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Sustain Our Libraries!

September 17, 2009


I made this print in grassroots support of the public library system of Pittsburgh. Most of the posters I printed include the Pittsburgh-specific informational text at the end of this entry. I printed a few without the text to sell on Justseeds to recoup my costs and pay my library fines! (seriously). Dig the rubylith-cut children’s book illustration-style, hearkening back to my own childhood, when I would walk to the library every day in the Summer!
Public libraries are so crucial for folks in all walks of life, and their services are becoming even more crucial with increased unemployment, cuts to youth programs, access to computers and continuing education…Libraries fulfill all these roles and more; for many disinvested communities, their public library branch is a community center. The Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh, our public library system, is really incredible; they order good progressive-to-radical books, have a spectacular graphic novel section, a very active teen section and programming; a zine collection in both the teen and adult sections(!); the Pennsylvania Room is an incredible resource for doing local research, including a bangin’ photo archive; the library also hosts concerts, film screenings, zine readings, classes and more…

Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh’s (CLP) funding is in jeopardy. CLP are facing state budget cuts of 15-50%. CLP only receives $40,000/year from the City of Pittsburgh, the same amount that Andrew Carnegie stipulated when he created the libraries over 100 years ago! Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) funding is no longer sufficient to cover increased costs and usage. RAD accounts for 70% of the library’s total budget. These severe reductions in funding could mean reduced services and hours, layoffs, even closing some branches!
what can we do?
write letters to the editor of local papers
attend City Council meetings
call RAD and recommend
funding restructuring
donate $ to the library
(to the development office,
earmarked for ‘operating costs’)
throw a benefit for the library
to raise awareness and $!
Check out for more information


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6 comments on “Sustain Our Libraries!”

Mary-This print rules. The print is applicable to people far and wide with the Pittsburgh info as it speaks to similiar cuts in funding in other cities. It is one of my favorite prints of yours and would be great to see on the site.

Posts by Mary Tremonte