Library reopening pushed back
Reopening has been delayed for the West Newton Library, which will now be led by an independent board.
Aaron Nelson, a new board member, said cooperation from the borough, the former library board under the West Newton Woman's Club and Westmoreland Library Network is necessary to move plans forward.
“It's kind of like we're going around in circles right now, waiting for these pieces to pop into place,” he said.
The library closed on May 30. The Woman's Club had operated it since 1939.
Borough council decided to have utilities shut off at the 124 N. Water St. building, which has housed the library since 1980. The locks will be changed.
The board is working with the borough's accountants to obtain a tax-exempt, or 501(c)3, designation, Nelson said.
“We can't even really fund-raise to help with the building until we get that 501(c)3 in,” he said.
The new board is formulating an action plan to raise money, Nelson said.
Building inspector Mike Stack reviewed the structure Thursday and plans to issue a report to council, said Councilman Chris Luikart.
New library board President Cheryl Russell, Secretary Marlene Yurkovich and a few of the new board members attended last week's borough council meeting.
Representatives from both boards and interim library network Director Nancy Gresko discussed it a council work session, said former library board President Alma “Sis” Brozak.
The Woman's Club wants the network to approve the action plan before transferring any legal documents to the new board.
“It's up to them. We're done, we told them we're done,” Brozak said. “ ... We're willing to work with them, but they need to be approved (by the network).”
In April, the Woman's Club announced that it would no longer run the library and agreed to transfer the library's nonprofit status.
Luikart said those plans changed, so now the new group has to seek tax-exempt status under a new organization name.
Nelson said the 2011 budget provided by the Woman's Club set monthly expenses at about $2,000. That could be trimmed by $500 if new book acquisitions are cut.
“Basically if we don't get (network) approval, all this is down there is going to be a reading room. It cannot function as a normal library without their backing,” he said.
The network will use the budget plan to ensure its resources will be properly used and the organization is sustainable, Nelson said.
Gresko said the network board must approve the six-month plan for the library to join the network.
“They can open at any point in time, they can just be a library independent of us,” she said.
Network computer software, a library barcode card scanner and a credit card machine were returned to the network, Luikart said.
It would be difficult for the library to have to revert to hand-stamped cards and a separate user database and then switch back to the computer system if accepted to the network, he said.
“We're not going to revamp the system and turn around and do it again ... but we're going to do it right, if it takes three or four months, it takes three or four months,” Luikart said.
Council members may call a special meeting to approve the plan once word is received on the tax status.
Russell said the library's summer reading program, which attracted an average of 50 children each week, is a testament to its continued relevance.
Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Jerome Bettis to be enshrined in hall of fame
- Tennessee quarterback Peterman considers transfer to Pitt
- Suggestions are aplenty on what Penguins need to break through
- Westmoreland museum spotlights artist John Kane’s late-in-life fame
- Pitt upsets No. 8 Notre Dame to snap losing streak
- Starkey: Pitt needs this version of James Robinson
- Gulls fleeing frozen Great Lakes fill skies over Pittsburgh’s Point
- City crews getting ready for winter storm expected Sunday, Monday
- Penguins minor league notebook: Rookie Wilson emerges as 3rd-line NHL prospect
- Rossi: History beckons for Seattle’s Seahawks
- Familiar Downtown Pittsburgh presence lost arm, leg to train