Voters demonstrated to the world and to future generations
that Pittsburgh values the Library as a place that opens doors,
expands minds and connects our community.
"What a great day to be a resident of this city and a part of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh," Patrick Dowd, Co-Chair of the Library's Joint Committee on Sustainable Library Funding and member of the Board of Trustees told library supporters. "The people of Pittsburgh demonstrated, once again, that they not only want, but need the Library and the critical services it provides. We are grateful to the many thousands of people from all across the City of Pittsburgh who showed their unwavering support for the Library by contributing their time, resources and enthusiasm to the Our Library, Our Future initiative."
72% of Pittsburgh voters - a margin of more than two to one - approved a referendum to add a 0.25 mills special tax (equivalent to $25 per year or $2.09 per month on $100,000 of assessed property) on all taxable real estate in the City of Pittsburgh. The tax is to be allocated and used only for the operation and maintenance of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Launched in June 2011, the community-based initiative dubbed Our Library, Our Future was one of six strategies created to provide the Library with the diverse and sustainable funding it needs to provide critical library services.
The revenue provided by this special tax plays a large part in allowing Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to continue to provide neighborhood-based services to city residents. Lou Testoni, Chair of the Library's Board of Trustees, notes that the library staff and board are committed to addressing community priorities including such things as branch hours and services, Internet connectivity and children and youth programming.
"We can move forward with confidence that we have achieved the first step in securing sustainable funding," said Testoni. "With the support of the community we can embark on a long-term planning process that will help us chart a course for the remaining five strategies and determine how to maximize our resources to create the best possible library system - now and into the future."
Brian Johnson, an advocate of the Our Library, Our Future initiative and CLP - Woods Run customer said, "In my most important job, as the father of two sons, I've come to value and love the Library. I have seen firsthand how helpful the Library has been for my children who use the space for school work and community projects. My wife, an elementary school guidance counselor, echoes the same sentiment. This place is not only a staple in the community but a staple in bringing our family together."
On November 8, in overwhelming numbers, the people of Pittsburgh went to the polls and voted "YES."
They voted YES to literacy and learning. They voted YES to early learning programs for children and families. They voted YES to job search assistance.
They voted YES to creating sustainable funding for Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.