Statement before                    Glenn A. Walsh

Pittsburgh City Council --          P.O. Box 1041

   Historic Hazelwood                      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.

     Library Building:                         Telephone: 412-561-7876

        City Budget                     Electronic Mail: < >

        Public Hearing                               Internet Web Site: < >

                                                                                2003 November 20


Good morning. I am Glenn A. Walsh of 633 Royce Avenue, Mount Lebanon. Today, I am representing no formal organization.


On November 5, you heard from the people of the City of Pittsburgh, particularly those living in the neighborhood of Hazelwood, that they want to keep their library in the 103-year-old Andrew Carnegie-built building on Monongahela Street, and that they want that wonderful and historic building to be kept open and Free to the People, as is inscribed above the Library entrance.  On November 24, Carnegie Library officials will come before you for their annual budget hearing. I ask that you truly represent the views of the majority of Hazelwood residents, at this hearing, and instruct Carnegie Library officials not to leave this City-owned building to become another abandoned eyesore in the neighborhood.


At this time, I also want to inform you that, yesterday, I sent a letter to Carnegie Library President Ellsworth Brown. In the letter I made three requests:


1) I requested the opportunity to set-up a meeting between him and several Hazelwood-area residents, to discuss the proposed abandonment of the historic Hazelwood Branch Library building.

2) If the proposed lease, on the new library site, has been executed, I asked for a copy of the minutes of the Library Board meeting where this lease was approved and for a copy of the lease agreement.

3) Hazelwood residents would like to address the members of the Library Board of Trustees, regarding this important issue. I asked that Carnegie Library Board meetings comply, fully, with the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act.


In my letter, I pointed out several aspects of State law that mandates compliance with my second and third requests.


The Pennsylvania Code provides that public libraries may receive public funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania so long as the home municipality has declared the library in question to be their legal “agency” for providing library service to the general public. In the case of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, this requirement was satisfied on February 25, 1890 with the enactment into law, by the Select and Common Councils and the Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh, of Ordinance Number 240.


Such designated “agencies” of municipal government are required to abide by all aspects of the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law [Act of June 21, 1957, P.L. 390, No. 212, 60 P.S. 66.1 et seq., as amended] and the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act [Act of July 3, 1986, P.L. 388, No. 84, 65 P.S. 271 et seq., as amended], as are all other parts of municipal government.


This interpretation of State law 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 (Reprinted September 1998), on Page 38:


A copy of my letter to Ellsworth Brown is attached to this statement.


Thank you.