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The Nineteen-Sixties

Early in 1961 the Library Planning Committee asked the Commissioners for additional County services. Again, the Commissioners turned to the Director of Carnegie Library for recommendations. After an extensive study, he made a two-part proposal, which was submitted in September, 1961.

I. The most urgent need, he said, is reference facilities for high school and other students.

He proposed that the County establish four reference centers to be operated under contract by Carnegie Library, one to be placed in each geographical quarter of the county. Each one was to seat a minimum of 125 persons, and contain at least 40,000 volumes of non-fiction, and current and back files of periodicals.

This proposal was brought up-to-date, with higher seating and book requirements, by Mr. Doms in 1967. The Commissioners approved the establishment of a "pilot" facility in rented quarters, and appropriated $140,000 for library materials to be available in 1969-1970. Federal funds from Title I of the Library Services and Construction Act were allocated by the State Library in the amount of $125,000 to cover operational costs. This trial unit was to have been located in the South Hills area, but a suitable building could not be secured, and it was shifted to the East Hills district, near Monroeville.

II. The fragmentation of Allegheny County into 129 municipal sub-divisions had been a barrier to the development of local municipal libraries. Public school authorities had just recommended that the school districts of Allegheny County be grouped in 32 administrative units, most of which would have had a sufficient tax basis to support a creditable public library. It was therefore suggested that these school districts be made responsible for the establishment and operation of public library services.

No effort was made to promote this proposal because (1) it became known that the State Library Code was likely to be passed by the General Assembly; and (2) reducing the number of school administrative units to 32 was resisted by local authorities. There were still 50 units in 1969.

State Library Code
The State Library Code of 1961 was the most significant breakthrough in the long effort to develop a public library system in Pennsylvania. There were 340 independent libraries but no system. (The Code was signed by Governor Lawrence June 14, 1961.)

It consisted of two integrated parts.

The first part was based upon the studies of Dr. Lowell Martin, completed in 1958, and refined and detailed after many hearings held by the State Library, the Pennsylvania Library Association, and the Governor's Commission on Public Library Development, a state-wide, non-partisan group of 25 citizens. Miss Agnes Krarup, William R. Oliver and Ralph Munn were the Pittsburgh members of the Commission. It was headed by Albert W. Greenfield of Philadelphia, a prominent financier with considerable political influence, to whom much credit is due for its final passage.

The Code provided for the grouping of public libraries into not more than thirty geographical districts, the principal library in each district to be the coordinating library center; designation of four of the state's largest libraries as "resource centers," to serve the libraries of the state in the fields of their own specialization; provision of state subsidies to those libraries which received specified levels of support from local sources; the creation of an advisory council on Library Development of twelve members, appointed by the Governor, to advise the Governor, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the State Librarian regarding general policies and operations of the State Library, and the State's library program. This Council also acts as a board of appeal from the decisions of the State Librarian which affect the eligibility of a local library to state aid.

Part II was based upon a codification study by the Dickinson School of Law. It repealed conflicting laws, clarified obscure ones, and codified all library laws as of 1960.

As the largest public library in this area, Carnegie became the District Library Center for Allegheny County, the ten southern townships in Butler County, and the northern part of Westmoreland County. The population of the district was 1,339,100, not including Pittsburgh, and it contained 48 local libraries. In January, 1968, the townships in Butler County were transferred to the District Center at New Castle, so that all of Butler County could be developed as a county unit.

The Pennsylvania Plan became effective January 1, 1963. State subsidies were small at first, but they have been enlarged each year as shown in the accompanying table.

State Subsidies

	Local     County     District     Resource     Blind     Total    
1963   $35,655   $42,054    $ 89,443     $ 33,000     $17,901   $218,055
1964    60,433    68,960     133,598       33,000      17,901    313,892 
1965    75,542    84,610     193,717       33,000      29,268    416,137
1966    --->186,206<---      215,761       50,000      27,019    478,986
1967    --->312,235<---      349,142      100,000      22,566    783,943
1968    --->331,032<---      337,217      100,000      95,542    863,791     

In addition to the above: 1962 - $19,762 for planning and book purchases.

