Statement before the Glenn A. Walsh
Council of the
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Internet Web Site: < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
2005 April 26
Good morning. I am Glenn A. Walsh of
Last Tuesday, I attended the grand opening of the renovated and expanded Carnegie Library branch in Squirrel Hill. I was quite impressed with the “green” LEED-certification for the new building and the new modular floor which will allow greater flexibility for future technology.
On Tuesday, the Carnegie Library Board also publicly announced their hiring of a new Library Director, Dr. Barbara K. Mistick. Dr. Mistick has strong academic credentials, as well as business experience.
However, like former Carnegie Library Director Herb Elish, she does not have a Master’s Degree in Library Science. Title 22 of the Pennsylvania Code requires that all State-funded public libraries, with a service area population of 20,000 or greater, shall be administered by a Library Director who---and I quote—“has a 5th-year degree in library service from a school approved by the appropriate Commonwealth agency or accredited by the American Library Association.”
The purpose of this regulation is to ensure that taxpayer-funded public
libraries are administered by a professional librarian, one
who is trained by an accredited library school and truly understands the needs
of a public library. And,
So, for more than six years, Carnegie Library was out of compliance with State regulations while Mr. Elish served as Director. Now, Carnegie Library proposes to continue to remain out of compliance with State regulations, for who-knows how many more years! I am sure you are asking how this is legally possible.
Well, for any other
The real purpose of such waivers is to allow a library a transition period, perhaps a year or so, to find a good and qualified Library Director. Such waivers were never meant to allow libraries to have permanent, non-professional library directors for six years or longer! However, politics being what it is, the State Department of Education will probably, again, look the other way and issue, yet, another waiver for Dr. Mistick.
Carnegie Library Board members should not spend their time finding ways to get around State regulations. The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh should play by the rules, just as all other public libraries must!