The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh says its efforts to find new sources of funding have been paying off with a list of new grants. The library is facing multi-million dollar deficits as it begins to build its 2011 budget. Two of the grants will help the library preserve its Heritage collection. The collection is currently housed in the Allegheny Depository on the Northside and is in the process of being moved to the East Liberty branch, which is being renovated. The Eichleay Foundation has provided a $15,000 grant to support the relocation. An Anonymous donor has pledged $250,000 toward the purchase of compact shelving and additional materials to support this project. That grant was issued as a challenge grant that must be matched by August 2010. Library spokesperson Suzanne Thinnes says the library has always had good luck matching such grants with private donations. The Heritage Collection includes more than 150,000 volumes, including many unique historic reference items that preserve the heritage of the Western Pennsylvania region. Among the documents are government documents and histories, Civil War materials, rare print editions of local newspapers and journals, various directories, oversized maps, art folios, sciences and social sciences serial titles, and state and US reference volumes. Some date back to the 1600’s.
In addition to those two grants, the Laurel Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to support the Library’s Basic Computer Training Lab. He funds will be used to offer free classes. The library has also landed a PA Conservation Grant Works provided for capital needs at the East Liberty branch. The $224,500 grant will be used to add energy efficient features to the building including upgrades to the building’s roof, walls and windows. The walls will be super-insulated with a combination of rigid and batt insulation. The existing windows will be replaced with high performance thermally broken low-e insulated glass, which allows for environmental and energy benefits. The building is expected to reopen this fall.