The District Library centers are service--not governing--agencies; each local library retains its full autonomy.

These services were offered to the libraries of this district beginning in 1963:

  1. Reference services through local libraries and directly to individuals on the same basis as to Pittsburgh residents.
  2. Inter-library loans to all libraries. (There were loans of 1,141 books the first year, increasing to 8,000 in 1968.)
  3. A field Representative to visit libraries periodically to advise and help with book selection, weeding and routines. Joseph Falgione, an experienced staff member, was appointed to this position, now called Co-ordinator of District Services. A Consultant in Work with Children was added in 1965, and a Consultant in Adult Services in 1968. They made 422 visits in 1968.
  4. Instructional talks and workshops on various aspects of library service. In practice, these conferences included many sessions for staff members, and several for trustees.
  5. Operation of a book exchange through which unneeded gifts and excess copies are offered to other libraries.
  6. Carnegie Library's regular book selection meetings were opened to librarians of the district.
  7. Carnegie Library's lists of books approved for purchase are sent to all district libraries.
  8. Establishment in 1968 of a Public Relations Center which functions in behalf of member libraries, and promotes the District services program generally.

Regional Resource Center
Four of the State's larger libraries--the Free Library of Philadelphia, the State Library, the Pennsylvania State University Library, and Carnegie Library--were designated as Regional Resource Centers.

Each one has two functions, (a) to receive inquiries of a general nature from the District Centers of its region, if they are beyond the capacity of the District Center, and (b) to receive inquiries from the District Centers of the Commonwealth for books and information within the fields of each Resource Center's specialization.

Because of Carnegie's specialized Science and Technology Department, this Library was designated as the Resource Center in those fields, except agriculture and a few of the biological sciences in which the State University is stronger.

The four Resource Centers are tied together by teletype, and replies from Carnegie are speeded through the use of telecopier, photostat and xerox equipment.

Three other services which extend beyond Carnegie's own district should be recorded.

Regional Film Center
Carnegie and the Free Library of Philadelphia were designated as Regional Film Centers for the public libraries of the Commonwealth in 1966, Carnegie to serve the area west of Harrisburg. This program is operated entirely from federal funds allocated by the State Library. Carnegie's Center was first located at the Allegheny Regional Branch, but when that branch was closed for renovation in 1968, it was moved to a rented building at Baum Boulevard and Enfield Street.

By the end of 1968, there were 698 titles and 937 prints available. During that year, nearly 100 local libraries borrowed 10,734 films which were viewed by about 459,170 persons.

Educational films can also be secured from Pennsylvania State University.

Carnegie's Regional Film Center was organized by Vivian L. Drake, formerly librarian of the district center at Monessen.

Service to the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Service to the Blind began in 1907, and from 1959 to 1968 it was given from the Allegheny Regional Branch. In October, 1968, it was moved to the Baum Boulevard building which it shares with the Regional Film Center.

The introduction of "talking book" records so reduced the use of Braille type that the Library found itself with only 129 readers of Braille, and giving space for 15,700 volumes--enough space to house 40,000 books of ordinary size. The Free Library of Philadelphia generously agreed to serve these few readers, and the Braille collection was dispersed according to the directions of the Library of Congress.

Under the Code, the State Library assumed the costs of the Library for the Blind in 1962, and it is now operated under contract with that Library.

The Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped serves all of Western Pennsylvania, and by a supplementary contract with the West Virginia Library Commission, the blind and physically handicapped or that state.

Services to the physically handicapped were added to those for the blind in 1968, and a greatly expanded community relations program was initiated. Mona M. Werner became the head of these combined services.

Public Relations Center
A two-year experimental Library Public Relations Center was established in 1967, with funds from Title I of the Library Services and Construction Act. The Center was located at the Allegheny Regional Branch, and served the five District Centers of Aliquippa, Monessen, New Castle, Pittsburgh and Washington, and through them, about 100 local libraries. It produced book lists, posters, radio spot announcements, newspaper feature stories, and other promotional materials.

