MACMLA 2013 Social Butterfly

Post written by Caitlin Pike, a recent library school graduate from North Carolina Central University and this year’s MAC Scholar Award winner.

Caitlin Pike is a recent library school graduate from North Carolina Central University, and is this year’s MAC Scholar Award winner

Caitlin Pike

Before I get into the great things I accomplished “off the schedule”, let me tell you a few things I learned while in Pittsburgh:

  1. I can now conclusively say that, in my humble opinion, french fries and slaw do not belong together on a sandwich.  (Primanti Brothers is still worth a stop for the experience and the people-watching!)
  2. They really, really like their zombies. The whole city was overrun on Saturday! (I ended up at a zombie-themed variety show. I’m pretty sure I was the only person not in costume, though had I known, a zombie librarian would have made a nice addition.)
  3. The regional dialect really takes some getting used to for a Southern girl. (Yinz, jag around, redd up…my head was spinning by the second day!)

These things are important because they set the scene for the rest of my trip. I knew Primanti Brothers was going to be a tourist nightmare, but luckily it wasn’t a tourist trap. The zombies made me understand that Pittsburgh doesn’t take itself too seriously (which is always a good thing when you’re new to town), and the accent helped me identify the locals. While I greatly enjoy the engaging speakers, browsing the poster hall, and talking shop with vendors (because apparently they aren’t just there for the free stuff?!), I enjoyed exploring downtown for all its post-industrial charm.

I caught a college football game at Redbeard’s, and discovered that most Pitt fans didn’t want to join the Atlantic Coast Conference any more than we wanted to have them. I had grand plans of winning the Scavenger Hunt, but I only managed one measly photo of the Heinz Museum before I knew I’d never have time to finish. On Sunday, I signed up for a random Dine-Around that turned out to be one of the highlights of my trip. We went to Lidia’s in the Strip District, and enjoyed a true Italian experience, complete with pasta, prosecco, and prosciutto! For almost three hours, our large group talked, laughed, and learned about over some of the best food I’ve had in a long time. If you get to Pittsburgh, be sure to check it out! Unfortunately, as always, there were a few things I missed….I never did make it to the big rubber duck (but since I heard it was just that, I wasn’t too disappointed), the Carnegie Library, or Mount Washington, but I always like to leave a few things undone. That way, the next time MAC comes to Pittsburgh, I’ll still have something new to do.

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Caitlin Pike is a recent library school graduate from North Carolina Central University, and is this year’s MAC Scholar Award winner. She is currently  employed by CenterScope Technologies as a Library Fellow at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, NC. Her career interests include medical and embedded librarianship, continuing education, and integrated technology. In her time outside the stacks, she enjoys traveling to foreign lands, Boston Terriers, and coming up with ideas for (but not actually working on) the next great American novel.

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