Statement before the        Glenn A. Walsh

      Council of                  P.O. Box 1041

     The City of                  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.

     Pittsburgh:                   Telephone: 412-561-7876

 Carnegie Library’s           Electronic Mail: < >

Allegheny Regional          Internet Site: <  >

    Branch Library                2007 December 27


Good morning. I am Glenn A. Walsh of 633 Royce Avenue, Mt. Lebanon. Today I am speaking as a private citizen representing no organization.


In 1994, The Carnegie abandoned the historic Buhl Planetarium building, because they did not want to continue paying to operate two Science museum buildings on the Lower North Side. The result was that the City of Pittsburgh had to spend money to maintain a “mothballed” building for nearly ten years.


It is likely that this will happen again, should a new library building be built on Federal Street. The Carnegie has clearly indicated that they want to move library services into a new building. The Carnegie will not want to pay to operate two library buildings on the Lower North Side.


At the public hearing, Northside Leadership Conference Executive Director Mark Fatla stated that he has received no reply to his letter to Carnegie Library, suggesting that their Rare Books Department be moved to the second floor of the historic Allegheny Regional Library building. So, it is likely that, once a new Federal Street building opens, the older books presently on the second floor will go back to Oakland, and the building will be turned-back to the City of Pittsburgh.


Arthur Ziegler of the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation has stated that they have not been able to find a new tenant for the building. Last year, the Children’s Museum tried to convince charter school organizations, and even the Board of Education, to take-over the Library building, with no success.


More than a year ago, Board of Education Superintendent Mark Roosevelt rejected using the Library building saying that renovation of the Library for use as the Rogers CAPA Middle School "would be two or three times, maybe four or five times the cost of Milliones." If the Board of Education, with their bonding authority, cannot afford to renovate this building for another use, who can?


So far, the Lower North Side has been without library service for more than a year and a-half. And, this is despite the fact that $2 million of insurance money has been spent to repair the Library building, and RAD money continues to be allocated for operation of the Allegheny Regional Library. What is happening to this RAD money?


With repairs of the Library building completed, the Allegheny Regional Library can continue to provide quality library service to the residents of the North Side, as it did prior to the lightning strike. I urge that you, the duly-elected representatives of the people of Pittsburgh, have library service restored to the Allegheny Regional Library and avoid another long-time vacancy in the core of Allegheny Center. Instruct Carnegie Library to reopen the Allegheny Regional Library within the next three months!


Thank you.