The building's repaired, but where's the library?
The repairs to the library building required by the lightning strike were finished this past summer. Before the library was closed for repairs, the Allegheny Regional Branch was the fifth busiest in the library system, but even though the building has been repaired for over four months, there is no visible effort to reopen it and the North Side remains without library services. Why?
Regardless of whether you want to have the library stay in its historic building or see it move into a new building which has yet to be constructed, the existing facility can and should be reopened now. Even if it should eventually be moved, we should have library services provided again in the meantime.
You can help get the library opened
There are several places that we can make known our desire to have the library reopened.
The RAD Board
First is the Regional Asset District Board which provides the majority of the Carnegie Library's funding. Several people spoke at their last meeting on November 26th to request the Board make sure the library is reopened. One of the board members said that the board's library committee will be inquiring of the library management as to why they aren't re-opening the North Side branch. The next meeting will be in January but you can contact them through their website.
Contact your County Council member and speak before County Council at their next meeting. Council needs to hear from County residents to let them know that we want to have the library reopened now. Council meets on December 4, 2007 at 5pm in the Gold Room of the County Courthouse and again on December 17, 2007. You must sign up no later than the day before each meeting. You can sign up online or call (412) 350-6495.
Call your City Council member and speak before City Council at any of their meetings. You can speak for three minutes during the public comment segment before their regular and committee meetings, usually held at 10am on Tuesdays and Wednesdays respectively. The Tuesday meetings sometimes have proclamations which can take some time, but you don't have to wait until the end of the meeting to speak.
PUBLIC HEARING -- City Council will also be holding a public hearing on the transfer of land from the URA to the library for $1 for a new library building. The hearing will be held at the library in the Hazlett Theater at 5pm on Tuesday, December 18,2007. Please register before hand to speak for 3 minutes by calling (412) 255-2138 and attend the hearing on the North Side to let your feelings be known. If you do not pre-register, if you want to make a comment, you will be given 2 minutes to speak after the registered speakers have spoken.
Call the mayor and let him know you want the library opened.
Volunteer and get involved!
We need to organize speakers and make sure we have a large turnout whenever the hearing is scheduled. We need to research the situation and prepare a presentation that can be used to convince our public officials to reopen the library rather than let us be held hostage by a management which at this point appears to be more intent upon getting a new building than upon providing us with library services.
Some residents have volunteered to help move the library books back into the library. If we can add your name to the list of those who can help, it will give one more reason why the library should be reopened now.
To get involved, please contact us and let us know the best way for us to contact you. Thank you.