NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 7, 1999
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Glenn A. Walsh - (412) 561-7876, andrcarn@alphaclp.clpgh.org

LIBRARY LEGALLY ESTABLISHED
100 YEARS AGO BY ANDREW CARNEGIE

Carnegie, Pa., April 7 - On April 20, 1899, industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie executed a Declaration of Trust agreement which legally established the Andrew Carnegie Free Library. Construction of the Library, at 300 Beechwood Avenue in Carnegie Borough, began in October of 1899. The Library opened to the public, as the fourth free public library constructed and endowed by Andrew Carnegie, on May 1, 1901.

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.

ANDREW CARNEGIE
New York, April 20, 1899."

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.

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gaw

Note to Editors: The Andrew Carnegie Free Library's historic Declaration of Trust agreement, in its entirety, is attached for your information.

Andrew Carnegie's Declaration of Trust,
in its entirety

Mission Statement of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library

As part of the commemoration of the Centennial of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library's Declaration of Trust Agreement, the Library's Board of Trustees held their Annual Board Meeting on the actual date of the Centennial, April 20, 1999:

Meeting Notice and Agenda of the 1999 Library Board Annual Meeting

Minutes from the 1999 Library Board Annual Meeting
Attachment:
1999 -- 2000 Annual Schedule of Meetings of the Board of Trustees


Andrew Carnegie Free Library Photo Album

Andrew Carnegie and Carnegie Libraries Photo Album

Cobblestone Magazine logo In Cobblestone Magazine, April, 1999: The History of Andrew Carnegie
News Release - April 12, 1999:
National Magazine Highlights Andrew Carnegie and Pittsburgh



Andrew Carnegie Free Library History Cover Page.

History of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library.

Information about the Andrew Carnegie Free Library.

Return to Archives: News and Events of 1999.

Return to Archives: News and Events.

Return to News and Events.

Return to Andrew Carnegie Free Library.