The work of the Center was successful, but several of the District Centers preferred to spend their money on pressing local needs rather than contribute funds for the continuation of the Center beyond the funded period.

However, this experimental center served as the forerunner and as a basis for the establishment in 1968 of a public relations center for the Pittsburgh district. It is located temporarily in the East Liberty Regional Branch.

The Code in Operation
The Pennsylvania Plan is far from perfect, yet theoretically, at least, it does bring books and information to everyone. There is a complete chain of referrals. The rural resident's request is made to the nearest local library from which it is forwarded to that library's District Center, and then, if necessary, to the Resource Center. Skilled librarians there search the Center's own collection, and then learn from the Pennsylvania Union Catalogue in Philadelphia whether the book is available in any other library. The inquirer at the cross-roads should thus be able to secure the book if it is available to any resident of the state.

Perhaps the chief fault in the system is the lack of a sufficient number of well developed public libraries in many areas to act as District Library Centers. Some existing ones are too small to serve effectively even their own local community.

Within the Pittsburgh district, service is believed to be good. There were 53 local public libraries in 1968, each of which can reach the Reference Department of Carnegie Library by direct telephone and without charge. A special section is maintained to speed the sending of interlibrary loans. Experienced librarians visit each local library regularly for advisory purposes. Workshops for local librarians deal with all aspects of library service.

Many of the smallest libraries still exist on a starvation budget, since eligibility for state subsidies depends upon the receipt of a stipulated level of local support.

Dr. Martin made a study of the Pennsylvania Plan in actual operation in 1967. He made many recommendations, of which the following might be applicable to the Pittsburgh district:

(a) That sub-center branches be established near New Kensington and Greensburg.

(b) That there be cooperative book selection; rotating collections; inter-library loans to schools and colleges, as well as to public libraries.

(c) That subsidies be increased, but with higher standards for eligibility.

Penntap Program
Although it did not arise from the provisions of the Code, the Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program--known as PENNTAP--is an additional program which takes Carnegie Library services throughout Pennsylvania.

The program is to inform business and industry of the technical and engineering information which is available in libraries and elsewhere. This is accomplished through the use of a bookmobile which visits institutions, business firms, industrial plants and district library centers where demonstrations and seminars relating to the availability and use of technical literature are held.

This program is part of a larger one which is co-sponsored by the State and Federal Departments of Commerce. Pennsylvania State University administers the PENNTAP program in this state, and Carnegie Library is its operating agent. Until March, 1968, Carnegie operated this program in western Pennsylvania only; since then, throughout the state.

It was authorized in 1967, and began operating in 1968, with R. Minor Franks in charge.

Branch Buildings
The 1960's brought a new era of Branch library building, due partly to the availability of various federal funds which covered part of the costs.

All of the previous branch buildings had been erected with funds given by Mr. Carnegie. Lawrenceville (opened May 11, 1898), West End (February 1, 1899), Wylie Avenue (June 1, 1899), Mt. Washington (May 31, 1900), Hazelwood (August 16, 1900), South Side (February 1, 1909) were built from the original gift of 1890. East Liberty (October 10, 1905) and Homewood (March 10, 1911) were erected from subsequent gifts.

All of the so-called "Carnegie Branches" were models of their time, and the Carnegie Corporation published their plans in an effort to counteract the tendency in other cities to erect replicas of classic European buildings.

The "Carnegie Branches" are, however, strictly utilitarian, and appear somewhat institutional. They were built long before the present effort to make libraries home-like and inviting.

During the long period between 1910 and 1964 there were no new buildings--only rented space. The City of Pittsburgh held to the hope that additional Carnegie funds would become available, although the Carnegie Corporation had announced the end of its building grants.

The City first recognized its obligation to finance branch buildings in 1947 when funds were included in a bond issue to erect small branches in Knoxville and Beechview. They were given low priorities, however, and the funds were exhausted before the library projects were reached.

