NEWS RELEASE

 

For immediate release: 2003 December 16

For more information -- Glenn A. Walsh:

Daytime: E-Mail < gawalsh@andrewcarnegie.cc >

Evening: Telephone 412-561-7876

 

CARNEGIE LIBRARY IGNORES RIGHT-TO-KNOW LAW REQUEST

                        SECOND REQUEST MAILED TO CARNEGIE LIBRARY

 

Pittsburgh, Dec. 16 – In a November 19 letter to Ellsworth Brown, President of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Glenn A. Walsh requested that The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh comply with the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act and the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law, as required by Title 22 of the Pennsylvania Code. Two Right-to-Know Law requests were included in the letter. According to a certified mail card returned to Mr. Walsh, Mr. Brown’s office received the letter on November 20.
 
As of December 15, Mr. Walsh had received no reply, from Carnegie Library, to his Right-to-Know Law requests. A recent amendment to the Right-to-Know Law requires that replies to Right-to-Know Law requests “shall not exceed five business days from the date the written request is RECEIVED.”
 
Hence, Mr. Walsh sent a second request to Carnegie Library, on December 15, regarding his original Right-to-Know Law requests and additional Right-to-Know Law requests. His letter of December 15 was mailed restricted delivery, so that only Mr. Brown can sign for it.
 
In the November 19 letter, Mr. Walsh legally explained, in detail, that the Pennsylvania Code requires all State-funded public libraries to fully comply with the Sunshine Act and the Right-to-Know Law. In the letter, Mr. Walsh pointed-out that the interpretation of State law, described in the letter, is affirmed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Office of Commonwealth Libraries, in their book A Handbook For Public Library Trustees, Fourth Edition, March 1993.
 
This discussion was referred to in the December 15 letter, as Mr. Walsh included a copy of the November 19 letter.
 
Meetings of the Board of Trustees of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh have never been open to the public, as is mandated by the 1986-approved Sunshine Act. Nor has Library business information been forwarded to the public, under the terms of the 1957-enacted Right-to-Know Law. Mr. Walsh’s requests ask that Carnegie Library now comply with both State laws.
 

The two Right-to-Know Law requests repeated in the December 15 letter, from the original November 19 letter, are the following:

 

According to an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on September 22, Carnegie Library Director Herb Elish indicated that the decision, regarding the proposed move of the Hazelwood Branch Library, to a smaller second-floor rental unit, would be made by The Carnegie Library Board of Trustees. If the Board of Trustees has officially rendered a decision on this matter, and the lease for the proposed new library site has been executed (as reported in the November 5 issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), then please send me:

1)  A copy of the minutes of the Board meeting where the decision was rendered;

2)  A copy of the executed lease agreement.

 

 

 

 

                                                ( More )

 

News Release: Carnegie Library Ignores Right-to-Know Law Request     2003 Dec. 16     Page 2 of 2

 

 

Five additional Right-to-Know Law requests were included in the December 15 letter:

 

1)       Please send me the date, time, and location for the next meeting of the Board of Trustees of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, as well as the schedule of Library Board meetings for calendar year 2004, if this is available.

2)       Please send me the name of the general circulation newspaper(s) which will be used by The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to legally advertise the date, time, and location of Library Board meetings. Please indicate whether these legal notices will be advertised on a meeting-by-meeting basis or on an annual basis.

3)       Please indicate the exact location, in The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Main Branch, where notices, of the date, time, and location of Library Board meetings, will be posted.

4)       The proposed moving of certain branch libraries was outlined in, what I understand to be, a “strategic planning document.” Please send me a copy of this “strategic planning document.”

5)       Please send me the following statistical information regarding the Hazelwood Branch Library, for each of the last ten years:

a)       Annual circulation;

b)       Annual registering of new library patrons;

c)       Annual table count of books [used in the library but not checked-out];

d)       Annual use of the 250-seat auditorium.

 

Attached are copies of both the December 15 and November 19 letters to Carnegie Library President Ellsworth Brown, from Glenn A. Walsh.

 

 

                                                                -30-

LINKS TO MORE INFORMATION --

DECEMBER 15 LETTER TO CARNEGIE LIBRARY, IN ITS ENTIRETY:
< http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/hazelwood/L-BrownERight-to-Know2.htm >

NOVEMBER 19 LETTER TO CARNEGIE LIBRARY, IN ITS ENTIRETY:
< http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/hazelwood/L-BrownE11-2003.htm >

DECEMBER 16 PUBLIC STATEMENT BEFORE PITTSBURGH CITY COUNCIL:
< http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/hazelwood/ST14HazelwoodLibrary.htm >

PHOTOS & MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HISTORIC HAZELWOOD LIBRARY --

Note to Editors and Reporters: Publication of these photographs is hereby granted, with credit to " www.andrewcarnegie.cc"

Hazelwood has one of the original Carnegie Libraries. Photo of Library Front:
< http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/CLP-Hazelwood.JPG >

It opened to the public on August 15, 1900. This building has a beautiful stained-glass dome over the original mahogany circulation desk--Photo of Dome:
< http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/CLP-Dome1.JPG >

It also has an auditorium on the lower level which seats about 250--Photo of Auditorium:
< http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/CLP-HazelwoodAuditorium2.JPG >

You can see a few more pictures of this historic library at:
< http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/photoalbumCLP-branches.htm#hazel >

SAVE HAZELWOOD LIBRARY WEB SITE:
< http://www.savehazelwoodlibrary.org >

Glenn A. Walsh served as a Life Trustee, on the Board of Trustees, of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie, Pennsylvania from 1995-2000, including the position of Library Treasurer from 1995-1996. The Andrew Carnegie Free Library has no direct affiliation with The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Views expressed by Mr. Walsh are his own and do not represent the views of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library.

gaw

===== Glenn A. Walsh < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Author of History Web Sites on Internet-
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh: http://www.planetarium.cc
* Astronomer John Brashear: http://johnbrashear.tripod.com
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries: http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc
* Duquesne Incline, Pittsburgh: http://www.incline.cc