Statement before the                                Glenn A. Walsh

    Council of the                                                P.O. Box 1041

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

      Pittsburgh                                         Telephone: 412-561-7876

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                                                                                                Internet Web Site: < >

                                                                                                2005 April 26


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


Last Tuesday, I attended the grand opening of the renovated and expanded Carnegie Library branch in Squirrel Hill. I was quite impressed with the “green” LEED-certification for the new building and the new modular floor which will allow greater flexibility for future technology.


On Tuesday, the Carnegie Library Board also publicly announced their hiring of a new Library Director, Dr. Barbara K. Mistick. Dr. Mistick has strong academic credentials, as well as business experience.


However, like former Carnegie Library Director Herb Elish, she does not have a Master’s Degree in Library Science. Title 22 of the Pennsylvania Code requires that all State-funded public libraries, with a service area population of 20,000 or greater, shall be administered by a Library Director who---and I quote—“has a 5th-year degree in library service from a school approved by the appropriate Commonwealth agency or accredited by the American Library Association.”


The purpose of this regulation is to ensure that taxpayer-funded public libraries are administered by a professional librarian, one who is trained by an accredited library school and truly understands the needs of a public library. And, in an October 4, 2004 letter (copy of letter, attached), I reminded the Carnegie Library Board of Trustees of this State requirement!


So, for more than six years, Carnegie Library was out of compliance with State regulations while Mr. Elish served as Director. Now, Carnegie Library proposes to continue to remain out of compliance with State regulations, for who-knows how many more years! I am sure you are asking how this is legally possible.


Well, for any other Pennsylvania public library it would not be possible. However, as certain politicians on the Carnegie Library Board seem to have political connections in Harrisburg, this has resulted in the State Department of Education issuing two waivers for Mr. Elish.


The real purpose of such waivers is to allow a library a transition period, perhaps a year or so, to find a good and qualified Library Director. Such waivers were never meant to allow libraries to have permanent, non-professional library directors for six years or longer! However, politics being what it is, the State Department of Education will probably, again, look the other way and issue, yet, another waiver for Dr. Mistick.


Other Pennsylvania libraries do not have the political clout of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh; so they have to play by the rules. But, here in Pittsburgh, the Library Board feels they are above the law. And, State regulations, such as Title 22, do have the legal force of State law.


Carnegie Library Board members should not spend their time finding ways to get around State regulations. The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh should play by the rules, just as all other public libraries must!


Thank you.