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Bridgeville Library Facing Major Cutbacks

A lack of volunteers and donations is forcing the Bridgeville Public Library to drastically cut back its hours beginning May 1.

A lack of volunteers and donations is forcing the to drastically cut back its hours beginning May 1.

The library is cutting its hours by nearly half and now will be open only 35 hours a week, which is the minimum to still be able to accept state funding.

The decision to reduce the hours is especially disappointing because and a new entrance to the McMillen Street building was paved recently.

Nino Petrocelli Sr., who is the borough council’s president and member of the library board, said volunteers and donations are the lifeblood for any library. But Bridgeville Public Library is having trouble getting interest from the community to offer help or money.

“I’m disappointed, but maybe that’s what Bridgeville wants,” Petrocelli said. “We haven’t got one person from Bridgeville to volunteer for anything. Not one person. It would be nice for someone to come by and say, ‘You need your grass cut? I’ll cut it this week.’”

He pointed to grass cutting, landscaping, snow plowing and window washing that are very costly and could be done by community members who want to help. He said the response to annual fundraising letters to Bridgeville residents has been anemic.

“People have to contribute a little more than they do,” Petrocelli said. “Nobody wants to volunteer to do anything. Everything we have to do we have to pay for.”

The library currently is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

That changes May 1, when the hours will shrink heavily and the library will be open 1 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The library will be closed every Sunday and Monday.

Donna Taylor, who is the library’s director, could not be reached for comment.

