Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Board of Trustees heard committee reports and approved related action items at its regular meeting.
Committees reported on their assigned tasks related to the multi-pronged long term funding solution proposed by the Joint Committee on Sustainable Funding and approved by the board in January. The plan contains two primary strategies and six specific tactics, which provide a funding solution that is shared by all aspects of the community:
1. Protect and grow current library funding:
a) Improve advocacy and increase individual giving by building a culture of library supporters.
b) Secure annual increases from the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD).
c) Secure increases in corporate contributions.
d) Work with local/state entities to develop tax incentive programs for corporate and individual donors.
2. Initiate new funding streams:
a) Provide the citizens of Pittsburgh an opportunity to vote on whether dedicated funding support should be provided to the library.
b) Launch a library endowment campaign.
Together, these recommendations have the potential to provide Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh with an additional $5 to $7 million annually. Some actions are likely to begin this year, with others taking place throughout the course of the next two years.
Among the first steps, the board approved the Carey Group as consultants to work with the Joint Committee on Sustainable Funding, staff and board on a potential voter initiative for library funding. Patrick Millham and Kevin Kinross of the Carey Group will begin to meet with library and community groups to explore the possibility of an initiative.
As part of the library's multi-pronged funding strategy to focus on operating support for libraries, board and staff representatives of both Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the Free Library of Philadelphia met with state elected officials during a Legislative Breakfast in Harrisburg. During the breakfast participants discussed the critical need for ongoing State funding and begin a dialog with State elected officials about funding important tax incentive programs for library donors.
During the meeting, the board's Committee on Trusteeship announced the appointment of seven community committee members who will serve one-year terms on board committees. Representing a cross-section of neighborhoods, these committee members will help the board better engage the community in the decision making and work of the library; provide an ongoing dialog with the community and increase diversity on the committees.
Committee members include:
• Heather Benedict Terrell, Development Committee, lawyer and published author, Sewickley;
• Constance Horton, External Relations Committee, executive director, Fund for Advancement of Minorities through Education (FAME), Penn Hills;
• Andrew Lang, Facilities Committee, architect, Development Manager at Oxford Development, South Side;
• Diane Powell, Development Committee, president, DBP Consulting Firm, Brookline;
• Sally Rifugiato, Finance Committee, principal, Pittsburgh Beechwood School, Squirrel Hill;
• Janera Solomon, External Relations Committee, executive director, Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Highland Park;
• Maureen Young, External Relations Committee, community volunteer, Oakland.
In reviewing capital projects, the board also approved the ongoing process of a potential merger of CLP-Carrick and CLP-Knoxville. Another community meeting is set for Saturday, March 19 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. at the Temple Baptist Church on Brownsville Road to continue the discussion about the potential merger and ongoing library services for the Hilltop communities.