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Group Visits at CLP - Main

Due to space, staffing and safety considerations, we ask that you schedule all group visits to the Library -- even those that do not include a formal tour -- in advance.

What We Offer

With more than 2 million visitors and 3 million items borrowed each year, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is the region's most visited asset and one of the largest public libraries in Pennsylvania. Our extensive collection includes more than five million items, ensuring access to the latest available resources.

Our experienced staff is happy to work with you to customize a visit that is meaningful for your group. We can provide:

  • A tour of the building, highlighting departments of interest
  • An overview of print and/or electronic resources in a particular subject area
  • Catalog training
  • Reference support to students or adult learners working on independent projects
  • Registration for library accounts offered to students under 18
  • Storytimes, booktalks and activities for younger children
  • Educational and recreational activities, such as booktalks and scavenger hunts (dependent on staff availability), for middle and high school students

Please remember: all students and group members will need valid library cards to check out materials or use library computers. You can find additional information under the "Policies" and "Library Card" sections on this page.

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Schedule a Group Visit

We want your group's library experience to be memorable and productive. Before completing our Group Visit Registration Form please take a moment to read the "Policies" section below. If you need additional information on any of our policies or guidelines, contact our staff at 412.622.3121.

You will receive confirmation from library staff 3-5 days after you schedule your group visit. If you do not receive this confirmation, please call 412.622.3121 to confirm that your group visit has been scheduled.

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In order to provide the best service possible to all groups, we can only accommodate one scheduled group visit per day. Unannounced group visits cannot be served. Complete our Group Visit Registration Form to schedule your group's next Library visit.

  • All school group visits are scheduled during normal business hours, excluding evenings and weekends. Other times may be available upon request for adult group visitors.
  • Group visits must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance. If you are a teacher registering your students for library cards, we require at least three weeks. Please see our section on library cards for more details.
  • We can accommodate up to 60 students or group members per group visit. For student groups (grade six and up), we require at least one chaperone to be present for each 15 students. For preschool through fifth grade, one chaperone must be present for every 10 students.
  • Groups that wish to engage in non-library sponsored games, scavenger hunts or similar activities on Library property must obtain permission from the Assistant Director, Main Library Services.
  • You will receive confirmation from library staff 3-5 days after you schedule your group visit. If you do not receive this confirmation, please call 412.622.3151 to confirm that your group visit has been scheduled.
  • Please check in with our main security desk, located in the front hallway, upon your arrival.
  • If you need to cancel the group visit please notify the Library at least 24 hours in advance by calling 412.622.3121.

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Library Card

A library card is the ticket to books, DVDs, CDs and an array of materials from any Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh location and any member library of the Allegheny County Library Association. Valid library cards are required to check out materials and access the Internet.

Before your group visit, please determine if your students will be:

  1. Using computers to access the Internet or research databases.
  2. Checking out books or any other materials.

If so, your students will need to register in advance for library cards. We require three weeks' advance notice for this process. Please read below for more information about registering your students for library cards, as well as important information your students should know in advance regarding their library cards.

  1. As part of your group visit application, you will be asked how many students will need to register for library cards. You must determine that number before registering for your visit. Please take note of the following when deciding how many of your students to register:
    • A card from any library within Allegheny County is honored at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
    • Students whose library cards have expired or have fines will need to resolve these issues before their cards are updated or replaced. For their convenience students may view their accounts under the Library's "My Account" feature.
    • For students who reside outside Allegheny County, a library card from their home library (if it has a PA Access sticker) allows for a Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh account to be opened. Students are required to fill out a new application and must present their home library card with the sticker.

    Please ensure that students who already have library cards bring them for your group visit. For our customer's privacy and protection, new cards will not be issued to students with existing accounts, nor will account information be given out. Students may not share library cards to use computers or check out materials.

  2. Please provide a count of students and a student roster with your request. This will allow us to check our database and inform you and your students of any issues prior to the visit. We request students' name, birthdate and address.
  3. Please print our library card application form and make as many copies as you need for your students. You will need to send an application home with each student to be completed and signed. Please take note of the following:
    • Minors under the age of 18 must have a parental signature on the application. This serves as notification to the parent/guardian(s) as to their legal and financial responsibilities. As the teacher liaison, you are responsible for communicating these responsibilities to your students' parents for signature and proper ID. The number from any parent or guardian's acceptable forms of photo ID can be written into the appropriate space on the application.
  4. Mail the completed, signed applications to the address below. In order to have your students' library cards ready for their visit we must receive all completed library card applications ten days prior to your group visit. Please allow the Post Office 3-5 business days for delivery.
    Group Visit Coordinator
    Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Main, Teen
    4400 Forbes Avenue
    Pittsburgh PA 15213
  5. Please review our Borrowing Policies for information on limits, fees and renewals and share them with your students. Please use this as an opportunity to educate your students about the privileges and responsibilities that having a library card brings. If you have further questions about library accounts, please call Customer Services at 412.622.3150.

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Our neighbor, Carnegie Museum, has a Brown Bag Lunch Room and snack bar available for group use. For more information on the Museum's Brown Bag Lunch Room please call 412.622.3289.

The Library does not schedule use of this room; a separate phone call is required. Lunches can be stored in the Library's Teen or Children's Department.

Additionally, the Crazy Mocha Coffee Company operates a coffee bar on the first floor of CLP - Main that serves panini sandwiches, desserts and other treats.

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The Library and Museums operate a six-level parking facility for cars and small vans. The lot is located directly behind the Museum and can be accessed from the intersection of Forbes Avenue and South Craig Street.

Busses can park on Schenley Drive, in the bus lanes next to Phipps Conservatory. For additional information and rates, please consult our Directions page.

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