Statement before the ††††††† Glenn A. Walsh
Annual Meeting of P.O. Box 1041
††† †the Board of †††††††††††††††††† Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.
†††† Trustees of The††† ††††††††† Telephone: 412-561-7876
†Carnegie Library††††††††††††††† Electronic Mail: < firstname.lastname@example.org >
††† of Pittsburgh ††††††††† Internet Site: < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc †>
2012 March 22
Good evening. I am Glenn A. Walsh of 633 Royce Avenue, Mt. Lebanon. From 1995 to 2000, I was a Life Trustee on the Board of Trustees of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, and I author a web site on the History of Andrew Carnegie and Carnegie Libraries at < www.andrewcarnegie.cc >. Today I am speaking as a private citizen representing no organization.
First I want to congratulate you on your selection of a new Library Director who holds a Masterís Degree in Library Science. As a pioneer in American libraries, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh should never again reduce its standards for the very important position of Library Director.
While I also will applaud you, in your beginning efforts toward Board of Trustees transparency, I must emphasize to you that this should only be considered a beginning.† From the agenda issued for this meeting, it is clear that this is not meant to be a regular Board of Trustees meeting. While I will always welcome any effort at Board communication with the public, this should never be seen as a substitute for direct public access to, and communications during, regular Library Board of Trustees meetings.
By law, Port Authority Board of Directors meetings have always been open to the public, although they do claim that their creation by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not require public comment at their Board meetings. Nevertheless, a couple years ago the PAT Board chose to allow regular public comment at their Board meetings.
PAT understands that going beyond legal requirements helps to provide transparency and gives the public a feeling of greater ownership over this important public service. I ask that The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees learn a lesson from the Port Authority Board of Directors and go beyond your perceived legal requirements to allow the public attendance and comment at all future Library Board meetings.