Friday, August 6, 2010

Carnegie Library Updates Community

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has released a community update on its uncertain financial health.

Library spokeswoman Suzanne Thinnes says community meetings this summer have centered on several different funding scenarios.

“What would happen if we have adequate funding to continue or to expand library service, what would that look like? What would it look like if library funding remains the same for the next several years, and what would happen if, unfortunately, library funding would be cut? What services would our customers like to see more of? What [do] they value?”

The library’s website says it has lost about $2 million in state aid since 2009, reflecting an ongoing downturn in state library funding. That contributed to a dismal budget outlook that prompted the Library Board to announce closures, consolidations, and fine increases last year. Those plans are on hold until January, due to stopgap funding from the City of Pittsburgh.

The Library has also applied for almost 10% more funding from the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) and will present its case to the RAD Board August 24. If the increase is approved, total RAD support would jump to more than $19 million.

Thinnes says the Library’s Public Private Task Force will release a report on its efforts to find sustainable funding within the next several months.

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