Statement before the        Glenn A. Walsh

Allegheny County             P.O. Box 1041

Library Association:          Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.

  Proposed County           Telephone: 412-561-7876

    Library District              Electronic Mail: < >

                                                Internet Site: <  >

                                                2009 April 29


Good evening. I am Glenn A. Walsh of 633 Royce Avenue, Mt. Lebanon. Today I am speaking as a private citizen representing no organization. I had originally planned to deliver this statement before the ACLA Board, but this month’s ACLA Board meeting was cancelled. However, it is quite appropriate that this information be disseminated to the entire membership of ACLA.


At the February RAD Board meeting, a representative from The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh asked that the Allegheny Regional Asset District assist in the formation of an Allegheny County Library District. The following is my response, delivered at the March RAD Board meeting.

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The general public has not been engaged in any discussions regarding such a proposal. No legal efforts in formation of such a Library District should begin, until there is a full public discussion of this proposal, throughout Allegheny County.


I do not know if a Library District would be better than what we have now. I do realize that financial realities may require changes, which may include formation of a Library District.


However, if a Library District is finally determined to be the best solution to the problems of County libraries, I strongly believe that the Charter for such a Library District should include two major points:


1)      The Charter should include a clause clearly stating that the Library District will fully comply with the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act and the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law, as is required of the Allegheny Regional Asset District.

2)      The Charter should include a clause clearly stating that the Library District will not seek ownership or legal title to any existing library building in Allegheny County. They may lease existing library buildings for the provision of library service—perhaps even lease them for one dollar per year. However, the destiny of existing library buildings should forever remain in the hands of the local community where that library building is located.


Say there is another library funding crisis, ten or more years from now. And, this Library District decides to close one or more libraries. The Library District should not be able to sell-off existing library buildings and make money from assets originally created for a particular community. If a library must be closed, the local community should decide the future of their original library building.


I am sure other county residents will have other concerns regarding a proposed Library District. A full public discussion of this issue is necessary before any formal steps toward formation of a Library District begin.

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My question is: does the Allegheny County Library Association have a position on the question of formation of a County Library District?


Thank you.