The Plight of our Libraries!
The big question is – where did we go wrong? Where did we mishandle our priorities? It is a long-standing truism that our library system – free to all – has enriched the lives of virtually everyone who has grown up in
With foresight, the Carnegie Library system here in Pittsburgh has moved with the times and has brought the libraries into the internet age, offering all of the technological advances that exist…in addition to making available to all the many library services they have always provided.
What wonderful opportunities libraries offer…but now, with many financial cutbacks…they have fallen on hard times!
When Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie launched his plan to provide library service for everyone, he did so by providing the buildings and facilities, but there was the stipulation that the community would assume the responsibility of providing proper maintenance of the libraries. The city has done just that since the first libraries were established.
Now we’re in a dilemma. Over the past few years the city has seen fit to advance funds – millions and millions of dollars – to build new sports and gambling palaces, while our libraries are suffering from lack of funds. Does this make any sense at all?
Remember when proponents of those gambling facilities assured us that they would solve all of our problems – eliminate property taxes and alleviate many of our financial problems? So much for the “pie-in-the-sky” fantasy!
We are now facing a 20% cut in state public libraries subsidies, meaning our libraries would suffer an estimated loss of $15 million. This has prompted the local library board to close four branches, merge two others, eliminate 30 positions, and cut operating hours. How sad!
While the hard times for libraries are being felt throughout the state, we are faced with our own problems here in
Robert W. Dickey
Broadcast: October 23, 24, 25, 2009
THANK YOU FOR THIS THOUGHTFUL AND IMPORTANT EDITORIAL. I HOPE MANY PEOPLE HEARD, LISTENED, AND WERE CONVINCED.-KAREN, HAMPTON
In a report by the state recovery coordinators, responsible for guiding the city governments financial comeback, is recommending Pittsburgh exit distressed status under state Act 47 designed to help struggling municipalities steady their finances. The guidance comes after Mayor Peduto's announcement that he would seek to remove the designation by early 2018. The report said "The city has strategies in place to address its primary legacy costs — employee pensions, retired employee health care and workers' compensation — while maintaining its workforce and increasing the necessary investment in Pittsburgh's infrastructure."
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