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Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Main

Established in 1895

Located in the heart of Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Main serves as the primary, full-service resource for current and historic materials and information for Pittsburgh, Allegheny County. It also serves as a designated Statewide Resource Center for Pennsylvania residents. Main's collection dates from before 1895 and many reference books and pre-1970 journals are located in our off-site storage Depository, described below. The Depository collection and other reference books on music, literature, art, science, history, local history and genealogy materials at Main- including those in the Oliver Room Special Collection- are referred to as the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh "Heritage Collection".

As subject specialists, our librarians are always available to answer questions, provide research guidance and recommend and assist in finding materials. The Main Library also offers a variety of free entertainment, training and literature-based programs for all members of the family. Please visit the Events Section of the Web site for a complete list of current programs.

Departments Include:

Children's; Customer Services; Film & Audio; First Floor New and Featured; Nonprofit Resource Center; Job and Career Education Center; Microfilm; Music; Reference Services; Pennsylvania; PC Center and the William R. Oliver Special Collections Room

Children's Department

The Children's Department of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is one of the oldest providers of library services to children, offering the first training program for children's librarians in 1900. Today we continue our tradition of storytelling and providing literacy-related activities through our diverse collection, excellent programs and reference services. Located on the first floor.

Customer Services

The Library's Customer Services staff assists customers in creating their library card accounts and ensuring that all accounts are managed according with library policies. This department handles the borrowing and return of all library materials and helps maintain the library's collections. Located on the first floor.


Located at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - East Liberty, the Depository is a closed stacks storage area of reference books, journals, maps, government documents, art folios and archival materials, and is part of Main Library's Heritage Collection. Most items at the Depository are listed in the online catalog and the location is designated as "Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Off Site Storage (Please ask for assistance)" Customers may request that items be brought to Main Library or viewed at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - East Liberty.

To access materials held at the Depository you must make arrangements in advance by consulting with a Librarian at any location. The Librarian will assist you in requesting access to Depository materials, indicating at which location you wish to view the materials: CLP - Main in Oakland or CLP - East Liberty. Once your request has been submitted, the materials will usually be available within a week to ten days at the Main Library in the Microfilm & Photocopy Department or at East Liberty. You will be notified by email or by phone when the items are available for your use. In some cases, photocopying of Depository items may be restricted or prohibited because of condition.

Because of the arrangement and condition of these materials, spontaneous and walk-in requests cannot be accommodated.

Please note that your personal information is protected by the terms of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's privacy policy.

Depository Requests
Pre-1970 journals and some reference materials including government documents from the Main Library's collections are housed off-site at the Carnegie Library Depository located at the East Liberty Library. These reference materials include books and most pre-1970 periodical titles. They are listed in The Catalog with a location of "Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Off Site Storage (Please ask for assistance)".

Film & Audio Department

The majority of audio and video collections at CLP - Main, including more than 50,000 items on DVD, CD, downloadable media, video and audiocassette and LP, are housed in the Film & Audio Department. From the latest best seller on audio to the latest blockbuster film to the historic Eyes on the Prize documentary series; there is something for everyone. Located on the second floor.

First Floor, New and Featured Department

Renovated in 2004, First Floor New & Featured provides a customer-centered approach to library service. Browsing collections include fiction, popular non-fiction, cookbooks, travel, foreign language, graphic novels, large print and magazines. Diverse programming, from book clubs and senior gaming to jazz concerts and wellness lectures, is offered throughout the year. Please let our expert librarians help you locate that next great read! Located on the first floor.

Job and Career Education Center

The Library's Job and Career Education Center provides information and referral services in all aspects of job searching, career development, vocational training and higher education. Staff are available to assist customers with Internet searches, databases and print resources. Material located within this department covers all aspects of careers and education: job search strategies, resume writing, interviewing, financial aid and study guides for entrance and licensing exams. Located on the second floor.


This unit provides service to customers who need access to library materials such as journals, newspapers, government documents, technical reports and census data on microfilm or microfiche. Assistance is provided in using microfilm readers and printers. Special fee-based photocopy services are also provided. Local newspapers as well as several national newspapers are available for casual reading. Access to materials at the Depository is facilitated by library staff in the Reference Services and Pennsylvania Departments. Located on the third floor.

Music Department

One of the outstanding public library music collections in the United States can be found in Pittsburgh! This rich and diverse collection of CDs, music scores, books, DVDs, web resources and periodicals covers everything from classical, jazz and musical theater to world, ethnic and rock music. The Library's Music Department also carries a wide selection of instructional materials on most musical instruments as well as numerous resources for exploring the history of Pittsburgh music. Read more about the Music Collection Located on the second floor.

Nonprofit Resource Center

A Funding Information Network partner of the Foundation Center in New York, the Nonprofit Resource Center provides resources related to philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. These resources include a collection of books, AV materials and periodicals, as well as databases with current, comprehensive information on grants and grantmakers. Free and fee-based workshops are offered throughout the year, and customers may subscribe for free e-news about these events on the Nonprofit Resource Center's homepage. Located on the second floor.

Oliver Room Special Collections

Serious researchers can explore history in a dynamic way in the William R. Oliver Special Collections Room. The Library's rare books, manuscripts, personal papers, historic photographs and archives blend to create a fascinating view of the past. The Department is also a resource for a wide variety of customer inquiries relating to every aspect of book arts, records management and preservation related issues. Appointments are required. Please call 412.622.1832 to schedule a time with our archivist.

Pennsylvania Department

The Library's Pennsylvania Department is the place to come to research your family tree or delve into the history of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and the rest of the Keystone State. The Department's extensive resources on genealogy and Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania history include historic clipping files and the Pittsburgh Photographic Library. This collection of more than 100,000 negatives and prints provides a visual history of our city from its origin through its industrial development and renaissance. Reproductions of prints are available for a fee. Located on the third floor.

Reference Services

The Library's Reference Services Department is your destination for historical and factual questions you need to have answered, as well as for assistance with all levels of research. Comprised of a team of dedicated and experienced librarians and the Ready Reference Unit, staff also maintain the library's collections of reference and circulating nonfiction materials covering art, biography, general business, economics, government and politics, history, literature and literary criticism, poetry, popular culture, the sciences, sociology and sports. The department's unique collections include U.S. Government Documents, Patents, ANSI & British Standards, the National Electrical and Fire Codes and the complete ASTM. Located on the second floor.

Teen Department

Teens rule at our nationally-renowned Teen Department. Whether your interests are fiction, non-fiction, CDs, video games, graphic novels, manga, magazines, or zines, we have something for you. Stop by for innovative programs like art clubs, video game tournaments, media production workshops, discussion groups and more - or find us at any of our online profiles. Located on the first floor.