Statement before the Glenn A. Walsh
Asset District: Telephone:
Abandonment of Electronic
Mail: < email@example.com
Historic North Side Internet Web Site: < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
Carnegie Library 2006
Good afternoon. I am Glenn A.
On August 28, the Director of
The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh came before you and talked about future
plans for the Library system, including plans to repair damage done by a
lightning strike to the historic Allegheny Regional Branch of Carnegie
Library—the nation’s first publicly-funded
Carnegie Library, built in the neighborhood where Andrew Carnegie grew-up. She
failed, purposely, to tell you of plans to abandon this historic library in
favor of building a new library structure three blocks away, while allowing the
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to announce these plans only three days later!
This major decision was made
with no input from the general public and no input from the RAD Board. This
type of behavior is nothing new for Carnegie Library. Three years ago, Library
Director Herb Elish promised you, at
the annual budget hearing, that a final decision to abandon the historic
Hazelwood Library and Auditorium would not be made until he consulted with the
public at a neighborhood meeting. Yet, at the Sept. 9, 2003 public meeting Mr.
Elish announced that the decision to move the library out of the historic
building had already been made! To this day, the historic Hazelwood Library and
Auditorium remains empty and unused.
Does this sound like a
regional asset that really cares what the citizens think? So long as Carnegie
Library continues getting their annual RAD appropriation, without a requirement
to listen and pay attention to the citizens who pay the bills, this type of
behavior will continue!
Originally called the
Carnegie Free Library of Allegheny, this library building was very special to
Andrew Carnegie as it was built in the neighborhood where he grew-up. Adjacent
to this library, Andrew Carnegie built a memorial to his mentor, Co. James
Anderson, who had opened the city’s first public library.
The Allegheny Regional Branch
Library building was the first of 1,677 libraries to be built in the country
under “The Carnegie Formula,” whereby the community was required to annually
subsidize the library by no less than ten percent of the building construction
The city’s oldest Library
building was completely renovated in the 1970s, so it is not outdated for use
as a library. In fact, before lightning closed the Library in April, it was the
fourth busiest library branch in the city!
You hold the
purse-strings for Carnegie Library. The taxpayers of