Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced today that he will be holding a community meeting at 11 a.m., Sat., Oct. 24 at St. Mary's Lower Lyceum located at 321 45th Street in Lawrenceville in order to hear residents' concerns regarding the impact posed by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's board's decision to close four City libraries.
The Mayor has invited the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Board of Trustees, as well as Director Barbara Mistick to the meeting.
"I have spoken with residents from all impacted communities and have answered as many questions as I can in regard to the board's decisions," Ravenstahl said. "Residents deserve to have all of their questions answered concerning these very unfortunate circumstances."
The City of Pittsburgh is supportive of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and acknowledges the value the library offers our residents for both personal and professional development. The City has long been a financial supporter of the library. From 1895 to 1995, the City was the library's primary financial supporter.
In 1995, the Regional Asset District system (RAD) was formed to support library, parks, and cultural programs through proceeds from a portion of the Allegheny County sales tax. Of that funding, from City and County tax payers, the library received $17.6 million for their budget in 2009, and is currently slated to receive the same in 2010. The City contributes an additional $40,000 from our operating budget to the library system each year.
"During these difficult economic times, government, businesses and nonprofits alike must find ways to do more with less," Ravenstahl said. "In response to the library board's decision to reduce staff, library hours, increase fines and close and merge branches, I have called for an independent audit of the library by RAD and have asked that all libraries remain open until that audit is complete. It is important that the community understands how library dollars are spent in order to figure out the best way to keep the libraries open."
Monday, October 19, 2009
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Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687