The Carnegie Library – Carrick (CLP – Carrick) was transformed into more than a library when it reopened in a new building in the late 2010s. It became a community gathering place and resource.
Along with providing free computers and internet access, and lending books to people who live in Carrick and Overbrook, the new Carnegie Library – Carrick has space. Space for meetings in a conference room with windows. Space for teenagers and younger children. Space for quiet study. Space for adults to read books and magazines. Space for computers. Comfortable spaces.
The library provides creative learning programs and assistance with the computers, helps with preparing resumes and other job and career assistance, and provides book clubs, story telling, after school programs, crafting and holiday-themed activities. Wireless printers and copying are available for a fee. The library also lends books.
Before the new library building was constructed, people had felt that the old building – built into a hillside on Brownsville Road years ago with front windows only – felt like being in a basement. There was no natural light. It was small. When people who worked in the library or visited were asked what was important, they wanted space and light.
CLP – Carrick was rebuilt. The new building doubled the size of the facility. It has light. It’s energy efficient, following Passive House guidelines. Passive House is a voluntary international standard for energy efficiency in a building, requiring little energy for heating or cooling. Passive House structures are referred to as ultra-low energy buildings. Homes, office buildings and schools have been built following a design process that meets the Passive House standard.
The “ultra-low” energy aspects saves the library money.
With the new building, CLP – Carrick for the first time complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, ensuring they have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. Walkability is a related concept that measures how friendly a place is for walking. The library scores a “very walkable” 72/100.
Outside, the library collects rainwater in shallow ditches with sides sloping towards the center. The ditches are filled with vegetation to clean the water. They’re called bioswales. Instead of pouring into storm sewers, the water irrigates the landscape, recharges groundwater and provides a green space around the building that can be home to birds and butterflies.
The roots of the Carnegie Library system go back to the late 1800s, when the City of Pittsburgh accepted a grant from Andrew Carnegie to build the main Carnegie Library in Oakland. Nine library branches followed, with the Carrick branch opening in 1929. The same building served people in the Carrick area for the next eight decades.
The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh system was closed during the early phase of the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. It reopened with a phased reopening. They waived fines on library books and other materials. Social distancing and masks were required. People with a fever or not feeling well were asked not to go to the library.
Access to CLP – Carrick is available by the Port Authority of Allegheny County 51-Carrick and 51L buses, which operate along Brownsville Road frequently through the day.
Free and metered parking is available.
A book return is situated outside the library for people to return borrowed books during hours the library is closed.
The Carnegie Library – Carrick is located at 1811 Brownsville Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15210.