Statement before the        Glenn A. Walsh

Board of Directors            P.O. Box 1041

Allegheny Regional          Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.

   Asset District:                Telephone: 412-561-7876

Carnegie Library              Electronic Mail: < >

    North Side                    Internet Site: <  >

Library Buildings                 2007 May 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.


Last August, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh announced that they would abandon the historic Allegheny Regional Branch Library, the nation’s first publicly-funded Carnegie Library built in the neighborhood where Andrew Carnegie grew-up, to build a new library structure three blocks away. Yet, in the presentation to you on March 26, I received the distinct impression that Carnegie Library wanted to have it both ways—build a new public library on Federal Street while continuing to use the original building for non-public purposes.


Library Director Barbara Mistick emphasized the Library’s interest in cataloging and storing older books in the original Allegheny Regional Branch building. She even had a new name for it: the “Allegheny Depository”! Is the historic Allegheny Regional Branch Library now to become simply a book warehouse, where the public is not invited? You should investigate further the Library’s plans for the original Allegheny Regional Branch building.


Secondly, on March 26, and in December before Pittsburgh City Council, Dr. Mistick pretty-much admitted that Carnegie Library does not yet have the funds to build the proposed new Federal Street library. The State grant, received from the Governor last year, cannot be used without dollar-for-dollar matching funds.


The repair of the original Allegheny Regional Library building is nearly complete. Yet, my impression is that, when complete, Carnegie Library has no plans to reopen this library. So, a fully-functional library, with all of the books, will remain closed while Carnegie Library attempts to raise funds to build a new library.


Does this sound to you like it is in the public interest? Should the portion of funds you provide to Carnegie Library, to serve the residents of the Lower North Side, be diverted to other uses while Carnegie Library tries to raise capital funds for a new building?


I think not. I ask that you insist that Carnegie Library reopen the historic Allegheny Regional Branch Library as soon as the building’s repairs are complete.


Thank you.