Statement before the Glenn A. Walsh
Allegheny Regional Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.
Asset District: Telephone: 412-561-7876
Abandonment of Electronic Mail: < email@example.com >
Historic North Side Internet Web Site: < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
Carnegie Library 2006 October 3
Good afternoon. I am Glenn A. Walsh of
On August 28, the Director of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh came before you and talked about future plans for the Library system, including plans to repair damage done by a lightning strike to the historic Allegheny Regional Branch of Carnegie Library—the nation’s first publicly-funded Carnegie Library, built in the neighborhood where Andrew Carnegie grew-up. She failed, purposely, to tell you of plans to abandon this historic library in favor of building a new library structure three blocks away, while allowing the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to announce these plans only three days later!
This major decision was made with no input from the general public and no input from the RAD Board. This type of behavior is nothing new for Carnegie Library. Three years ago, Library Director Herb Elish promised you, at the annual budget hearing, that a final decision to abandon the historic Hazelwood Library and Auditorium would not be made until he consulted with the public at a neighborhood meeting. Yet, at the Sept. 9, 2003 public meeting Mr. Elish announced that the decision to move the library out of the historic building had already been made! To this day, the historic Hazelwood Library and Auditorium remains empty and unused.
Does this sound like a regional asset that really
cares what the citizens think? So long as Carnegie Library continues getting
their annual RAD appropriation, without a requirement to listen and pay
attention to the citizens who pay the bills, this type of behavior will
Originally called the Carnegie Free Library of Allegheny, this library building was very special to Andrew Carnegie as it was built in the neighborhood where he grew-up. Adjacent to this library, Andrew Carnegie built a memorial to his mentor, Co. James Anderson, who had opened the city’s first public library.
The Allegheny Regional Branch Library building was the first of 1,677 libraries to be built in the country under “The Carnegie Formula,” whereby the community was required to annually subsidize the library by no less than ten percent of the building construction cost.
The city’s oldest Library building was completely renovated in the 1970s, so it is not outdated for use as a library. In fact, before lightning closed the Library in April, it was the fourth busiest library branch in the city!
You hold the purse-strings for Carnegie Library. The