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

 Carnegie Library’s           Electronic Mail: < >

    Plan to Close                Internet Site: <  >

  Branch Libraries               2009 October 7


Good morning. I am Glenn A. Walsh of 633 Royce Avenue, Mt. Lebanon. From 1995 to 2000, I was a Life Trustee on the Board of Trustees of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, and I author a web site on the History of Andrew Carnegie and Carnegie Libraries at < >. Today I am speaking as a private citizen representing no organization.


Since last December, I have been warning you about Carnegie Library’s plans to close branch libraries. Now, they finally have issued firm plans to close several branches, and perhaps relocate a few of them.


Carnegie Library has wanted to move the Mt. Washington Branch for years, then sell that Grandview Avenue property for millions of dollars. City legislation requires City Council to approve legal transfer of library properties to Carnegie Library before any sale can occur. Let Carnegie Library know today that the City will not transfer that property, or any library property, just so Carnegie Library can make a financial windfall!


On September 15, I was the guest speaker at the reopening of a Carnegie Library in suburban Atlanta, which had been closed for 22 years! The Newnan, Georgia Carnegie Library made history by being the first Carnegie Library building—and probably the first library building of any type—to close, be reused for another purpose (as a courthouse annex), then converted back to library service!


If they can reopen their library after 22 years, then certainly we could reopen library branches once the economy improves.


Today, I ask that you demand that Carnegie Library consider all library closures as temporary and provide you a written plan to reopen closed libraries once the economic conditions improve. Such a plan should include a requirement that, at annual budget hearings, Carnegie Library make written justification to the City, as well as to the RAD Board, why each branch must remain closed.


Do not allow Carnegie Library to proceed with these library closings as permanent.


Thank you.