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

Accessibility to Disabled              Electronic Mail: < >

                                                                                Internet Web Site: < >

                                                                                2003 September 23


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


The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh claims to be interested in serving the disabled; they use this as one of the excuses for wanting to move the Hazelwood Library to the second floor of a new building, only three blocks away.


Yet, they have done nothing over the years to make the existing Hazelwood Library accessible to the handicapped. There are only six steps separating sidewalk level with the main floor of the Hazelwood Library. An inexpensive ramp could have been installed—and can still be installed—to make the Hazelwood Library available to patrons in wheelchairs.


And, they did install an inexpensive ramp to make the lower level auditorium accessible to wheelchair patrons, from Chatsworth Street. Why not the Library-proper?


The September 9 neighborhood meeting, regarding the future of the Hazelwood Library, took place in the 250-seat auditorium, which is accessible to wheelchair patrons. Yet, Carnegie Library distributed posters and flyers stating, “This facility is not handicapped accessible.”


Although the Library-proper is not currently handicapped accessible, due to the disinterest of Carnegie Library, the location of the neighborhood meeting was accessible to wheelchairs! With the flyer, which I have attached to the reverse side of this statement, Carnegie Library purposely discouraged people who are disabled from attending this meeting!


It is obvious that Carnegie Library was not interested in public opinion. They were only interested in staging a token public meeting, then going ahead with the decision to move the Library, which they had already made—despite contrary statements to the Board of Directors of the Allegheny Regional Asset District.

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.