Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Pirates and CitiParks distribute books to help children and teens beat the COVID-19 and Summer Slide

Pittsburgh, PA  –   – 

Children learn best when their learning is not interrupted – and this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a long interruption in formal learning!

Summer Reading is a community experience. This summer, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is partnering with organizations across the city to put books into the hands of Pittsburgh kids and teens. Library staff quarantined (as required by the COVID-19 pandemic) and packed seventy-four boxes (1,600+) of books that were delivered to community partners at 13 different sites across the city, including CitiParks, Alliance for Refugee Youth Support and Education (ARYSE), BJWL (Bethany Jewel Wallace Lovelace) and Family Resources, and the Homewood Brushton YWCA.

On Friday, July 31, one CitiPark location will receive a special visit from Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Pirates’ staff during an onsite book distribution. The Pirate Parrot will make a surprise appearance at the Magee Recreation Center in Greenfield from 9:30 – 11:30 am. Kids will receive books to keep, as well as a colorful Summer Reading handout to help them build their own summer reading experience.

Your coverage is invited.

Families and representatives from all three organizations will be available to speak to media.


  • Local families
  • Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh librarians
  • Pittsburgh Pirates staff
  • CitiParks staff


Distribution of free books & Pittsburgh Pirates merchandise to children and teens
Surprise appearance by the Pirate Parrot

When: Friday, July 31, 2020 | 9:30 – 11:30 am

CitiParks Magee Recreation Center
745 Greenfield Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15217

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Library’s Summer Reading program looks a bit different — it has been designed to engage our community equitably in our new and changing environment while continuing to encourage reading during the out of school months. As in previous summers, the Library will continue to encourage readers to join a Summer Reading program and log their books online at Recognizing that not all households can participate virtually, and with library locations currently offering curbside service, the Library mailed reading logs to 130,000 households in the City of Pittsburgh. By mailing and distributing paper logs, the Library is working to bridge the technology divide and engage as many children, teens, and adults as possible in Summer Reading. All Summer Reading participants, whether they participate by paper or online, are encouraged to work towards the goal of completing five (5) books—though participants are always encouraged to read as much as they like.

The Pittsburgh Pirates is a key community partner in the region’s education continuum, enabling libraries throughout Allegheny County to provide engaging learning experiences and programs so that every child is prepared for school success. Knowing that summer reading helps children develop life-long reading habits and aids them in maintaining their literacy skills and education throughout the years, the Pittsburgh Pirates joined forces with Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the County libraries to advance summer learning through Pirates Tales, a summer reading program. This countywide initiative was established in 2007 as an extension of the Library’s Summer Reading program to encourage and motivate children and teens to continue reading after the school year ends.

Without practice, children forget facts and important “how to” skills. According to Reading Rockets ( and the National Summer Learning Association (, children and teens who don’t read over the summer may actually start a new school year with fewer skills than they had at the end of the previous one. Research has proven that if children and teens read between four and six books over the summer they will be a lot more likely to retain or even improve the skills they learned the previous year. Students who read in the summer go back to school ready to learn. With better reading skills, they have higher test scores when school starts again.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Summer Reading 2020 is made possible with support from presenting sponsor EQT and the following additional partners: JP Morgan Chase, John E. & Sue M. Jackson Charitable Trust, 90.5 WESA, Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, UPMC Health Plan, Dollar General Literacy Foundation and Maher Duessel.


About Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - To Engage our Community in Literacy and Learning

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is supporting individual achievement and strengthening the power of community. Through the community’s investment, the Library is enhancing the lives of people in the greater Pittsburgh region with dynamic and diverse resources such as creative learning programs for children and teens, job and career assistance for our community's workforce, and free computer and Internet access for all. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh builds community, enables learning, provides access and values people.