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Civic Impact

Carnegie Library wants you to help decide its future

As the Carnegie Library system continues grappling with budget realities, the organization is encouraging Pittsburghers to chime in with opinions and ideas. Last weekend, the Carnegie hosted the first in an ongoing series of "community workshops" to "discuss what can be done to ensure that Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh remains operationally and financially healthy."

The turnout was good, says communications manager Suzanne Thinnes, and there are plenty of additional opportunities to have your voice heard. More workshops will take place over the next six months, and Pittsburghers are invited to join the discussion via the Library's website.

"People can weigh in on topics, and we have a discussion guide online," Thinnes says. "We would love as much feedback as we can get."

"As we saw with the community last year, they have a very strong voice and strong opinions and we want to make sure we capture that," she says. "People grew up with these buildings," and the library occupies an important place in their lives. "We want to be educating them about the Library's situation, and then also hearing from public about what they want and what their suggestions are."

Information and ideas gathered during these live and virtual discussions will be compiled into one document, "which we'll put together and send out online." Information about the Library's finances will be included, "so there won't be any surprises about finances toward the end of the year."

Then Part Two begins: testing the ideas and working to achieve long-term financial health for the Library.

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Writer: Melissa Rayworth
Source: Suzanne Thinnes/Maggie McFalls, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Image courtesy of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
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