Statement before                    Glenn A. Walsh

Pittsburgh City Council:              P.O. Box 1041

   Historic Hazelwood                      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.

     Library Building                           Telephone: 412-561-7876

                                                                                Electronic Mail: < >

                                                                                Internet Web Site: < >

                                                                                2003 September 16


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


On July 17, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh submitted their annual grant application to the Allegheny Regional Asset District. Within the cover letter, signed by Library Director Herb Elish, it says:


“Additionally, lease negotiations are in progress for a new library on Second Avenue in Hazelwood and will likely be concluded subject to community discussions.”


In the actual grant application, referring to the proposed move of the Hazelwood Library, it states:


“Depending on the community discussions, we could be in the new facility before the end of 2003 or early in 2004.”


At Carnegie Library’s annual budget hearing, before the RAD Board on August 27, Herb Elish repeated that the proposed move would be subject to a community meeting to be held in September.


Well, at the community meeting, at the Hazelwood Branch Library on September 9, Herb Elish told about 75 residents that the decision to move the library had already been made. Responding to a question from me, Mr. Elish specifically said that they had decided NOT to have a meeting with the general community before the decision was made!


As reported in the September 10 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

“But in a heated discussion that lasted almost two hours, more than half of the audience of about 75 people spoke against the plan.”

The Director of Carnegie Library told the RAD Board, on three occasions, that the entire Hazelwood Community would be consulted before a decision was made to abandon the historic Hazelwood Branch Library building. Yet, at the only general community meeting scheduled, he told the neighborhood residents that the decision to move the library was already made!

This is a slap in the face to the residents of Hazelwood. And, the majority of residents at this meeting made it quite clear that they were against any plan to move the library and turn the historic building into another abandoned building in the neighborhood!

The historic Hazelwood Branch Library building is owned by the City of Pittsburgh and several of you sit on the Carnegie Library Board of Trustees. I ask that you insist that Carnegie Library abide by the wishes of the majority of Hazelwood residents and stop the proposed move of the Hazelwood Library, out of the historic building that has successfully hosted the library for more than 103 years.


Thank you.