Statement before the        Glenn A. Walsh

Allegheny County             P.O. Box 1041

Library Association:          Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.

    Pennsylvania                Telephone: 412-561-7876

    Sunshine Act               Electronic Mail: < >

    Compliance                  Internet Site: <  >

2008 May 19


Good evening. I am Glenn A. Walsh of 633 Royce Avenue, Mt. Lebanon. Today I am speaking as a private citizen representing no organization.


At last month’s meeting of the ACLA Board of Directors, the agenda recorded that the following items would be discussed in Executive Session: “Compliance issues/open records stipulations,” “Knowledge Connections,” and “Mission/Vision/Goals – ‘Measures of Success.”’ When the time for the Executive Session was announced, I called a Point-of-Order requesting an explanation of how any of the three agenda items legally qualify for an Executive Session.


The only explanation I was given is that the Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA) is not legally required to comply with the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act. In fact, the ACLA legal counsel stated that ACLA would not comply with the Sunshine Act, without the judgment by a court-of-law!


Amazingly, there seems to be a dispute as to whether ACLA fits the definition of “Agency” in the Sunshine Act, despite the fact that, several years ago, ACLA received the State designation of “Federated Library System,” by the Department of Education, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania!


Title 22, Section 141.21, No. 2, Item i, Line C of the Pennsylvania Code states: “The library shall be an integral part of general local government.” This means that all libraries which accept State funding are considered agents of the local unit of government and must, therefore, comply with all State statutes that apply to local units of government, including the Sunshine Act and the Right-to-Know Law. This has long been acknowledged by Commonwealth Libraries and is stated in their Trustees Manual issued to library trustees throughout the state.


The Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) is a special purpose area-wide unit of local government, which, by their funding, has accepted ACLA as their agent for library service in a large portion of Allegheny County. If one library accepting State funds is considered an agent of local government, then certainly a State-designated Federated Library System which accepts State funds must also be considered an agent of local government!


Basically, our law is based on the theory of voluntary compliance, following constitutional enactment of law. It is the height of arrogance for any organization to refuse to comply with any law, without a court order!


It is obvious to anyone who reads Pennsylvania law that the Allegheny County Library Association is a legal “agency” required to comply with the Sunshine Act and the Right-to-Know Law. I ask that the ACLA Board of Directors end this charade of considering ACLA solely a private association and accept your legal responsibilities under Title 22, Section 141.21 of the Pennsylvania Code.


Thank you.