Plus, 5 questions with a local library director.
The Incline

💰The Steelers’ “Dracula in cleats” counts his cash

Plus, 5 questions with a local library director.

Welcome to Tuesday!

Today is National Library Workers day, and here at The Incline, we are forever appreciative of our invaluable keepers of knowledge. We spoke with local library director Adaena Tray about what it’s like lending books and servicing her community, how things have changed during the pandemic, and what book she considers required reading for Pittsburghers. Read on for more.

Plus, we have some great resources from our archives about all of the things you can get with your library card, along with tips from a local librarian on 13 Pittsburgh-related books to read during the pandemic. And I recently heard that there’s a new tool you can access with your Carnegie Library card — Creativebug, an online collection of crafting classes. (Keep that in mind for a rainy day.)

In other news: Pennsylvanians in 1B groups can schedule their vaccine, Amtrak is planning new routes in Pa., free mulch for city gardens, local dogs doing great things, and the absurd item from a Steelers hall-of-famer that earned almost 20K at auction.

What Pittsburgh is talking about

Smithfield East End Cemetery | Tag #theinclinepgh to be featured in our Instagram of the Day. (📸: @cemeteriesofpittsburgh)

4 things to know today

💉 Vaccine appointments are opening up to Pennsylvanians in 1B groups, but there are still thousands of people in 1A who have yet to get vaccinated. For many older adults, especially those living alone or in poorer communities, technology and transportation barriers are keeping them from receiving their shots. (90.5 WESA / 90.5 WESA)

🚉 Pennsylvania will see an increase in train service under Amtrak’s new 2035 Vision plan. This tentatively includes a connection to New York City from Scranton and Allentown, a connection to Philadelphia from Reading, a connection from Erie to Detroit, Toronto, and Buffalo, and a connection to Cleveland from Pittsburgh. (Pittsburgh City Paper)

🖌️ Friendship Community Group is accepting proposals for the city’s first-ever Asphalt Art Initiative. The undertaking hopes to create vibrant public spaces that increase intersection safety while also providing a canvas for community artists. Proposals are due next Monday, April 12. (Pittsburgh City Paper)

🌲 Grab your buckets, gloves, and shovels: Nearly 40 tons of recycled Christmas trees have been turned into mulch. City of Pittsburgh residents can get in on the dirt for free from April 10 to May 10. (KDKA-TV)

4 things to make you smile

💰 Who paid nearly $20K for number 58’s denture case? Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Lambert, often called “Dracula in cleats,” had 23 pieces of his memorabilia collectively earn $193,281 over the weekend. The light blue plastic container that held his false teeth during practices and games was among the sold goods. Lambert’s missing teeth became an integral part of the mythology around his tough persona, adding to the mean tackles he made on the field. (TribLIVE)

🐶 Meet Penny, Boone, Carmel, Clover, and Beauty — the five Pittsburgh pups who are nominated for the 2021 American Humane Hero Dog Awards, an annual competition that recognizes “ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things.” (Pittsburgh Magazine)

🎥 Pittsburgh native Michael Keaton made history at this year’s SAG awards. He and his fellow “Trial of the Chicago 7” performers took home the award for Outstanding Performance By a Cast during Sunday’s pre-recorded ceremony. The “Batman” and “The Founder” actor is now the first person to win the award three separate times. (KDKA-TV)

🎶 Spirit in Lawrenceville is coming back to life with Spirit Merch Market this Sunday, April 11. The free outdoor event will feature live music, local vendors, wood-fire pizza, and craft cocktails. Social distancing and masks are required. (Pittsburgh Magazine)

5 questions with library director Adaena Tray

In honor of National Library Workers day, we chatted with Adaena Tray, who has been the director of the Green Tree Public Library for 12 years. When she’s not stocking the shelves, planning events, and managing employees, you can catch her over on Instagram at @endless_hacienda, where she shares her adventures with fixing up a 1924 Craftsman in Oakwood.

What are some of your favorite things about your job?

No two days are the same at the library, and I dabble in a little bit of everything. Today I'm onboarding a new employee and compiling a monthly report of library usage, then tomorrow I'll be launching our new website and promoting upcoming library programs. The stereotype of a librarian passing the hours reading at her desk is far removed from reality. When we opened our doors today, the phone was ringing non-stop by patrons looking to reserve one of our craft kits, and we had a line of patrons wanting to pick up their holds. There's never a dull moment!

