Friday, March 23, 2012

Carnegie Library Board Meetings Should be Public
PAT Board Meetings Go Beyond Legal Requirements
The following is the statement delivered before the Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, by Glenn A. Walsh, on Thursday Evening, 2012 March 22. In the statement, Mr. Walsh emphasizes that Carnegie Library Board meetings should go beyond perceived legal requirements to allow greater public participation, as do Port Authority Board meetings.

Statement before the  Glenn A. Walsh
Annual Meeting of      P.O. Box 1041
     the Board of           Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.
     Trustees of The     Telephone: 412-561-7876
 Carnegie Library        Electronic Mail: < >
    of Pittsburgh            Internet Site: <  >
                                          2012 March 22

Good evening. 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.

First I want to congratulate you on your selection of a new Library Director who holds a Master’s Degree in Library Science. As a pioneer in American libraries, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh should never again reduce its standards for the very important position of Library Director.

While I also will applaud you, in your beginning efforts toward Board of Trustees transparency, I must emphasize to you that this should only be considered a beginning.  From the agenda issued for this meeting, it is clear that this is not meant to be a regular Board of Trustees meeting. While I will always welcome any effort at Board communication with the public, this should never be seen as a substitute for direct public access to, and communications during, regular Library Board of Trustees meetings.

By law, Port Authority Board of Directors meetings have always been open to the public, although they do claim that their creation by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not require public comment at their Board meetings. Nevertheless, a couple years ago the PAT Board chose to allow regular public comment at their Board meetings.

PAT understands that going beyond legal requirements helps to provide transparency and gives the public a feeling of greater ownership over this important public service. I ask that The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees learn a lesson from the Port Authority Board of Directors and go beyond your perceived legal requirements to allow the public attendance and comment at all future Library Board meetings.

Thank you.


More on the Carnegie Library Annual Meeting from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:



Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < >
Electronic Mail - < >
  < >
Twitter: < >
Facebook: < >
Blog: < >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < >
* Public Transit:
  < >

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