Under the new building program these attractive neighborhood branches have been erected: Woods Run (1964), Knoxville (1965), Beechview (1967).

These new branches are modern in every way--design, floor plans, materials and facilities. More important, the sites are in strategic positions to be seen and used. The Carnegie branches were built before the importance of location was fully recognized, and some of them are not well placed to attract full use.

The Carnegie branch in East Liberty was in the path of a redevelopment project and has been replaced by the East Liberty Regional Branch, by far the largest and most complete of the new branches. It is in an ideal position to attract city residents, and those from some of the eastern suburbs. It was formally opened February 28, 1969.

Preliminary plans have been completed for a large branch in the business area of Squirrel Hill, and the City Planning Commission has selected a site for a branch in the Perry-Hilltop area. Site studies are also in progress for a replacement of the Wylie Avenue Branch, which was left at one extreme edge of its former service area by razing the many slum properties; also, for a city-owned building to replace the rented Brookline Branch.

Bookmobile Center
City and County bookmobiles had been parked in the open-air court at Central, and were serviced from inadequate space in the basement.

A new structure designed to provide indoor parking for five bookmobiles, office space, the bookmobile book collections, and shelving for 300,000 infrequently used books from Central, was proposed for the space at the rear of the West End Branch. The County was first asked to advance the cost of building, to be reimbursed over several years from the State subsidy for county library service. The County Commissioners delayed their decision until it became likely that one year of the subsidy would revert to the State. The proposal was then taken to the City where City Council quickly agreed.

The combination Bookmobile Center and Book Storage Warehouse was opened for use in July, 1965.

Renovation of Allegheny Regional Branch
The City of Pittsburgh authorized a $1,600,000 renovation program for the Allegheny Regional Branch in 1965. The huge structure, opened in 1890, had not been kept in good repair. By the end of 1968, it became impossible to continue library operations while the extensive repairs and alterations were in progress. Most public services were removed to the new Allegheny Center; the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, and the Film Center were moved to a rented building at 4724 Baum Boulevard.

Carnegie Library School
Carnegie Library School, established by the Library in 1901 as the Training School for Children's Librarians, graduated its last class in June, 1962. Its successor, the Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences of the University of Pittsburgh, admitted its first class in the following September.

Carnegie Library School contributed greatly to the success of Carnegie Library, particularly in the excellence of its work with children and young people. Its graduates were always in the majority among the professional staff in all departments and branches. Its highly trained faculty and visiting lecturers brought ideas and inspiration to the staff.

During the period 1930-1962, the School was nominally a part of Carnegie Institute of Technology, although it never contributed toward the financial support of the School. That obligation remained with Carnegie Institute, whose resources became so limited during the inflation following World War II that the Library was forced to assume about one-half of the costs from its own funds. Faculty members were underpaid, the School's budget was an austerity one, and practices being adopted by better financed schools could not be introduced.

In 1956 the Director of the Library, who was ex-officio Dean of the School, asked the Presidents of Carnegie "Tech" and Carnegie Institute to determine whether "Tech" would give space and full support to the School; if not, he asked that the University of Pittsburgh be approached to determine whether it would accept a transfer of the School.

Carnegie "Tech" decided that instruction in librarianship was not within its major field of interest, and declined to support the School.

The Trustees of Carnegie Institute concluded that their prior obligation to the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Art prevented them from contributing to the School indefinitely.

The University of Pittsburgh readily agreed to accept the School provided it could get a subsidy from the Commonwealth. This was secured, and it was decided to close Carnegie Library School in June, 1962, when its principal faculty members would become eligible for retirement on pension, and part-time students would complete their courses.

The only gain for the Library was the saving of the relatively small amount of money which had gone to the School, and space. The Music Division was greatly enlarged, a large staff conference room and improved offices for the Personnel Director became available.

Other Advances in the 1960's
The nineteen-sixties brought additional changes and new services:

1. The Science and Technology Department was designated as one of the country's twelve Regional Technical Report Centers by the National Science Foundation in 1962. It received the non-classified publications of the Department of Defense, the Atomic Energy Commission, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The depository system was discontinued in 1964, but the Department continues to receive many of the publications. It also receives the non-secret reports of the Rand Corporation, the U. S. Military Specifications.

