Carnegie Free Library's executive director steps down
The Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall is looking for another new executive director.
Lois Wholey, the library's sole executive director since March 2012, resigned at the board of trustees meeting Jan. 9 in order to take a job as development director for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.
The library formed a search committee shortly thereafter to find Wholey's replacement.
“Hopefully we'll be able to find someone in short order,” said Chris Brussalis, president of the library's board of trustees.
Wholey's departure marks the third by the library's executive director in the past 18 months. Maggie Forbes, who became executive director in 2005 and raised $7.5 million to help restore and renovate the library and music hall, retired in October 2011. Her successor, Diane Klinefelter, retired in March 2012 and now works part-time at the Scott Township Library.
Brussalis said Wholey approached him recently about the offer from the Ballet Theatre, and he urged her to take the job because of the opportunity it presented.
“It's a world-class organization,” Brussalis said.
The executive director at Carnegie Free Library oversees fundraising for restoration and renovations at the library and music hall, which opened in May 1901.
That has been a more difficult job in recent years, as the recession slowed donations at local arts organizations. But Brussalis said Wholey helped to raise more than $200,000 in the last few months of 2012.
“She was phenomenal, and we knew she'd be phenomenal,” Brussalis said. “Talent like that doesn't go unnoticed.”
The past year also saw strained relations between the borough and its library.
Carnegie Borough Council stopped making its monthly payments to the library in April 2012, placing the money in escrow instead. The payments resumed after three months because officials worried the library would start cutting programs, council President Rick D'Loss said.
“For well over a year, we have been concerned with the financial situation of the library,” D'Loss said.
Until a replacement for Wholey is found, Brussalis said the board will help seek donations. Library director Erin Tipping and event coordinator Lynne Cochran also will assume some of Wholey's responsibilities, such as reaching out for donations and sending thank-you notes to contributors.
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-8527 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.