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jhonni April 24, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Donating money and volunteering are two different things, especially in this economy. Perhaps If they had asked for either instead of just fundraising they might have gotten some help. I am sure it would have made a difference to some people, including me.
Mike Jones (Editor) April 24, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Although this is kinda messy, maybe it's an opportunity for a lot of people to really get involved in the library so it can maintain the current hours.
Terry Jones April 24, 2012 at 05:04 PM
I’m just not sure how to comment on this article. Is Mr. Petrocelli asking for sympathy? Does someone want to explain to me why a one mile town needed to have a 4 million dollar Library when they already had a Library? Are you trying to keep up with the Jones’s? Although I understand a certain amount of donations help any organization as well as volunteer hours but you have to admit this is bad management on behalf of the Library Board. When you build a facility like this you have to have a projection for the future and know approximately how much it’s going to cost on a monthly basis. We run our home on what we bring in and stay within the budget. If I’m going to donate money it’s going to be to places that really make a difference like the local volunteer fire dept that saves lives or Salvation Army that house the homeless. People have lost their jobs & homes; do you have sympathy for them? Why doesn’t your family volunteer to wash windows and cut grass? Are they not part of the community too?
danielle mccrerey April 24, 2012 at 06:30 PM
I don't think it was a keep up with the jones' kind of thing. We did have a library but it was smaller than a school librabry and had zero rooms to have any kind of programs. I assumed the borough would be cutting the grass, washing the windows etc. We have a couple of papers/flyers that come out and I have never seen in any of them that the library was in need of volunteers. He is making the people of bridgeville sound like a bunch of selfish idiots when this is truely the first time I have heard of any of it. I also never received anything about donations. We frequent the library and nothing has ever been posted there either. Seems to me liek they didn't use the proper resources to get the help they need. I don't understand why the borough doesn't help with these things; isn't that how it works in other areas?
Mike Jones (Editor) April 24, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Sadly, this has to make people wonder about the financial viability of the new library. I can't imagine that anyone thought this beautiful new library with many programs would be chopped off at the knees less than a year after the Grand Opening. Hopefully this story spurs a discussion about what the community and library need to do to save this valuable resource.
Terry Jones April 24, 2012 at 08:06 PM
@danielle yes your right about the library needing more room for the children and other programs so on that I do agree with.... But..... 4 million dollars? Sounds like things got out of hand.
Terry Jones April 24, 2012 at 08:08 PM
@mike Maybe get a new Library Board that knows how to keep budget.
jhonni April 24, 2012 at 08:21 PM
@danielle: well said. my point exactly.
Charleston Charlie April 24, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Perhaps they should have considered more if people in Bridgeville would actually use a new and bigger library. Seeing as the previous one was so small, people were probably used to going to other libraries in the area and if this one fails they'll just go back to using those other ones.
Mike Jones (Editor) April 24, 2012 at 09:23 PM
@Terry... To whom is the library board accountable? After the election, I'll start looking into what's happening with them and the library.
Roger April 25, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Mike, if you are going to do some research, perhaps a segment on user demographics and use patterns would be useful. Also, the valuable part of this information is the changes in the past year, two years, five years, etc. I believe the citizen's perception of a local public library has change dramatically in recent times. Some of this kind of information may help explain the lack of involvement and interest.
Mike Jones (Editor) April 25, 2012 at 02:33 AM
@Roger... The library isn't static. The new library could have and should've changed the usage patterns. The real problem seems to be the $4million building that is the new library. It's a great addition to the community, but can it be supported by the users?
Regina Sharpe Lakus April 25, 2012 at 03:15 AM
There are a lot of very active scout troops in the area. Including many young men trying to make Eagle Scout. It's not unreasonable to seek help from them in some of the volunteer tasks. I too assumed the maintainence was a borough function. Bridgeville, though small, takes pride in having all features of larger areas yet keeping the small town feel. Originally, I thought the need to build a larger facility was excessive, especially with all the means to book sharing in neighboring communities. However, it's become a central location for many various community functions. Like the previous respondent, I've not seen anything asking for volunteers or donations. I think it's unfair to villify a community who has previously been so proactive in supporting the library. The fault may not lie in the lack of response, but perhaps in the means of petitioning assistance.
Terry Jones April 25, 2012 at 12:51 PM
@Mike, To whom is the Library accountable is a very good question I wouldn't mind knowing the answer too.... Is it the residents? Are thier records public to view? Where did this all go wrong.... sad
Maria N April 25, 2012 at 10:32 PM
I too haven't seen any requests for funds or volunteers, although I think I've always assumed that they would need both since most libraries do. Perhaps if they listed what they're looking for, they might get more response. Also, reach out to local schools and perhaps make it a project for the classes. Are they allowed to ask United Way for help? If so, they could try to do one of those "days of caring" events where businesses offer teh opportunity to their employees and they are allowed to take a day off (on the company) to go and volunteer for the day. There are many, many ways to solicit the public...obviously what they've tried hasn't worked. I hope they succeed. As a child I loved going to the library and participating in the programs. I hope they succeed.
Nino Petrocelli, Sr. April 26, 2012 at 02:20 PM
