Andrew Carnegie granted $200,000 for the construction of a Library in Carnegie, Pennsylvania on April 26, 1898; at this time, he granted an additional $10,000 for purchase of the first set of books for the Library. When construction was completed, the total grant reached $254,000. When Andrew Carnegie learned, from a meeting with a few members of the Library's Board of Trustees, that the Library's endowment was not enough to maintain the institution(and, that the Borough of Carnegie had yet to provide any subsidy), Mr. Carnegie generously provided a "Christmas Gift" of $100,000 for the Library's endowment in 1912. The institution was legally formed on April 20. 1899, when Andrew Carnegie executed a Declaration of Trust agreement, which is enforced by the Orphans' Court Division of the Court of Common Pleas of the County of Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Construction of the Library building began in October of 1899 with the laying of the Cornerstone, which includes a time capsule.
The Library By-Laws were first established on April 9, 1900. They were significantly amended during the Special Meetings of July 5, 1995(meeting held in the Council Chamber of the Borough of Carnegie Municipal Building at One Glass Street) and September 18, 1995; the By-Law changes were approved at the September meeting as part of the settlement of a legal action brought against the Life Trustees of the Library by the Borough of Carnegie. Other amendments were adopted on March 17, 1997(1997 Annual Meeting of Library Board) and at the Special Meeting held on January 5, 1998(meeting held in the Council Chamber of the Borough of Carnegie Municipal Building at One Glass Street). The Andrew Carnegie Free Library opened to the public on May 1, 1901. The first performance in the Music Hall, by the Carnegie Men's Glee Club, occurred on May 10, 1901. Andrew Carnegie dedicated the institution on April 22, 1902.(See also History of Library and Music Hall).
The Declaration of Trust agreement arranged for the institution and property to be held in-trust for the people of Carnegie, Pennsylvania and managed by a seventeen-member Board of Trustees. Ten of these Board members were designated "Life Trustees," and the "Life Board" is self-perpetuating. The other seven Board members are "Ex-Officio Trustees" and consist of the Mayor and six Councilmen of the Borough of Carnegie. Unlike the Ex-Officio Trustees on many Boards, the Ex-Officio Trustees on the Andrew Carnegie Free Library Board of Trustees were given full management responsibilities regarding the Trust, by Andrew Carnegie, and they have a vote on all Board matters.
The Orphans' Division, Court of Common Pleas, County of Allegheny approved an amendment to the Declaration of Trust agreement on June 6, 2000. In general, this amendment resulted in a major change in the structure of the Library Board of Trustees. The amendment provided for a twelve-member Board of Trustees. Nine members would be "elected term" trustees; each of these trustees would serve three-year terms with the privilege of an election to a second consecutive term. After the second term, an elected term trustee would not be eligible for a third term until one year after this trustee left the Board.
The other three trustees would consist of the Mayor of the Borough of Carnegie and/or up to three members of the Council of the Borough of Carnegie. These trustees would be appointed by the President of the Council of the Borough of Carnegie.
Click here to learn more details of this restructuring of the Library Board.
* The Borough of Carnegie, through an annual appropriation of the Borough Council;
* The Allegheny Regional Asset District, from the one percent sales and use tax levied in Allegheny County;
* The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, through an annual appropriation from Commonwealth Libraries;
* AND the generous donations given by individuals, non-profit
organizations, and businesses,
in Carnegie and the Chartiers Valley.
(NOT a member of the Library Board of Trustees)
Albert P. Falcioni
Return to Andrew Carnegie Free Library.