Library in Financial trouble Andrew Carnegie Free Library of Carnegie Director, Mary Malysko, is leaving for another job.(Joe Appel/Tribune-Review photo) By Carolyn Fitzwilliam TRIBUNE-REVIEW The Andrew Carnegie Free Library in Carnegie will close for three weeks beginning Dec. 20 as trustees try to keep the struggling library afloat financially. The library is scheduled to reopen Jan. 10, though without library director Mary Malysko, who is leaving Dec. 13 to take another library job in Pittsburgh. She declined to be more specific. Malysko, who has been the director for 5 years, said her decision is not directly related to the financial instability of the library, but it was a factor. "Not knowing if you are going to have a job next week ... not knowing if you are going to be paid ... it's stressful," she said. "But I do love this place." It is the first time in several years the nearly 100-year-old library has closed its doors for an extended period, according to Betsy Martin, president of the library's board of trustees. "We've closed in the summer before, but this will save us more money," she said. The library also was closed for a "few months" in the late 1980s, and Martin said the last summer closure may have been around the same time. Robert Valeriano, library treasurer, said the trustees are hoping to save between $5,000 and $6,000 by closing for three weeks. The move will not solve the financial difficulties that have existed for years and have been a political flashpoint between trustees and borough council, however. The trustees claim the borough must offer more help. "It all hinges on how much money we get from the borough," Martin said. The borough, which gave $5,000 this year, said it is doing all it can. As much as $25,000 may be available from the borough next year. However, council members want to see some changes in the way the building is managed. "Council does not want to see the library close," council President Larry Harkovich said. "But I don't know if (our help) is just a Band-Aid. What's going to happen in March, April or next November?" It costs about $8,000 a month to operate the library, including utilities and payroll. The library owes more than $3,000 in overdue bills now and is facing two more payrolls totaling more than $4,000 before it closes Dec. 20. Most of the money the library uses comes from the state, Regional Asset District and contributions. Martin said the $25,000 "would help us tremendously," and probably would be enough to sustain the library throughout next year. A special advisory board also is working to secure large grants for capital improvements, but those may be a long time in coming. The financial troubles aren't likely to make it easy to find a replacement for Malysko. "Under these circumstances, it's going to be very awkward," Martin said. "But this is good for Mary. We can't afford to pay her enough." Return to News ... This search section will enable you to find specific information on the TRIButaries Internet edition of the Tribune-Review. Search: Help