I’m not asking for sympathy. What I’m asking for is recognition of the situation of the Bridgeville Public Library. I’ve been a residentof Bridgeville for over 55 years and involved with the Bridgeville Borough for over 27 years, as well as a business member, Kiwanis member, and member of various other local organizations. The decision to build a new and bigger library was a necessity for the residents of Bridgeville. The old library building simply couldn’t support the growing needs of the community. Proof of that necessity can be seen in the overwhelming response the new library has garnered. Attendance is up; circulation is up; overall usage is up—trends not shared by most libraries in the county. And programs are also up. Way up. Each month the library offers countless programs for adults, children and teens—story-times, book clubs, wills clinics, property tax seminars, grandparents raising grandchildren, the blanket brigade, yoga classes…the list goes on and on. The new library has been an unqualified success. The task now is to ensure that that continues. Which is where the residents of Bridgeville come in. My comments were not intended to criticize, but to mobilize. The library is in danger and we, the residents of Bridgeville, must act and must act now! Nino Petrocelli, Sr.
Mike Jones (Editor) April 26, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Nino... What can Bridgeville (or Collier Township) residents do to save the library?
Terry Jones April 26, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Apparently Mr Petrocelli likes to 'pat himself on the back'... Well pat this sir, something is up.... WAY UP. It was not a 'necessity' to build a 4 million dollar Library. Are you kidding me? I know people that have built their homes from the ground up for under 150 thousand dollars. Where was your mind at when you started this? Yes, the programs are nice for all age groups but when you don't have the income to support maitenance don't point the finger at the residents. They didn't do your budget.
Linda12 April 26, 2012 at 05:35 PM
I would suggest reading the article regarding the library in the Post Gazette, it does a much better job of stating the reasons the library is facing financial difficulty: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-south/bridgeville-public-library-cutting-hours-closing-two-days-633198/
Mike Jones (Editor) April 26, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Linda... I already posted the link to that story in this comments stream.
Mike Jones (Editor) April 26, 2012 at 08:05 PM
The Post-Gazette ran this story today about the library's problems. It says the library had to slash its budget from $400,000 to $200,000 and might have to close by the end of 2013. It's pretty obvious there's more problems than grass cutting and volunteers... http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-south/bridgeville-public-library-cutting-hours-closing-two-days-633198/
Nino Petrocelli, Sr. April 27, 2012 at 02:05 PM
I would like to address some of the comments received in response to the Patch article. First, I would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and comments regarding the recent changes underway at the Bridgeville Library. I would also like to remind residents that the library board meets the third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 pm at the library. We encourage any interested residents to attend these meetings. The board is always happy to receive feedback aimed at helping to improve the library and make it a better resource for the entire community. Over the last 18 months, the board has been faced wtih many tough decisions, none of which were easy to make, regarding the future of the library. After a great deal of consideration, the recent changes regarding cutbacks in staff and hours of operation were made. The board made these decisions in an attempt to balance a sustainable solution for the library with the needs of the community.
Nino Petrocelli, Sr. April 27, 2012 at 02:18 PM
We also would like to clarify the remarks about our volunteers, without which the library could not function. The current volunteers, who help with the library operations, do an outstanding job and our library could not operate efficiently and successfully if not for those people that volunteer their time. We wish to express to them our most sincere gratitude. However, with the library budget reduced by half, the board began looking for areas that could be cut without affecting the quality of services the library provides to the community. A number of the budget cuts were made in maintenance areas, such as snow removal, landscaping including grass cutting, and cleaning services, which totaled about $8,000 in savings for the library. The volunteers we are seeking to reach out to and motivate through the articles in the Post-Gazette and the Chartiers Valley Patch are residents that would be interested in assisting the library with these kinds of tasks. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused. It was not out intention to place blame on any residents, but to make people aware of the financial struggles the library is facing and to solicit additional support or assistance from anyone in the community who may be willing to donate his or her time or resources to the Bridgeville Library.
FunnyMoney April 30, 2012 at 10:49 PM
To the person that said a 1 Square Mile Community has no need for a 4 million dollar library I say BINGO.... They will tell you this was done without using the taxpayers money and they would be correct. But you wont hear about the 80+ thousand dollars the taxpayers did spend to build the "roadway" to the Library.Basically it is a driveway to the public library and was taxpayer funded. The road wasn't in the condition it was until they built the library ( it was torn apart by construction vehicles) and guess who was leading the charge to spend those taxpayer dollars???? Hmmmmmm To hear the backpeddalling from the original comments "not one person has volunteered for anything" is pure comedy. And in the apology to say it was "not our intention...." HA!!!! You said it, you were not misquoted. I'm wondering where the Plural comes in?? Only one person was quoted in this article. The facts may be the community was in need of more space for it's library but to the tune of 4 million dollars??? I dont think so....
Terry Jones May 01, 2012 at 05:52 PM
@funnymoney Why didn't we know this 'roadway' was being paid by the tax payers??? Lets open up the flood gates shall we Library Board..... What else are you not telling us? How many roads in this Borough need attention but NOOOOOO lets be shelfish and make sure the Library (that you can't afford) looks pretty! How irresponsible!
Mike Jones (Editor) May 01, 2012 at 06:41 PM
@Terry... The council voted on paving the roadway last year. Here are the stories that I wrote in the meeting round-up portion about the authorization to solicit bids and the cost... http://chartiersvalley.patch.com/articles/bridgeville-streetscape-project-approved (and) http://chartiersvalley.patch.com/articles/bedner-s-neighborhood-entrance-still-up-in-the-air
Terry Jones May 08, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Councilman Colussy will get my vote. Its a shame he was the only one that wanted to protect the tax payors money. sad

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