The Declaration of Trust agreement is the Library's legal charter. Andrew Carnegie set-up this rather unique type of charter for only a handful of the libraries he funded. The Andrew Carnegie Free Library's historic Trust agreement is one of the few which remains, as written by the Library donor.
Among the several provisions of the Trust agreement, which is enforced by the Orphans' Court Division of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, are:
1) Andrew Carnegie stated that "The Library shall be free to the people foreverů" However, he did allow fees to be charged for use of the Music Hall and Lecture Hall.
2) "Said institution shall be known as the Andrew Carnegie Free Library." Of the 2,509 libraries built by Andrew Carnegie, the Andrew Carnegie Free Library was the only public library granted permission to use both his first and last names.
3) Ten Life Trustees and seven Ex-Officio Trustees comprise the governing Board of the Library.
As U.S. Supreme Court Justices, who are appointed for life, consider the long-term best interests of the United States when rendering judicial decisions, Andrew Carnegie believed that Life Trustees could better consider the long-term best interests of the Library. Hence, he also appointed Life Trustees to the Boards of other libraries and museums he built.
The Mayor and all six Councilmen of the Borough of Carnegie sit as the Ex-Officio Trustees. Unlike the ex-officio trustees on most boards, Andrew Carnegie insisted that all seven Ex-Officio Trustees have full voting privileges on the Library Board of Trustees.
4) By a 2/3 vote of the Board of Trustees, Library By-Laws may be adopted and amended, provided that the By-Laws are "not inconsistent" with the Declaration of Trust agreement. The original Library By-Laws were adopted April 9, 1900. The By-Laws have been amended several times, in recent years.
5) The Andrew Carnegie Free Library was the fourth of only five libraries to receive an endowment from Andrew Carnegie: $93,000 in 1899. The other libraries to receive an endowment were located in Dunfermline, Scotland(1881), Braddock, Pa.(1889), Homestead, Pa.(1898), and Duquesne, Pa.(1904-1968).
6) Property for construction of the Library, which was purchased by Andrew Carnegie on March 27, 1899, is held by the Library Board "in trust only, for the use and benefit of the people of the Town of Carnegie, as the site or location for a Free Public Library."
At the end of the Declaration of Trust agreement, Andrew Carnegie wrote:
"In my opinion no body of Citizens of Carnegie will ever enter upon a
trust more beneficial for the town of Carnegie, however great the future
of that town may be.
The Declaration of Trust agreement, in its entirety, can be found on the Library's Internet web site, along with other historic Library documents and a Library photo album. These can all be accessed at the Library's Internet address: http://www.clpgh.org/ein/andrcarn
In addition to a Library, the Andrew Carnegie Free Library cultural complex includes an acoustically-perfect, 788-seat Music Hall(patterned after Carnegie Hall in New York City), 140-seat Lecture Hall, Civil War Museum, small in-town park, and discount bookstore.
Funding for the Andrew Carnegie Free Library is provided by the Borough of Carnegie(through an annual appropriation of the Borough Council), Allegheny Regional Asset District(from the one percent County sales tax), Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, AND the generous donations of individuals, non-profit organizations, and businesses in Carnegie and the Chartiers Valley.
Note to Editors: The Andrew Carnegie Free Library's historic Declaration of Trust agreement, in its entirety, is attached for your information.
Mission Statement of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library
Minutes from the 1999 Library Board Annual
1999 -- 2000 Annual Schedule of Meetings of the Board of Trustees
Andrew Carnegie Free Library Photo Album
Andrew Carnegie and Carnegie Libraries Photo Album
In Cobblestone Magazine, April, 1999:
History of Andrew Carnegie
News Release - April 12, 1999:
National Magazine Highlights Andrew Carnegie and Pittsburgh
Return to Archives: News and Events of 1999.