West End branch of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh closes until spring for renovations
Nora Bolla has been a faithful patron of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's West End branch for decades, since she was a child, and regularly brings clients from the social-service agency where she works to the library.
“She teaches me a lot here, how to get along in life,” said Karen Charles, 54, of the North Side, a client at Independence Professionals in Butler. “I'll miss it.”
It'll only be a temporary absence, however, because the 114-year-old library, which shut its doors Saturday, will reopen in the spring. It's undergoing renovations to add air conditioning and an elevator and to replace the slate roof, windows, heating and lighting systems.
Several times within the last year, the library closed on summer days because of heat.
Branch manager Mark Lee said the money will be well spent, as circulation of materials is on the rise, as is the number of visitors. Last year was its busiest in a decade and came three years after the branch was slated to close, but spared as a result of a public backlash.
“You worry about technology (making the library obsolete), but when you're a community asset, it doesn't matter,” Lee said.
The renovations will be paid for through the library's capital campaign funds, Lee said. An estimate was not available Saturday.
Lee said more than 36,000 people visited the branch in 2012. Through August, this year's traffic is up 12 percent over the same period last year.
“They've really built a strong community here,” said India Adams, 36, of the West End, a mother of four.
Patrons can pick up ordered items or return materials at the adjacent Library Support Center, 50 Alexander St., from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays.
Staff will conduct children's story times on Tuesday mornings at the nearby Pittsburgh Musical Theatre building at South Main and Sanctus streets.
The West Pittsburgh History Club will meet at the theater building, and the library's Wise Walk program will meet at the Green Tree Park Walking Trail or the library support center meeting room if the weather is bad.
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- 2014 has been among deadliest for the world’s airline industry
- Residents, search panel refine sketch of Pittsburgh police chief
- Pittsburgh police officers reprimanded in Banksville restaurant robbery
- Newsmaker: Charles H. “Chip” Dougherty Jr.
- Kaufman Foundation awards research grants to schools, including Pitt, CMU
- $24M water filter project at Aspinwall treatment plant nears kickoff
- Hydro Green Energy wants to build hydroelectric plant on Monongahela River
- Newsmakers: Miriam Klein, Amy Kerr
- Moon Area board reconfigures elementary buildings, votes again to close school and explore merging with Cornell
- 1 intruder killed, other shot and wounded in Carrick home invasion
- Fitzgerald stacks legislative wins as Allegheny council members struggle