Statement before the        Glenn A. Walsh

    Council of the               P.O. Box 1041

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

  Lower North Side --        Telephone: 412-561-7876

Two Years with No           Electronic Mail: < >

Public Library Service       Internet Site: <  >

Despite Repaired Library  2008 April 24


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


This month marks two years that the Lower North Side has gone without public library service. The first year of no library service may have been unavoidable, due to the tragic lightning strike that temporarily closed the historic Allegheny Regional Branch of Carnegie Library, However, this circumstance has been completely avoidable since repairs to the Allegheny Regional Library were completed in May of last year!


Although Library management has stated that books have been removed from the Allegheny Regional Library, anyone who looks in the Library’s front doors today can see that not all of the books have been removed from the building. All of the book stacks, visible from the front doors, are full of books! It is likely that books were removed only from the sections of the building that were damaged. At any rate, it is obvious that many of the Allegheny Regional Library’s books remain, waiting for the public.


How long will the public have to wait to use these books? There still has not even been a groundbreaking for the proposed new North Side library! Why cannot Carnegie Library reopen the Allegheny Regional Library, now, and then move the books later if they must have this fancy new library?


The point is that the City of Pittsburgh owns and funds Carnegie Library to perform a public mission. And, for two years, the portion of this mission that serves the residents of the North Side has not been performed, even though Carnegie Library still has received the money earmarked for this service.


I realize that you do not wish to micromanage Carnegie Library. But, where do you draw the line? When a City-owned asset is taking City money, but not performing the earmarked service, is it not your responsibility to formally address this matter?


I ask that you address this matter by directing Carnegie Library management to reopen the Allegheny Regional Library within the next two months, even if they actually build a new library, someday.


Thank you.