Now that nearly 11,000 petitions have been submitted to Pittsburgh City Council, Our Library, Our Future continues to gain momentum as community members across the city find ways to voice their support and spread the word about the need to provide financial support for Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
Last month, nearly 100 supporters gathered in front of Pittsburgh City Council chambers to deliver more than three times the number of signatures required to put a measure on the November 2011 ballot; and now, supporters are encouraging others to get behind the movement by pledging to vote yes on the ballot question.
In anticipation of the upcoming election, supporters are formally asking city voters to vote yes by putting pen to paper on Pledge Cards. Our Library, Our Future will mail the pledge cards back to the signers as election-day reminders to make sure voters get out to the polls and vote in support of the library.
But Our Library, Our Future isn't just about petitions and pledge cards. As summer comes to a close, library supporters will have the opportunity to escape the August heat at "Lemonade for Libraries," a small-scale Our Library, Our Future fundraiser, where volunteers will provide glasses of lemonade to library customers who make donations to the initiative at branches across the city. Lemonade for Libraries will take place at CLP – Homewood on Saturday, Aug. 20 from 1-3 p.m., CLP - Downtown and Business on Tuesday, Aug, 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and online at the "virtual lemonade stand," https://support.carnegielibrary.org/ourlibraryourfuture, through August 28. For more information on dates and times, visit www.ourlibraryourfuture.org.
"The amount of community support we've experienced over the last few months is overwhelming," said Mary Francis Cooper, deputy director of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. "The library plays such an important role for the City of Pittsburgh, and it's gratifying to see that so many supporters feel the same way."
When the Digital Bookmobile rolled into town, it was clear how supporters truly valued the library and its many services. The 21
st century bookmobile invited readers of all ages to experience ebooks, audiobooks and video downloads inside a 74-foot, high-tech tractor-trailer—and provided an opportunity for community members to take full-advantage of the many critical services the library provides.
In addition to providing free digital services like computer and Internet access, the library also provides early learning programs for children and families and job search assistance for low-income individuals. As Election Day approaches, supporters will help raise awareness about the need to provide funding for these vital services.
The Our Library, Our Future voter initiative is just one of six solutions recommended by the Public-Private Task Force on Sustainable Library Funding to provide Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh with the diverse and sustained funding it needs. The library is already moving forward on initiatives that will protect and grow current library funding and initiate new funding streams. These measures include increasing donations from individuals, increasing corporate giving, obtaining increases from RAD, working to provide tax incentives for donations, and launching an endowment campaign.