The President and Director of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has told the Library's Board of Trustees that she will be leaving at the end of her contract. Dr. Barbara K. Mistick’s existing agreement with the Library expires on May 31, 2011. She has held the post since June 1, 2005.
"It has been an exhilarating experience,” says Mistick. During her time at the helm the library had to deal with funding shortfalls and library closings. Both issues remain unresolved. A budget for 2011 has been set that does not close any branches. “It seems like now is a good time to leave to let in some new energy,” says Mistick.
Mistick says she did not really known what she was getting into when she took the post. “The community had gotten to the point where we took the library for granted. We assumed that the library was always going to be here. I’m not sure I fully appreciated how much of a challenge it would be to find operational funding long term,” says Mistick.
Mistick is not saying what she will do after she leaves the board but she says she will be very involved until her departure. “I will continue to work closely with our board and management team during the final months of my tenure to facilitate a smooth transition of leadership.” She says she thinks the board will be able to find a replacement but she would not speculate on whom it might be or if the board would look within the current list of employees.
In the meantime Mistick says funding will continue to be an issue, “[D]uring this period I will continue to advocate for and seek new sources of sustainable funding for our great library system.”
I a written statement Carnegie Library Board of Trustees Chair Jacqui Fiske Lazo says, “Barbara Mistick has made many contributions to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh since her appointment in 2005. Despite the relatively poor economic environment during her tenure, Barbara and her entire team have performed incredibly well in terms of serving a growing population of library users and creating a model for a state-of-the-art library system. On behalf of our entire board, we appreciate Barbara’s commitment, particularly for achieving excellent results in securing capital and operating funding and for effectively managing those resources to operate the system.”
Mistick is looking at what she hopes will be her legacy, “People have come to a greater understanding that the public funding is not enough for the library and I think we have started to build a culture of support and I hope that is a legacy that will continue for the library system.”