Officials: New tax provided boost to Carnegie library system
Four years since they considered closing branches to save money, officials with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh said they are expanding hours across the system and renovating branches once slated to shut.
Library officials gave an update on the projects on Wednesday night at a community forum in the North Side branch.
A second community meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the South Side branch on East Carson Street.
Mary Frances Cooper, president and director of the Carnegie system, said the .25-mill library tax voters approved in 2011 is boosting operations.
The tax brought in $3 million last year and is on track to bring in $3.9 million this year, Cooper said. The revenue has helped finance efforts to provide more outreach to preschools, the addition of laptops and dedicated teen services in libraries, she said.
It also helped fund longer hours, increasing total operating hours in the system's 18 branches from 748.5 hours a week in 2011 to 945.5 hours a week this year.
The library system's $29.6 million budget is funded largely through a combination of revenue from the Allegheny County Regional Asset District, which accounted for $19.1 million this year, $3.9 million from the library tax and a $3.3 million state subsidy.
Cooper said the library is weighing a campaign to grow its $12 million endowment.
She said the West End Branch will close in mid-October to begin renovations that will include the installation of an elevator and air conditioning.
At the same time, renovations will continue on a former bank building that will house the Hazelwood branch once work is done this spring.
“It's bigger, it's going to double our space, and the Heinz Endowments is picking up a lot of the costs. We expect it will be finished, and we'll move in the spring, and we don't need to close in the meantime,” Cooper said.
Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 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.
- In Pittsburgh charges, feds target Uganda-based counterfeiting ring
- Pittsburgh Public Schools adopts no-tax-increase budget for 2015
- Inspections will force Liberty Bridge lane closures on Friday
- Pennsylvania constables need oversight to reduce problems, officials say
- Portion of Baum Boulevard closed after bricks fall from building
- Pittsburgh student jailed after striking school police officer
- PennDOT to begin changing Glenbury Street Friday, part of Route 51/ 88 intersection rehab
- Newsmaker: Enrique Mu
- DA: Fired Century III Mall manager stole $51K
- Bloodhounds tracked suspects who robbed Citizens Bank on East Carson Street
- Penguins player might have exposed Children’s Hospital patients to mumps