@ the library

Librarian standing among the book stacks.
Jane Millard, Mt. Lebanon Public Library’s senior services librarian. /Photo: Elizabeth Hruby McCabe.

NEW AT THE LIBRARY Jane Millard is Mt. Lebanon Public Library’s senior services librarian, filling the vacancy left by retired librarian Laurie Schultz. Millard is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and has experience working at Point Park University Library, Duquesne University Library, and Shaler North Hills Library.

Millard will be stationed at the library’s reference desk for 12 hours a week, and will spend the balance of her time working on programming and outreach for senior patrons. One thing she is focusing on now is finding ways  to better serve homebound patrons.

With an undergraduate background in psychology and communication, Millard, who lives in Bloomfield, first considered a career in therapy or social work, but thought the work might prove to be too confining for someone with a wide range of interests, including music—she hosted a radio show at Pitt—and photography. Whatever her choice, she knew she wanted to be in a position to help people.

“I’m a preacher’s kid,” she said with a smile. “I’ve always had a service mindset.”

Although her mother, Jill, is a librarian, Millard didn’t really consider that as a career until she worked as a nanny for a couple of years and loved taking her charges to libraries.

“It was always such a safe and comfortable space,” she said, “and I realize not everyone feels that way, and I’d like to change that. The library is a great, free third space (a space outside of work and home) where you can do so much, and have zero obligation to pay anything.”

A cup of cocoa with marshmallows in a cozy homely atmosphere on the windowsill.
Come to the library on Saturday, November 18 , and swim in a flood of books. Metaphorically.

THE CHRISTMAS BOOK FLOOD On Christmas Eve in Iceland, it is a long-standing tradition for people to give and receive books. This is called Jolabokaflod, Icelandic for “Christmas book flood.” It’s a tradition that dates back to World War II, when just about everything in the country was rationed, except for paper.

Once you receive your Jolabokaflod books, you may then progress into a state of hygge, Danish for “a quality of coziness that engenders a feeling of contentment,” or possibly even kalsarikannit, Finnish for “hygge but also drunk at home in your underwear.”

Mt. Lebanon Public Library wants to make this happen for you. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, November 18, the flod-gates will open and pour out a winter wonderland of crafts, music, treats, merchandise, and, of course, books.

The Friends of Mt. Lebanon Public Library will hold their annual holiday book sale in Room A.  All year long, Book Cellar volunteers set aside gift-worthy books for Jolabokaflod. Shoppers will find all genres represented—from cookbooks and coffee table books to fiction and biographies. Susan Tracey, Friends president, says the children’s collection is particularly good this year.

Go next door to Room B for cookies, hot cocoa, library swag, book wreaths, and tickets for raffle prizes.

Outside, along the driveway, local artists and crafters will sell unique handmade goods, including paper art, felted items, pottery, and more. The warming room and the craft tables will shut down at 3.

Upstairs in the library, enjoy the music of singer-songwriter Amy Melissen and the Quartz String Quartet. Amy is known for her hauntingly honest lyrics and varied guitar styles, while the Quartz String Quartet performs an extensive repertoire of classical music. Bands will perform throughout the day in the adult section of the library. Check the library’s online calendar, for times.

Over in the children’s library, kids can create a gift notebook or a wintertime luminaria. Rachel Blier will be in costume to weave some wintertime Nordic folktales. In the Learning Lab, Katie Donahoe will have a Yule Lad apple doll making craft for teens. These dolls are modeled after the Icelandic Yule Lads—traditional mischievous gnomes that make a mess of your home if you don’t leave them gifts in the days leading up to Yule. In addition, there will be a traditional yule cat statue in the Teen Space where people can hang their wishes for the New Year on origami snowflakes. This year’s crafters are:

Beth Hedin – weaving

Jen Scheib – crafts

Kitty Spangler – paper arts

Jude Ernest – felting

Amelia Kieras – paper arts

Karen McKee – pottery

Linda Sloan – pottery

Library sales table

Amanda DeKnight – paper quilling





Visit the library in November for all things Dinosaur. Dino toys, books, Find the Dino scavenger hunt, Dino I Spy tank, and a Dino themed STEM Box to play with in the library.

Jolabokaflod in the Kid’s Library

Make your own book, create a luminaria, and hear some tales about Elves to celebrate this Icelandic holiday. Saturday, November 18. Check our website for times and registration.

Family Sing-Along

Get the family together and clap, sing & dance along with Mt. Lebanon musician extraordinaire, Margaret Hooton. Fun for the whole family. For kids ages 3 and up and family. Register online. Friday, November 24, 11 a.m.



Talk It Out Mental Health Meetups (6th Grade & Up)

Join Maggie from Outreach Teen & Family Services for Mental Health Mondays, an informative, interactive mental health & resiliency workshop. Attend one or the entire series! Snacks and drinks provided. November 6, 13, 20

Creation Station With Kai! (6th grade and  up)

Find inspiration and creativity in the everyday by exploring art journaling with Kai. A mix between creating moodboards and a diary, with all crafting materials provided! November 8, 9, 15, 16

Teen Tea Club (6th Grade and up)

Enjoy an assortment of seasonal teas, with a small tea-themed trinket, once a month in this take-home event!
November 7

Talking Comics Book Club (6th Grade and up)

Talking Comics is a monthly graphic novel book club for middle and high school students, with an accompanying craft project. November 14



Discovering a Family History: From the Famous and Heroic to the Infamous and Notorious

About 15 years ago, Carleton Young was clearing out his parents’ attic in Pittsburgh and was surprised to discover an enormous collection of letters written by two brothers during the Civil War. He then spent more than a decade visiting battlefields and researching the two soldiers. His research resulted in a book, Voices From the Attic: The Williamstown Boys in the Civil War, and also revealed some surprises, including family connections to Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Ulysses S. Grant, Paul Revere, and many other famous Americans. He also found that along with the famous and heroic, there were family connections to a few infamous rogues and murderers as well.
7 p.m., Thursday, November 9

Speaker Series

Michael Pollan will be the featured author for next year’s Annual Speaker Series. Pollan is the author of several New York Times bestsellers, including The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, which was named one of the 10 best books of 2006 by both the New York Times and the Washington Post, and won the California Book Award, the James Beard Award for best food writing, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

At 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 1, 2024, Pollan will discuss his books in the Mellon Middle School auditorium. Tickets, which go on sale November 1, are $25. Pollan’s books will be available to purchase at the lecture from City Books and Pollan will sign books after the talk.

The Mt. Lebanon Public Library’s Speaker Series was created in honor of Joe Wertheim, a long-time resident of Mt. Lebanon who served for many years on both the Friends of Mt. Lebanon Library and the library boards.