2011 Will Bring Changes in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Live reports that Barbara K. Mistick will step down as president and director of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in May, and the system has shelved a plan to close four branches at least through 2011.

"It's an opportunity for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to really think about how they want to serve the city of Pittsburgh and chart a course for being a thriving library system with all of its neighborhood branches open," said Chuck Staresinic, president of the Friends of the Lawrenceville Library.

The library board last year approved a plan to close the Lawrenceville, Beechview, Hazelwood and West End branches, and to relocate the Mt. Washington Library from Grandview Avenue to Virginia Avenue. The problem was declining funding, especially from the state.

After community outrage, the board left the four branches open this year, but their fates were uncertain until the board adopted a balanced 2011 budget of nearly $24 million that kept the branches open another year. Plans to merge the Carrick and Knoxville branches, however, will continue.

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