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Carnegie Library board approves 2012 operating budget, community meetings


December 27, 2011

During its quarterly meeting on December 12, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Board of Trustees approved the hiring of a new president and director, approved the library's operating budget for 2012 and scheduled a series of community meetings related to its Community Engagement plan.

After an extensive national search, the board unanimously selected Mary Frances Cooper, MLS, a nationally-recognized library leader, as the 11th Director in the 116-year history of the library. She will assume her new post as president and director on January 1, 2012.

The library's 2012 operating budget is benefitting from ongoing efforts to provide more diverse and sustainable funding streams. The library's operating budget of $27,863,200 includes revenue increases to offset the rising costs of operations. Revenue projections include a 2.5 percent increase from the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD), level funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, increased table gaming revenue and a projected $3 million in revenue from the recently passed city Library tax.

In keeping with the Library's ongoing pursuit of the other five funding initiatives, private fundraising support is projected to increase by 26 percent over what was budgeted for 2011.

The library plans to use the revenues to restore some hours of service that were cut in recent years, increase outreach services to neighborhoods and schools, purchase library materials such as books and online resources and pursue ongoing funding initiatives to further diversify and stabilize its funding sources. In addition, some building maintenance which has been deferred due to budget constraints will begin to be addressed, specifically in some of the library's unrenovated branch locations.

A capital grant provided by the Allegheny Regional Asset District will go toward meeting ADA accessibility needs in those unrenovated branches.

"With this 2012 budget, the library is able to respond to what the community has told us they want and need. Residents of our community will have greater access to library services after school and on work days. We'll be able to provide more services, particularly to children, both in our buildings and through outreach. And we'll be able to make the buildings that are not yet renovated at least more accessible and comfortable," said Lou Testoni, chair of the library's Board of Trustees.

Following the budget approval, the Board discussed the ongoing implementation of its Community Engagement plan. A newly designed website section at www. provides detailed information about the about the board, as well as an easy to use regrouping of existing links to comprehensive library information, such as budgets and reports.

The board set dates for its annual public meeting and a series of community meetings that will help to provide information exchanges useful to the Library's long-term planning process. Agendas and details for the meetings will be posted on the website and further announced as the dates approach.

The board's 2012 public meeting schedule is as follows:

Annual Board Public Meeting, Thursday, March 22, 6 -7:30 p.m. at the CLP-Main, Lecture Hall, 4400 Forbes Avenue.

Community Meetings:

Monday, April 23, 6 -7:30 p.m., CLP-Downtown & Business, 612 Smithfield Street;

Tuesday, April 24, 6 -7:30 p.m., CLP-Homewood, 7101 Hamilton Avenue;

Wednesday, April 25, 6 -7:30 p.m., CLP-Knoxville, 400 Brownsville Road;

Tuesday, May 1, 6 -7:30 p.m., CLP-West End, 47 Wabash Avenue;

Wednesday, May 2, 6 -7:30 p.m., CLP-Squirrel Hill, 5801 Forbes Avenue; and,

Thursday, May 3, 6 -7:30 p.m., CLP-Woods Run, 1201 Woods Run Avenue.

@Community members interested in learning more about Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Board of Trustees may view information online at http://www.carnegie


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