Throughout the discussion over the library closures, I keep wondering why we have a beautiful new library on the Northside (total of two now) while other communities may have none. Perhaps it was dedicated funding?
I stopped by the new Allegheny branch on Federal Street. It is big. I didn't see many books, but I basically order all my books online and just pick them up. Woods Run (the other Northside library) is a little more cozy and pretty new as well. Plus, there is parking. Either way, we were pretty good. Sure, the War Street folks had to drive or take the bus to Woods Run, but at least we'd have a library.
Maybe someone does need to figure out if all communities are being well served by the closure plan? I don't profess to know, but I'm not the only one asking.
From my home in Regent Square I can walk to four different libraries: Squirrel Hill, 1.7 miles; Edgewood, 1.1 miles; Wilkinsburg, 0.5 mile; Swissvale, 1.5 miles. Except for Edgewood, all are accessible with one bus ride. How can that be fair when there are city neighborhoods that soon will have no library at all?
I'm truly blessed to have the Squirrel Hill branch. It's a palace. But maybe this $4.4-million renovation in 2005 was overkill favoring an elite neighborhood that already had a very decent 32-year-old facility. Where is the accountability?