Statement before the        Glenn A. Walsh

Allegheny Regional          P.O. Box 1041

     Asset District:              Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.

  RAD Distribution             Telephone: 412-561-7876

  Funding Formula           Electronic Mail: < >

  For County Libraries        Internet Site: <  >

                                                2009 July 8


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


On June 23, ACLA members voted in three rounds regarding three proposed RAD distribution-funding formulas. In the second round, the winning formula won by only two votes. Then, they had an endorsement vote where about 15 libraries changed their vote approving a formula that takes money away from their library!!!


Many ACLA members voted against their own best interests, due to the fear, promoted by a few ACLA members, that ACLA could lose most or all RAD funding, if ACLA does not appear “united.”


Originally, the Formula Committee recommended a two-thirds supermajority, to ensure major support for whatever formula is approved. But, at the meeting, some members of the Formula Committee disavowed the Committee’s recommendation! Consequently, the supermajority requirement for approval of the formula was not affirmed.


Most librarians and volunteer library trustees from the community are attracted to libraries for altruistic motives; they are interested in education and improving their community. They are not the types of people who relish conflict or controversy. Volunteer library trustees do not see this as a political “stepping-stone.”


From my perspective watching ACLA over the last 15 years, nothing has changed. Certain loudmouths, who make claims that really only benefit their own particular libraries, continue to dominate the majority of members. And, most members defer to these loudmouths, to avoid conflict. The result is that many county residents lose improved library service, not based on objective measures, but based on the whims of a political process that is not much better than mob rule: the tyranny of the majority.


Having this formula approved by a, barely, simple majority is not any better than two years ago, when the exact same thing happened. I ask that you assure that RAD will continue to support all County libraries, no matter how long it takes to get an acceptable formula. And insist that every formula recommendation from the Allegheny County Library Association require a two-thirds supermajority. This is the only way you can have some assurance that such a formula probably serves the best interests of the majority of county libraries.


Thank you.