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Regional Asset District seeks special audit of Carnegie Library

| Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2009, 12:00 p.m.

The Allegheny Regional Asset District is asking a special auditor to examine how the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh chose the branches it wants to close, how much money that would save and how the pay of Carnegie Library President Barbara K. Mistick compares with directors of similar-size systems.

Those are among 10 tasks outlined in a request for proposal released this morning by RAD. The district's board approved a special audit Oct. 21 in response to a request from Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

The mayor called for the audit after the Carnegie's board voted Oct. 5 to close the Allegheny Depository and branches in Beechview, Hazelwood, the West End and Lawrenceville, merge the Carrick and Knoxville branches and move the Mt. Washington branch from Grandview to Virginia Avenue.

"The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh said they used a study they have as yet not released," said RAD Executive Director David Donahoe. "The issue that has been raised by people is why these branches."

Among the criteria used in selecting branches, Carnegie Library spokeswoman Suzanne Thinnnes said, were the closness to other libraries, access to public transportation, outreach efforts and the condition of the buildings.

Firms interested in doing the audit must respond by Nov. 10. The special auditor must complete the report by the end of March 2010.

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