Erin Tipping, who has been library director at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall in Carnegie since May 2012, has left to begin working in a county library in North Florida.
Ms. Tipping, 29, whose last day was Friday, came to the historic building as an intern in spring 2007 and was hired in the fall of 2007 as children's librarian.
"I was the first children's librarian in the 114-year history of the building," she said.
She continued to work as a children's librarian after her promotion because, she said, "in a small library, it's all hands on deck." She worked with all age groups, including older adults who frequently seek help learning how to use computers and e-book readers. She was involved in the operation of the Civil War Room and she worked on fundraising.
In her new job, she'll return to her roots, working in the youth services department in a county-run library system. She starts her new job on Monday.
Ms. Tipping didn't always want to be a librarian, but she always loved books and libraries.
A native of Brentwood, she got a bachelor's degree in history and international relations at the University of Pittsburgh. After graduation she spent time doing research in the career section of a local library as she pondered her next step.
"It was my college roommate who suggested working in libraries. It's the perfect combination of history and books." She earned a master's degree in library science at Pitt.
Though Ms. Tipping doesn't have children of her own, "my mother is a teacher, and I took classes in children's services at Pitt."
She enjoyed working with the children in Carnegie, many of whom live within walking distance of the library.
She noted that the library offered them a mix of the old and the new -- they played with puppets and they played with computers.
The facility also offered a host of free summer activities and classes in math and science that were fun, educational and well-attended.
Working as library director for the past year was an unexpected experience for a professional who hasn't celebrated her 30th birthday yet.
"It was different and it was an amazing opportunity," Ms. Tipping said. "I am so grateful the board gave me that opportunity."
Linda Wilson Fuoco: email@example.com or 412-722-0087.