Andrew Carnegie offers to pay for an addition to the original building so the library can use the entire space, with the new areas to house the Art Gallery & Science Museum, plus add a foyer to the Music Hall. Initial costs were estimated at $1.75 million; by the time it’s complete, Carnegie donates $5 million and pays for additional costs directly.
The Home Library program begins delivering wooden boxes full of books to homes in neighborhoods without library branches. A volunteer visits each home weekly to read to children, talk about books, and tell stories.
Edwin H. Anderson becomes the first Librarian of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh after serving as director of the Carnegie Library in Braddock, which opened in 1889. Anderson left CLP in 1904 and eventually became director of the New York Public Library.
Carnegie, who has made his fortune in railroads, oil, and steel, offers Pittsburgh $250,000 for public library building if the city commits to annual funding. City Council rejected the offer because the city couldn’t legally use tax money for a library.
Robert B. Croneberger becomes library Director. His philosophy of the library as an active information advocate, rather than a “passive dispenser of information,” starts many new partnerships for the library.
The Carnegie Free Library of Allegheny, and its Woods Run branch, become part of the CLP system. Even though Pittsburgh absorbed Allegheny City in 1907, the library continued to operate independently for another 49 years.
All residents of Allegheny County may now borrow books from CLP and its branches, and bookmobiles are added to serve communities without their own libraries. The expanded services are funded by the County Commissioners.
The Brookline and Carrick neighborhoods get storefront branches. Brookline will move two more times before getting its own building; Carrick will relocate to a former movie theater that provides plenty of space.
The South Side branch opens, serving a neighborhood where more than half of the residents were born outside of the United States. The branch specifically employed a Polish woman to help explain the library’s services and register other Poles.
A “call station” for books opens at Kaufmann Brothers. It houses a small collection, but is primarily a pickup point for books patrons request from the Main library. By 1914, there are 259 similar stations at fire stations, department stores, schools, and playgrounds.
Harrison Craver, a chemist and metallurgist, joins the library to organize the first Technology Department in any municipal library. Students, and engineers in private practice, are the most frequent visitors to the collection.
The Pittsburgh Iron and Steel Heritage Collection, a digital archive, goes online, providing access to more than 500,000 items from the CLP’s Archives and Special Collections that tell the story of the city’s steel, iron, and coal industries.
Library officials announce plans to close branches in Beechview, Hazelwood, Lawrenceville, West End, and merge or relocate branches in Carrick, Knoxville, and Mt. Washington due to budget issues. The closures are averted when money from legalized table games and a 2011 tax initiative is directed to the library.