Expanded Downtown Library Set to Reopen This Month

Community invited to tour the newly renovated space during a timed ticketed event on Saturday, April 17, 20021

Pittsburgh, PA  –   – 

After a much-anticipated year-long renovation project that added 68% more space to the building, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) announced today that its Downtown location located at 612 Smithfield Street, 15222 will reopen for limited in-person services on Tuesday, April 20. Patrons can use public computers; access and check out materials; print, pick up and place holds; ask a librarian – Reference and Reader’s advisory; and apply for a library card. Curbside and walkup service is also available for patrons during hours of operation. At this time all CLP locations are operating under reduced building occupancy and time limits.

“Our Downtown branch supports the thousands of people who live, work, study, shop and visit Pittsburgh,” said Mary Frances Cooper, President & Director of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. “It is an essential community asset that supports community resiliency and the post-COVID revitalization of Pittsburgh.”

With support from funders, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh made the $5.3 million investment to ensure that the space is accessible, comfortable and meets the growing needs of the community. Generous funding from foundations, individuals, corporations and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) supported the overall construction budget for this project.

Tuesday, Friday & Saturday | 10 –  5 pm
Wednesday & Thursday | 12 pm – 7 pm

During business hours, curbside and walkup service is also available for patrons who are more comfortable with a no-contact approach. Patrons can still pick up holds, return materials, submit a print job or take advantage of outdoor Wi-Fi.

Renovation Highlights
Designed by local architect Karen Loysen, AIA from Loysen + Kreuthmeier Architect, the library’s reimagined first floor features an open, two-story foyer, a welcoming window seating area and ample space for collections, resources and technology. Accessible by elevator or the grand staircase, the second floor includes dynamic spaces for children, teens and adults as well as meeting rooms for large groups and co-working and quiet workspaces for smaller gatherings.

Additional branch highlights include:

* A 68% larger area, the 21,400 square foot building allows for flexibility for future needs and community interests.

* The latest technology — from lendable laptops to databases to free Wi-Fi — to meet patrons needs and help bridge economic and digital divides.

* A large, dedicated Children’s space supports creative and connected learning that reflects individual interests that help keep kids engaged during out of school time. The creation of a “destination space” with elements found in a children’s museum allows families to play, learn and create together in a comfortable, literacy-enriched environment. The vibrant space will serve the needs of the many families visiting Downtown as well as the school-aged children from the local elementary school.

* A vibrant TeenSpacedesigned to enhance teens’ love of reading, introduce them to new interests and diverse people, develop their creativity and prepare them for life after high school. This is especially important for the Downtown community, which includes four high schools in the Golden Triangle, in addition to the thousands of teens who pass through the neighborhood every day on public transit.

* The renovation provides an opportunity for new approaches to how CLP supports and empowers the adults and partners who engage with the space through adult work spaces, meeting rooms and partner engagement.

“The Library is often the first stop for people seeking a job, exploring a new career, or creating a new business,” said Cooper. “The expanded spaces on the second floor will allow for quiet work and study, as well as provide access to technology, collections and our trained staff. New and flexible spaces also will allow our staff to better support and strengthen numerous community partnerships supporting job and career-related activities, as well as health and social services.”

Reopening Celebration: Timed-Entry Tours
Community members are invited to tour the beautifully re-designed, digitally-forward fully accessible destination library on Saturday, April 17, 2021. A limited number of timed tickets will be available for reservation in advance of this event. A maximum of 20 tickets per time slot will be available to accommodate social distancing. A link to register for the walk through can be found here,

Registered guests are asked to arrive 5-10 minutes prior to their selected time slot to accommodate temperature screening. Screenings will take place outside. Masks are required to attend this event and must be worn for the duration of screening and library tour. Please note, a short waiting period may be necessary between tour groups and for temperature screenings.

CLP – Downtown will be closed to in-person Library service during this event. Registered guests will not be able to check out or return books, utilize computers or seek assistance from Librarians while inside the building.

Connect with the Library
Real-time assistance is available from Library staff 7 days a week. To access library services call 412.622.3114, chat using the “How can we help?” icon the Library’s website (carnegielibrary.org), or text 412.775.3900.


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.