Excerpt: Pittsburgh City Council today cast a final vote to dedicate $600,000 to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh system, in advance of a Dec. 14 meeting of the library Board of Trustees that could postpone the planned closing of four branches and the merger of two others.
The money comes from a fund the city uses to pay for vehicle fuel. A dip in fuel prices has left that fund with excess cash, which Council President Doug Shields eyed as a temporary fix for the library's budget gap.
The library trustees voted Oct. 5 to close the Beechview, Hazelwood, Lawrenceville and West End libraries, merge the Carrick and Knoxville branches, and move the Mt. Washington branch from Grandview Avenue to Virginia Avenue.
"What we did learn in all of this is the importance of the library system, and the importance of those libraries in neighborhoods," said Councilman Jim Motznik, prior to council's unanimous vote. "The Beechview branch is so, so important to that community -- I can't tell you how much."