Statement before the††††††††††††††† Glenn A. Walsh

††††† Council of the†††††††††††††††††††††††††† P.O. Box 1041

City of Pittsburgh:††††††††††††††††† Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.

††††† Funding for†††††††††††††† Telephone: 412-561-7876

Carnegie Library††††††††† Electronic Mail: < gawalsh@andrewcarnegie.cc >

†††† of Pittsburgh††††††††††††† Internet Web Site: < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2006 December 12

 

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

 

Yesterday, Carnegie Library came before you to make requests for additional City financial support of the Library system. Let me first say that I find their request of $250,000 for City support of day-to-day operations is not unreasonable. This is particularly true since the Library Director seemed to make a commitment to use that money to increase hours of operation and services specifically in the neighborhood branches.

 

It is certainly true that non-city residents use the Library system; this is why RAD will provide the Library $16,764,000 in operating subsidy next year. However, all Carnegie Library branches are within the City limits. Hence, an additional City subsidy of $210,000 for library services in the neighborhoods is a quite reasonable request.

 

However, their half-million dollar request for capital funds should not be considered until Carnegie Library agrees to stop abandoning original Library buildings, including the Allegheny Regional Branch next to Buhl Planetarium. And, until they provide a plan to reoccupy the original Hazelwood library building on Monongahela Street. The Hazelwood building could be the first City building used as a shared services facility!

 

Thank you, Mr. President, for bringing-up the deplorable state of the Carnegie Library-abandoned historic building in Hazelwood. However, your comments should have been addressed, not to the City Administration, but to the Library Administration.

 

They are responsible for foisting a building on the City, which cannot be used for anything but as a library. This is why no one else has shown any interest in using the building. And, while empty, the Hazelwood neighborhood has no access to the Libraryís 250-seat auditorium.

 

As the Hazelwood Library building has been empty for nearly three years, likewise the Allegheny Regional Branch library will remain empty for many years if the Library truly abandons it. And, without funds to match the Governorís grant, who knows when a new North Side library would actually be built?

 

This Council should insist that the Library continue to use the original Allegheny Regional Branch library. And, you should also insist that Carnegie Library begin, now, to plan to reoccupy the original Hazelwood Library, when the lease on the current site expires in two years.

 

Thank you.

 

gaw