Let’s read, talk and grow together by collectively reading this year’s Whitehall Reads choice, All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle. It’s the story of the life of Hubert Bird, a Jamaican immigrant living in London, now in his eighties. The novel explores themes of self-imposed isolation, race and racism, and how community can become family. Given what we’ve all experienced over the past couple of years, this novel couldn’t be timelier. Starting July 1st, stop by for a copy of this book. If you come early enough, you may even get a nice surprise to go along with it.

If you loved A Man Called Ove, then prepare to be delighted as Jamaican immigrant Hubert rediscovers the world he’d turned his back on in this “warm, funny” novel (Good Housekeeping)

View a short video of the author introducing his book and thanking the Whitehall community.


As a companion to this year’s Whitehall Reads choice, we have cultivated a special playlist inspired by the main character, Hubert Bird. This upbeat mix of music is sure to kick up rumpus! Click here to listen.


The library will be hosting related programs as well as additional opportunities to learn and explore at home.

Jamaican Me Hungry: A Caribbean Cuisine Sampler

Wednesday, July 13 @ 7:00 PM – Join the library and Pittsburgh’s own Chef Alekka for a taste of the island nation of Jamaica! She’ll prepare a sampling of staple dishes from the region and give us the inside skinny on preparation, ingredients, and other kitchen secrets. Come explore what will surely be a food-lover’s paradise! Register Today!

Everything Irie: A Video Tour of Jamaica

Wednesday, July 27 @ 1:00 PM – Come and take a journey to Jamaica! Inspired by the Caribbean birthplace of the central character in All the Lonely People, we want you to explore the history, sights, and sounds of this beautiful and culturally-rich island nation. To accompany this special screening, we’ll have bite-sized snacks for you to savor the flavor of the region. Register Today!

Thursday August 25 at 6:30pm

Listen Up! An Evening of Stories

Thursday August 25 @ 6:30 pm – Inspired by this year’s Whitehall Reads selection, we’re pleased to host Steel City Storytellers for a special event that shines a spotlight on “telling tales.” Each guest speaker will share a story that reflects authentic experiences based on his life, cover a historical figure, or educate listeners on a particular topic.

We’ll hear about a brilliant scientist who fell in love with a pigeon, confessions of a former Disney World employee, and so much more!

Stories can be humorous, heart wrenching, thrilling or all of the above. We know you’ll have a great time – and that’s our story and we’re sticking to it!

Refreshments will be provided

Service Projects 

Donate to a local Animal Shelter! Gayle’s book is about a self-isolated senior, Hubert Bird, whose only companion is his beloved cat, Puss. As a community service project that ties into our book’s themes, the library will collect donated items for our community’s lonely animals.

Donations will be given to Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh. Suggested donation ideas include:

  • Canned wet pet food (pate preferred) – dog, cat & kitten formulas
  • Dog treats (unopened) – soft training treats, freeze dried treats and jars of peanut butter
  • Cat treats (unopened) – puree squeezable treats, freeze dried treats and canned sardines
  • Rabbit treats (unopened) –Oxbow Simple Rewards and Apple Stick Chews
  • Dog Toys (new or washable), Nylabones, Kongs and Licki Mats
  • Cat Toys (new or washable), wand toys, scratcher pads and food puzzles
  • Rabbit Toys (new or washable)
  • Essential oils (sandalwood, lavender, eucalyptus, vanilla and peppermint)
  • KMR Kitten Milk Replacement and nursing bottle
  • Potty training pads
  • Cleaning supplies: latex gloves, paper towels, trash bags (30 or 55 gallon) and Dawn dishwashing soap
  • Bath towels or hand towels (gently used or new)
  • Newspaper and recycled items: empty egg cartons, toilet paper rolls, tissue boxes and cereal boxes
  • Gift Cards (pet stores and grocery stores)
  • General office supplies (pens, post it notes, large binder clips and copier
Let’s brighten someone’s day!

Share a note or picture with a local senior in assisted living! All the Lonely People is about community members caring for one another, particularly those who are alone.

We will be making opportunities for kids visiting the library to take some time to write a short note and/or draw a picture that we will then deliver to local seniors in assisted living. If you’d like to participate, feel free to drop off a note or a picture. And please feel free to use our template for the note and picture (see above links).