Thursday, November 12, 2009
A group of elected officials are calling on the Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh to be more forthcoming with its budget numbers. State Representative Chelsa Wagner was joined by several current and future Pittsburgh City Council members this morning in calling for the library system to detail how much money will be saved by closing each of the four libraries slated to be shuttered in the coming year. Wagner says the library told her that the data she was seeking is not available. She wonders how the board can know that closing the branches will balance the budget if that data is not available. Says she wants her questions answered before more state or local money is allocated to the libraries. All of the elected officials signed a petition asking the board of the library to not only provide that data but to also hold a forum for patrons to give input, a forum for elected official to give input and to holds its December 14th board meeting at the city council chambers. The Carnegie libraries did hold input sessions over the summer but Wagner says there is no evidence that any of the suggestions were implemented. She also notes that when those meetings were held there was no mention of closing the four branches. The petition also calls for the branches to be left open.