Bridgeville, South Fayette libraries merged

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The new year will bring some changes to Bridgeville Public Library, most of which will not be visible to those who use the library.

On Nov. 19, the Bridgeville library and South Fayette Township Library agreed to a partnership to maximize collective resources and staff.

A press release through the Allegheny County Library Association stated, “In a day of shrinking budgets and shifting technology, these libraries are breaking new ground, deciding to work in tandem to deliver library service to residents of Bridgeville, South Fayette and beyond.”

“The project is still in the process of being determined by South Fayette,” said Becky Wisbon, president of Bridgeville Public Library. She said a timeline has not been established.

The current employees at the library at 505 McMillen St. in Bridgeville will have their jobs reviewed, along with their duties, by South Fayette. After the review and analysis of the current job descriptions, South Fayette library will post the jobs, and the current employees may apply, Wisbon said. Those who are hired will be employees of the South Fayette library and not the Bridgeville library. Wisbon likened the process to a reorganization.

The current board at the Bridgeville library will remain, as well as the Friends of the Bridgeville Library. The name, Bridgeville Public Library, will not be changed.

Wisbon said the day-to-day operations of the Bridgeville library will be handled by the South Fayette Library at 515 Millers Run Road in Morgan.

Currently, the Bridgeville library has two full-time employees and three to four part-time employees, in addition to teen and adult volunteers. Wisbon is acting as the liaison between South Fayette and the Bridgeville employees.

“Those who live in our communities don’t see boundaries when they look for service. Our libraries have long recognized that and are committed to finding better ways to leverage the tax support we receive,” said Robert Milacci, president of South Fayette Township Library.

By contracting to the South Fayette library, the two libraries will focus resources on direct public service, and the libraries will be able to share programming, back-room support and an outreach to the residents of both communities.

Contracting out is not a new concept in Allegheny County. Focus On Renewal owns the McKees Rocks library and has an agreement with Sewickley Public Library.

According to the ACLA, Bridgeville is a small community limited by its tax base.

Wisbon said the agreement with South Fayette is an “optimistic opportunity.”

“I look forward to linking the two communities,” Wisbon concluded.

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