Much of the strength of the Science and Technology Department (the word "Science" was added to its designation in 1963) comes from the contributions of the Pittsburgh section of the American Chemical Society. Beginning with a gift of $2,600 in 1921, it gave $67,000 in 1945. To provide permanent support, it established a trust fund in 1953 to be held by the Section, the income to be spent exclusively for the purchase of publications in science and technology by the Department. This trust fund reached $358,496 in 1967. This amount was contributed by local industries, foundations, technical societies and individuals. Dr. E. W. Weidlein and E. O. Rhodes headed the campaigns for the Society.

2. Work with young people was brought under centralized supervision in 1961 with the appointment of Elinor Walker as Coordinator of work with young people. Miss Walker had been in charge of the James Anderson Room at Central since 1948.

3. The Library's efforts to reach culturally disadvantaged persons was given a conspicuous boost in 1967 by the Richard King Mellon Foundation with a grant of $100,000 in support of "Project Outreach." A small book van carrying books for children and young people began to give saturation coverage in several of Pittsburgh's poorest districts in 1968. Film showings and story telling are also featured. These activities were organized by Elizabeth E. McCombs, former Children's Librarian and later Librarian of the Wylie Avenue Branch.

4. The International Poetry Forum was established in 1966, with Samuel Hazo as Director, under the the sponsorship of Carnegie Library. It presents an annual series of readings by distinguished poets from throughout the world, institutes on poetics for drama and speech teachers, and other activities relating to poetry. About 15,000 persons attended its various presentations during 1968.

The Forum is supported chiefly from a five-year grant by the A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust.

5. The Library was designated in 1965 as the depository for research information gathered by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation.

6. With funds received from the Allegheny Foundation, scholarship and continuing education programs were announced in 1968.

The scholarship program provides for two years of half-time study in the Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, and half-time service in Carnegie Library. For the present, Negroes interested in service in underprivileged neighborhoods will be sought. Participants must agree to serve in Carnegie Library for at least one year after graduation. Current funding will support two work-study students per year during 1969, 1970, and 1971.

The Continuing Education program will be open to professional members who wish to further or up-date their educational backgrounds. The stipend will cover full tuition fees for three credit hour courses, with a limit for each person of twelve credit hours.

Carnegie Press
The financing of Carnegie Press had been a troublesome problem for many years. The Library and Institute did not generate enough demand to provide a full work-load, and orders from Carnegie-Mellon could not be depended upon. Vain efforts were made to secure work from the University of Pittsburgh and the Board of Public Education.

The Press would no doubt have been altered or closed several years earlier, except for consideration of its ten full-time employees. By 1969, plans were perfected to retire or transfer to the Bindery those employees who would not be needed in a smaller operation and had not found other positions.

The Press is being continued as a greatly reduced operation, with four employees, and new offset duplicating equipment.

Space Survey
Shortage of space continued to be the central Library's principal problem throughout the nineteen-sixties. Limited relief was gained through book storage facilities at the Bookmobile Center, and in the Baum Boulevard building which was rented primarily to house the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, and the Regional Film Center.

Additional offices were secured through alterations in the space formerly occupied by Carnegie Press, and by finishing the loft above the Reference Room.

Plans for the enlargement of the Central building were prepared by the Peter F. Loftus Corporation, consulting engineers, and Kuhn, Newcomer and Valentour, architects, and contained in a report issued April 24, 1967. The cost, including air conditioning, was estimated at $9,750,000. No action on these plans had been taken by the end of 1968.

Reorganization Plans
Studies looking toward the first major reorganization in the history of the library were approved by the Board of Trustees in 1967.

With the growth of the Library over the years, the Assistant Director, Personnel Director, Director of Public Relations, and the Coordinators of Work with Young People and District Services had been added to the staff. Three specialized subject divisions had been formed within the Reference Department.

