Friday, April 30, 2010

Extra Mile for Libraries

PSO violinist and grassroots activist Susanne Park will tack an extra mile onto the Pittsburgh Marathon course Sunday to raise library funds and awareness. Her efforts are supported by the group "Save Pittsburgh Libraries".

Park’s Lawrenceville Library is one of those threatened with closure in 2011. She says, besides joining her in walking or running the extra mile, people can do a lot to save their libraries by writing to elected officials and board members, volunteering, and letting it be known how important they are. She refers to the saying, "Closing libraries during a recession is like closing hospitals during the plague--it just doesn't make any sense."

The extra mile will end at a statue she calls "Labor Reading" next to the old North Side Library. Sculpted by Daniel Chester French, who also did the statue in Washington D.C.'s Lincoln Memorial, it was presented by Andrew Carnegie in honor of Pittsburgh industrialist Col. James Anderson, in whose personal library Andrew Carnegie educated himself. For more information on the statue can be found at this link.

Park thinks it will be very hard to re-open libraries once they close.

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