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We all feel a little awkward when we're looking for something-but don't know quite what it is or when we're confronted with a new and unfamiliar place. So, we've made some changes. Our Main Library in Oakland, for example, now includes a help desk that's designed to take you from confusion and bewilderment to confidence and satisfaction in 60 seconds or less. And throughout our system, our librarians are trained to help newcomers learn the ropes, quickly and painlessly. Our Main Library last year alone conducted hundreds of tours for both Allegheny County school students and an array of national organizations.

But we haven't stopped there. Over this past year we've been working on renovation plans that will help to make our facilities as friendly and welcoming as the librarians who staff them. We'll be adding more comfortable seating and more gathering spaces to make our libraries better places in which to study, read, socialize or just "hang out." We want to do all we can to knock down the walls between our libraries and the neighborhoods they serve-whether through more convenient hours, improved accessibility, better parking or more community-oriented programming. In short, we want our libraries to live up to their motto: "Free to the People."

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