P.O. Box 1041
Electronic Mail: < firstname.lastname@example.org >
Internet Web Site: < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
2006 June 23
By Certified Mail; Return-Receipt Requested
Ron Moehler, President
Board of Trustees
Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall
Dear Mr. Moehler:
On April 22, the 104th anniversary of the official dedication by Library Donor Andrew Carnegie of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, I mailed my annual donation checks to the Library’s Acting Executive Director, Maggie Forbes, along with some concerns I have regarding operation and rehabilitation of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall. Maggie did send me a short reply on April 27, indicating that she would address some of the questions I raised “under separate cover.” Thus far, she has not responded to any of these questions.
Speaking with Library staff members, and one Library Board member, I was quite surprised to learn that the size of the Library’s collection has now fallen well below the size listed for 2005 on the Library’s web site, and may be further reduced!. While it was my original understanding that the construction of the elevator and new restroom required a slight reduction in collection size, from my discussions with the staff and board member I now understand that the gutting of the Library’s collection is due, primarily, to the Library Board’s wish to maximize Allegheny Regional Asset District (ARAD) funding through the “Collection Turnover Rate” criterion of the Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA) funding distribution formula..
After spending five years on the Library Board working to keep the Library open, I must tell you that I am aghast to find that now nearly half the Library is gone !!! Andrew Carnegie, who put great value in the self-improvement potential of books, would be turning-over in his grave if he knew what has become of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library!
With continuing reduction in the Library’s collection size, the Library
could soon come to the point where it is no
longer relevant to the community. Up until now, people throughout the
The Chartiers Valley
Partnership’s goal of making (actually keeping) the Andrew Carnegie Free
Library and Music Hall the primary cultural center for the
At this time, the Andrew
Carnegie Free Library may be the worst case, but ACLA’s funding distribution formula, particularly the Collection
Turnover Rate criterion, is damaging library service throughout
Ron Moehler 2006 June 23 Page 2 of 2
Consequently, I have already delivered public statements to the Board of Directors of the Allegheny Regional Asset District (on May 30) and the Board of Directors of the Allegheny County Library Association (on June 13) demanding an end to ACLA’s micromanagement of libraries through this formula, but particularly the elimination of the Collection Turnover Rate criterion. Attached are the texts of these two statements.
You may be interested to know
that I was not the only person to
complain to the
This also included a member of the Board of Directors of the organization which manages the Lauri Ann West Memorial Library in O’Hara Township. Note that this Library Board member spoke-out, despite the “gag-order” in the ACLA Member’s Agreement, where ACLA could terminate a library’s membership if that library is perceived as jeopardizing funding to ACLA.
As I said in my statement to
the ACLA Board, if they are not willing to make changes, I will have to start
informing the general public, as well as more public officials, of how the ACLA
formula is damaging library service in
I would welcome the active support of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library in this effort. With the elimination of the Collection Turnover Rate criterion, the Andrew Carnegie Free Library could slowly start rebuilding the Library’s collection.
However, at the very least,
I, respectfully, ask that the Board of
Trustees of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library institute a one-year moratorium on
any further reductions in the Library’s collection size. This will provide
time to convince public officials how damaging the Collection Turnover Rate
criterion is to library service in
Glenn A. Walsh
Copy: Board of Trustees, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall
Janet Sharp, Interim Library Director, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall
Maggie Forbes, Acting Executive Director, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall
Charles R. Goetz, Co-Chair, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall Campaign
William E. Manby, Co-Chair, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall Campaign