Monday, December 14, 2009
The Carnegie Library's Board of Trustees has decided to delay the closing of any library branches for a year and not reduce library hours as originally planned. The board said it was able to cover a $1.5 million budget gap as a result of increased fees and fines, voluntary employee retirements of ten employees and increased revenue from the city of Pittsburgh. At a public hearing today before the meeting library users asked the board to keep the libraries open and allow for board meetings to be public. One speaker, David Tessitor, announced that he had filed a lawsuit against the board of trustees in common pleas court for not allowing the public to attend its meetings. State Senator and member of the board Jay Costa said a board committee will consider whether or not to open its meetings to the public and will have a recommendation for the entire board by February. Barbara Mistick, President of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh said while it is good that they have been able to close the budget shortfall more revenue sources will be needed for next year and the future to avoid closings and hour reductions. Costa said that he anticipates increased state funding as a result of a better economy and the addition of revenue as part of an amendment that was added to the table games legislation currently in the State House of Representatives.