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South Side library due for big changes as it closes for renovations

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South Side residents will have another chance to help envision their library's future this weekend, just before the branch closes for long-awaited renovations.

The South Side branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will close on June 30 for an expected 12-month interior and exterior rehabilitation project. Library patrons and friends can consider the renovation plans during "Imagine a New Library" on Saturday, June 25.

Plans for new air conditioning and heating systems will be major improvements.  In addition, an elevator and entrance ramp will upgrade access to the East Carson Street building. 

"We've been working with the community for more than a year," says Suzanne Thinnes, a CLP spokesperson. "There have been several meetings, in which architects have brought plans to the community so that they have a say in what the library looks like."

With the branch being located in the city-designated East Carson Street Historic District, exterior renovations will follow historic guidelines.

The design will incorporate a front stair entrance, which will mimic the library's original plans.  

Thinnes points out that this particular branch was "one of Andrew Carnegie's original gifts to the city of Pittsburgh," and one of the last built through his personal donations. 

Based on data from previous renovations, CLP expects to see an increase in foot-traffic around the library and an increase in numbers of patrons after the project is completed. 

Curious library-goers can follow the project's progress on the library's website.  The "Imagine a New Library" event runs from Noon to 3:00 p.m. on June 25. 

Writer: Lindsay Derda
Source: Suzanne Thinnes, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh 

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