The Second Decade, 1905 - 1915
Anderson H. Hopkins became librarian January 1, 1905. Mr. Hopkins was a graduate of the University of Michigan, and had worked in its library. He later served as Assistant Librarian of The John Crerar Library in Chicago, and as Librarian of the Louisville Public Library. Mr. Hopkins resigned in June, 1908, because of ill health.
Harrison W. Craver was Acting Librarian for two months before his appointment as the Library's third Librarian. He was a chemist and metallurgist who had joined the staff in 1900 to organize the Technology Department.
Much of Mr. Hopkins' administration was spent in endeavoring to raise the City appropriation to support the growth in the Library's physical facilities and their use. The appropriation was generous in the early days when there was only the Central Library, but now there was a library system with seven branches and 163 other outlets. The City appropriation had grown from $158,000 in 1904 to $210,000 in 1908, but this amount did not care adequately for the expansion. As usual, it was the fund for books and binding which suffered most acutely, only $48,000 being available in 1908.
Although the enlarged Central building was dedicated in April, 1907, the Library was unable to make full use of it at once because funds for additional staff were not available. The Central Children's Room was open three afternoons and open evening each week until December, 1912, when it resumed its normal hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Technology Department could not open its new quarters on the third floor until May 12, 1909.
Financial Crisis, 1915-17
Financial pressure became so great that in 1909 hours of opening were reduced to 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., three days of each week, and 2 to 9 p.m. on three days. Sunday opening was discontinued.
A severe crisis was reached in 1915 when the City appropriation was reduced from $250,000 to $200,000, the smallest amount granted since 1907. Fifty staff members, about one-fourth of the total number, were dismissed, and book funds were cut to the bone. Eighty-one children's agencies were discontinued, and children's rooms were closed at six instead of nine o'clock. The appropriation was raised to $230,000 in 1916, and restored to the $250,000 level in 1917.
The East Liberty Branch was opened October 10, 1905. It was the largest of the branches, built to serve a population of 75,000. Repeated additions to its initial book collection had to be made. It reached 22,000 volumes in 1908, which supported a circulation of 200,000.
The South Side Branch was opened January 30, 1908, the last of those which were financed from Mr. Carnegie's original gift to the City. At the end of 1908, the branch contained 11,000 volumes from which a circulation of 164,000 was obtained. About 50 percent of the residents of the neighborhood were foreign born, with Germans and Poles predominating, but with many from six other ethnic groups.
The Homewood Branch, dedicated March 10, 1910, was by far the largest of the branches. The plan follows that of East Liberty, the principal difference being the substitution of a large rectangular book room for East Liberty's semi-circular room. It was the endeavors of the Homewood Board of Trade which induced Mr. Carnegie to provide this branch. He departed from his usual custom of requiring the City to provide the land, by purchasing it himself. He gave $150,000 for building costs. Homewood was the eighth and last of the "Carnegie branches," and the last branch to be erected in Pittsburgh until 1964 when the City of Pittsburgh began its building program.
Call Station at Kaufmann's
Kaufmann Brothers, now Kaufmann's Department Store, invited the Library to establish a "call station" in its book department. It was opened in January, 1906, with a "few readable books of non-fiction" but it was essentially a delivery service of books from Central, Kaufmann's maintaining a twice-a-day delivery. At the end of the year, the station had registered 817 patrons from 90 municipalities in Allegheny and nearby counties. First year circulation was 40,000 volumes. The success of the station was used as evidence of the need of a downtown branch library.
Kaufmann's withdrew its offer sometime in 1908 and the station was closed.
Services to the Blind
Services to the blind began in November, 1907, when the Pennsylvania Home Teaching Society and Free Circulation Library for the Blind deposited a small collection of embossed books in the Library. A home teacher was assigned who taught the blind how to use them. At the end of the first full year of operation, 86 readers had registered and borrowed 1461 books.
The library became a depository for Library of Congress catalogue cards in 1908.
Circulation topped the million mark for the first time in 1909.
Removal of the Technology Department to its own quarters enabled the Reference Department to enlarge its open shelf collection. The University of Pittsburgh's removal from Allegheny to the Oakland area in 1911, and the growth of the Carnegie Technical Schools, later Carnegie "Tech," brought heavy new demands upon the Reference Department. Neither school had significant library collections, and the Reference Department became virtually a college library, a situation which influenced its book purchases and services for many years. The entire east wing of the room was devoted to books which faculty members had reserved for the use of their students.
In the absence of adequate branch library coverage, the Library had developed an extensive array of minor agencies. In 1914, just before the financial crisis which followed, there were 259 such outlets. There were adult stations in 24 fire stations; seven department stores and three factories (for employees only) and six other locations. Circulation for the year was 78,068. To service these agencies, a Stations Division of the Loan Department was established in 1914 with Frances H. Kelly as its head.
Children's stations included 117 schools, 67 Home Reading Libraries; four all-year, and nine summer playgrounds. Circulation was 209,000. Children's stations were supervised by designated members of the staff of the Children's Department.
Steps toward the further centralization of supervision came in 1906 when Jessie Welles, head of the Central Loan Department, was named Supervisor of Circulation for the system. Alice I. Hazeltine was made Supervisor of Branch Children's Rooms.
At the end of 1914 there were the Central Library, eight branches, and a total of 259 other agencies including schools and stations. The book collections numbered 443,000 volumes. Circulation was 1,351,000. The City appropriation was $250,710.