There had, however, been no general revision of the departmental and administrative structures as a whole. As new activities were added, they were simply attached to what seemed to be the most appropriate department.

The expansion of activities under county, state and federal programs; the increasingly intricate requirements in applying for state and federal funds and in accounting for their expenditure; the resumption of branch building; and the planning of new services and methods had all combined by the mid-sixties to place oppressive pressure on the Director and Assistant Director.

Nelson Associates, management counselors of New York, were commissioned to make a survey of the organization and operation of the Library.

The results of their studies, made in the spring and summer of 1967, were reported in a document dated April 22, 1968. Copies are filed in the Director's Office.

They recommended many changes in organizational structure, but the principal one was the formation of a middle management team to relieve the Director and Assistant Director of much of their day-to-day supervisory duties.

This would be accomplished through the addition of four Associate Directors, each in charge of a department in which all activities of a similar nature would be included. These departments are: Extension, Administrative Services, Central Readers' Services, and Technical Services. Also recommended was the creation of an Office of Adult Services, and an office of Children's Services--these offices to have staff--not line--functions, and to be responsible for planning within their fields.

Many other changes, less sweeping in nature, were included.

The Board of Trustees reviewed the recommendations, and authorized the Director to implement them as funds, staff, space and other circumstances permit.

The Director decided to effect these additions and changes in several steps, as reported in his Annual Report for 1968.

Phase I - (1968-70)

a. Establish an Extension Department. Donald C. Potter, came from the State Library, September 1, 1969, to head this department. He is designated as the Senior Associate Director, and speaks for the Director during his absence. Mr. Potter had been Head of the Bureau of Library Development in the State Library, and had previously served as Director of the public libraries in Duluth and Knoxville. Claire Pyle, former head of the Reference Department, assumed the newly established position of head of Branches, April 1, 1969, and serves under Mr. Potter.

b. Establish an Administrative Services Department. Anna C. Hall, Administrative Assistant since January 10, 1966, was appointed Associate Director February 1, 1969, and took charge of this department. Mrs. Hall received her doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Library and Information Sciences in 1968.

c. A Serials Unit was established.

Phase II - (1970)

a. Create an Office of Adult Services and an Office of Children's Services.

b. Reorganize the public service units of the Central Library into a Central Services Department.

A period of comparative affluence came to the Library during the nineteen-sixties.

Previous to 1956, support had come only from the City of Pittsburgh. It reached $1,428,997 in that year.

County appropriations began in 1956, and State subsidies became available in 1963. The combined receipts in 1968 were:

          City          $2,009,424
          County         1,193,768
          State            863,791

Most of the County and State funds are given to enable the Library to extend its services beyond the city limits. The additional books and staff members, however, are located here and enlarge the Library's resources for the use of all.

Changes in Directorship - Munn - Doms - Martin
Mr. Munn was retired September 30, 1964, and was elected Director Emeritus by the Trustees. He published a special report in which he accounted to the Trustees for his 36 year tenure as Director. The Trustees, staff, and others contributed to the endowment of the Ralph Munn Lecture Series which brings speakers of national note to Pittsburgh. Speakers so far have been L. Quincy Mumford (1965), Norman Cousins (1966), Verner W. Clapp (1967) and Lowell A. Martin (1969).

Keith Doms, Associate Director, was elected Director. Mr. Doms, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and its Library School, had been head of the public libraries of Concord, N. H., and Midland, Mich., before coming to Carnegie Library as Assistant Director, August 1, 1956.

Anthony A. Martin a graduate of Duquesne University and Carnegie Library School, was appointed Assistant Director. Beginning as a student assistant, Mr. Martin had served for many years in various Central departments, and later as Chief Librarian of the Northside Branches.

In January, 1969, Mr. Doms accepted the Directorship of the Free Library of Philadelphia, effective September first. The Board of Trustees accepted his resignation with reluctance, citing the many new facilities and services which he had added to Carnegie Library during his five years as Director.

Mr. Martin was elected Director, effective upon Mr. Doms' departure.


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