Do You Know What You’ve Got Before It’s Gone?


(image from: http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/law_librarian_blog/2005/10/winning_photo_i.html)

Too often when we think of our local library, we flash back to the days we spent as a child escaping to the story-filled stacks after school. But unfortunately, post-academia and pre-children of our own, too few of us take advantage of what our local libraries have to offer. Pittsburghers learned this the hard way recently when it was announced that four Carnegie branches face closure in 2010. Along with the closures, two branches face being merged, and all others face cutbacks in hours and programs.

Serving over 2.5 million people in 2008, the library is far from the often preconceived hushed arena refereed by a librarian with a tightly wound bun. Carnegie is a vivid place that promotes literacy and life-long learning throughout its nineteen branches in the Pittsburgh area. With over 250,000 card holders and hosting more than 8,000 programs a year, Carnegie provides diverse features for its community members, ranging from story time offered in various languages, to workshops to help recently unemployed adults find their way back into the workplace. The library also acts as sole provider for many individuals who don’t have other ways of accessing the Internet. While circulation has increased over recent years, so have costs – yet funding has remained relatively stagnant.

According to library spokesperson, Suzanne Thinnes, a temporary fix won’t do. Long-term substantial funding is needed so that the system doesn’t have to face these challenges year after year. In the face of the closure, local residents are rallying to save these branches. While all support is welcomed, Thinnes urges patrons to write to their elected officials for a permanent solution.

To learn more about the danger facing Pittsburgh libraries and ways you can help, click here. For our readers located beyond the Pittsburgh area, this is not a problem unique our area, libraries throughout the country are facing similar challenges everyday. Think about volunteering at your local library and rediscovering that long lost love of escaping into the stacks!

How do you plan to help out your local library, ModClothers?

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10 Responses to Do You Know What You’ve Got Before It’s Gone?

  1. Ashley B. 11/11/2009 at 7:41 pm #

    i’m going to go the library school! it just makes me more and more passionate about getting the word out about how important a COMMUNITY RESOURCE libraries are! i’m so glad to see you guys write this article!

  2. Zynab 11/11/2009 at 9:04 pm #

    That is so sad =( … I go to my library every week to volunteer and check stuff out … I too am glad to see ModCloth supporting reading, it’s so important, and special.

  3. Gitte 11/11/2009 at 10:09 pm #

    Thanks for this great story, Modcloth! I’m a librarian in Philadelphia and, believe me, libraries need your support more than ever, even if it’s just in the form of visits. Also, the link to the article on the Philly library closings is actually: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local-beat/Man-Sheds-Tears-Residents-Protest-Over-Library-Closures.html

  4. Jess 11/11/2009 at 10:48 pm #

    You’re going to find out how many librarians are among your readers with this post! As one of them, I reiterate the thanks for giving us a plug!

  5. Kit 11/12/2009 at 2:04 am #

    Oh so true, I LOVE to read, it was a big part of my life growing up. We were taught that books were special and to be treasured, now I can’t live with out books. I can’t imagine not having libraries and I hope it never happens… I feel so sad when I hear kids say that books are boring, I suppose that is why libraries are closing now, no one uses them any more. So said :(

  6. Cornelia 11/12/2009 at 9:18 am #

    Vilken fin blogg. gillar designen skarpt.

    hjälp mig gärna med tips på vad jag ska laga idag. kram.

  7. Kate 11/12/2009 at 2:57 pm #

    Libraries closing up breaks my heart. My local library informed me that, starting January, they’ll be receiving $100,000 less per year. I already volunteer all the time there, whether it’s stacking shelves and taking inventory, donating items, or helping out when they have sales.

  8. Kit 11/12/2009 at 7:07 pm #

    Just thought I should translate what Cornelia said:

    “What a nice blog. like the sharp design.

    Please help me with tips on what to cook today. hug.”

    Hoping my swedish hasn’t failed!

  9. Anna L. 11/13/2009 at 11:28 am #

    I didnt hear about the carnegie library! NO! :(

  10. Melanie 11/13/2009 at 8:30 pm #

    I have been looking for somewhere to volunteer during my spare time, and I never even thought about the library!
    I too haven’t been going as much as I used to when I was a little kid, and I think volunteering there is a great idea!

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