Bridgeville Public Library cutting hours, closing two days
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The $4 million Bridgeville Public Library, which opened in January 2011, is closing on Sundays and Mondays and reducing its weekly operating hours by nearly one third starting Tuesday because of lack of volunteers and donations.
Library board member Nino Petrocelli Sr. warned that if financial circumstances don't improve, the library on McMillen Street may have to close.
Under the new schedule, the library will be open 35 hours a week, the minimum required to be eligible for funding from the Allegheny Regional Asset District and the state. Present operations are 51 hours a week.
"I'm not embarrassed to say the library is in trouble and in another year and a half, we may have to relocate and put the building up for sale," Mr. Petrocelli said.
As a result of a lackluster response to fundraising appeals, the library has had to cut its budget from $400,000 to $200,000. And the lack of volunteers means the library has to pay for services like grass cutting, window washing and snow removal, which cost $8,000 last year, he said.
"Volunteer manpower is money. We need five or six volunteers to help cut grass."
The library also is looking for tradesmen, like plumbers and electricians, who can donate time to cut down maintenance costs. An electrician recently charged $200 an hour to change light bulbs, he said.
Residents also are needed for the advisory board.
Mr. Petrocelli believes the library is worth saving. "Many seniors turned out for events that helped them with taxes and wills, and it didn't cost them anything," he said. "We have many good children and teen programs."
Library executive director Donna Taylor said fundraising in 2011, and so far in 2012, has not met expectations, creating the need for budget cuts.
"We need people who love the library to open their pockets," she said.
Lately, she said, several people have offered to support the library, and a woman with fundraising experience in the Chartiers Valley School District has offered to help.
Starting Tuesday, the library will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and 1 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.
First Published April 26, 2012 5:20 am