Librarians and workers are known as the "keepers of knowledge" and "knowledge creators." What does that role mean to you?

As a librarian, I am more a "connector" of knowledge than a keeper or creator. My job is to connect people with the resources they need. For example, when someone stops in for resume help, we will not write their resume on their behalf. But we are happy to point them in the direction of what they'll need to succeed, whether it's a computer to use, a book on writing resumes or a referral to a resume building class with one of our community partners.

Throughout the month of April, The Incline is featuring sustainable practices and businesses. Tell us about the Kitchen Utensil Lending program at your library.

The Kitchen Tool Lending Library allows cardholders to borrow common kitchen tools and equipment, including an InstantPot, air fryer, cookie cutters, KitchenAid attachments and more. Unfortunately, we've had to suspend the service due to COVID concerns, but we hope to relaunch in the future. Our goal with the lending library is to encourage users to experiment with new gadgets before buying, borrow seldom-used items rather than having to own and store them, create memories and learn new skills through cooking and baking, access tools that might be financially out of reach, and reduce the amount of tools purchased and eventually entering the waste stream.

Favorite book about Pittsburgh or by a Pittsburgh author?

Out of this Furnace” by Thomas Bell should be required reading for all Pittsburghers. Our city was built on the backs of immigrants working in the steel mills, and this book chronicles their struggles.

What's a project you're working on (big or small) and how can The Incline readers help you with it?

During the pandemic, a lot of our users found new ways to fill their time and access resources. We are working hard to win them back. Libraries across Allegheny County could really use your business right now. Dust off your library card, download an eBook, attend a Zoom program, and tell your new neighbor about the local library.

Continue reading the rest of our Q-and-A with Adaena Tray here.

The Incline is powered by you!

Have you been enjoying some of our recent newsletter features? We’ve shared stories of locals like ♻️ Rona Chang, whose Lawrenceville business OTTO FINN turns old quilts into fashion and 🍝 the women of Sprezzatura in Millvale, who are creating meals just like Grandma used to make?

We want to continue telling you about the people making Pittsburgh a better, more inclusive, more sustainable, and more delicious place, but we need your help to make these stories possible. 

Will you kick in $8/month to help us put the spotlight on amazing organizations like these? Get in on the fun and become an Incline Insider today.


🌳 Grab your boots and help clean up Lake Elizabeth in Allegheny Commons Park at "What the Muck?!" with Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (North Side)

🇫🇷 Enjoy a virtual performance by local group Aria412, featuring opera, cabaret, and musical theater pieces celebrating France and French culture (Online)


🌳 Grab your boots and help clean up Lake Elizabeth in Allegheny Commons Park at day two of "What the Muck?!" with Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (North Side)

➡️ Tune in for tips from Pittsburgh's Cancer Caring Center on caregiver education in this workshop designed for cancer survivors and their loved ones (Online)

🗣️ Engage in important dialogue with your neighbors at "Let’s Talk About…Public Safety and Police Reform," with CivicCLP and The Art of Democracy (Online)

🎙️ Kick off the Virtual Pittsburgh Humanities Festival with Jonnet Solomon, who will lead a conversation about the National Negro Opera House and current restoration efforts in Homewood (Online)


🌌 Get lost in the stars with The Frick Pittsburgh’s Dark Skies series highlighting the inspirational characteristics of the night sky via paintings, stories, and the history of Pittsburgh’s illumination in the 19th century (Online)


🐾 Help hundreds of local baby wildlife who are injured or abandoned this spring at a virtual baby shower with Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (Online)

🇿🇦 Explore traditional South African music with singer, music director, composer, and theatrical producer Bongani Magatyana (Online)

🎭 Watch a live streaming of "Miracle in Rwanda," presented by the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh and Prime Stage Theater in honor of Genocide Awareness Month (Online)

One more thing …

With Earth Day just around the corner, I’m going to be bringing you a variety of sustainable and earth-loving stories all throughout April.This is a particular interest of mine year-round, but I thought this month would be the perfect time to start highlighting how the “black and gold” goes green.

— Francesca at The Incline

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