overshadowed by those of her famous husband, Eslanda Robeson's life and works are redeemed for the historical record by a scholar with a long track record in both African American studies and women's studies. Ransby chronicles, in loving detail, the public and private life of a woman who served, among other things, as an anthropologist, civil rights activist, journalist and public speaker. From the front lines of the Spanish Civil War to the cold gaze of Joseph McCarthy, Eslanda Robeson faced down some of the world's greatest injustices with passion and conviction. A riveting tale of a nearly-forgotten 20th-century heroine.


 African American Women Chemists, Jeannette E. Brown. Marie Maynard Daily. Gloria Long Anderson. Renatha Clark King. These are just a few of the women whose profiles appear in Brown's history of black women in chemistry. Each woman's biography explores the challenges of being both black and a woman in the sciences, covering not just the trajectory of their career paths, but dealing candidly with the dificult balance between women's personal and professional lives. Brown also shares her own story with her readers, and provides resources designed to both educate and encourage young women to explore chemistry. A great resource for parents and teens.


Conversations With Octavia Butler, Conseula Francis, ed.  Butler (1947-2006)  was one of the most prominent African American women writing contemporary science fiction. In addition to winning Hugo and Nebula awards, she was the first science fiction writer to win a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant. This collection of interviews reveal the wit, humor, and passion for social justice that cropped up so frequently in her novels. In conversations that tackle racism, religion, global warming, and other timely topics, Butler's literary lights--dimmed far too soon--glow both steadily and firmly. 

Digital Discovery: Virtual Chat
You already know you can ask us questions in person and by telephone at 412-622-3114, but did you also know that you can ask reference questions via chat (also known as virtual reference--VR for short)?
CLP's Reference Services Department offers virtual reference service twenty-four hours a day. We share chat responsibilities with Ask Here PA Connect to a Librarian, which staffs chat lines for libraries all over the country and even the UK! So, whether you have a quick question or are burning the midnight oil for a research project, take advantage of our virtual reference services here.
Best of the Web: The Faces of Science
This database grew out of a research project examining educational opportunities for African Americans in the field of chemistry.  The site profiles African Americans in multiple fields of the sciences and is searchable by name or profession.  Also of note are the bibliographic resources and data on advanced degrees earned by African Americans. 
At Your Library: Three Poems By
Join us on Thursday, February 14th, for 3 Poems By, the Main Library's lively poetry discussion group. This month's poet is Marianne Moore, a writer of such stature that we're adding a bonus fourth poem, just to do her justice. Discussions are free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged, but not required. To register, just send an email to to let us know, or call 412.622.3151.
Thanks for reading our inaugural issue! We'll be back next month with more news and information from the largest repository of facts and information in Allegheny County.
Irene, Maria, Naomi, and Leigh Anne
Reference Services - Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main