The mission of the Western Allegheny Community Library is to inspire, engage and educate the community through high quality, fun, creative and informative programming and services.
The Western Allegheny Community Library began more than 25 years ago when four local residents came together with a shared dream to create a library to serve the communities of Findlay Township, North Fayette and Oakdale Borough. The Western Area Friends to Establish a Library (W.A.F.E.L.) was formed. After years of building relationships in the community and with local governments the library opened on November 17, 1990. The original facility at 8042 Steubenville Pike in Oakdale, PA was strategically located within a mile of the high school and centrally located to all three municipalities. With an initial collection of 3,400 books in a two room space the library was small but mighty – a place for community members to gather and foster a love of learning.
Over the years the library endeavored to keep pace with the needs of the community in the ever changing information age. In 1999 a building expansion gave the library the increased space to offer computers and videos. Although the library had grown and changed over the years, it soon became obvious that more space was needed to accommodate the full vision of the board.
In the early 2000’s the library board of Trustees and staff began to strategize a way to expand the library to become a hub for the community; a warm place where people can feel comfortable and welcome. They met with local governments, patrons, other libraries, architects, and businesses to garner support. With the support of the local municipalities the library acquired its current facility at 181 Bateman Road in Oakdale, PA.
Thanks to a team of dedicated volunteers the new library offered not only a much larger space with room to grow, but a beautiful, vibrant, state-of-the-art atmosphere. With multiple meeting spaces, free wifi, desktop and laptop computers, and a constantly growing collection of both traditional and non-traditional items, the library has become a destination point for the community.
The library currently offers programs for all ages that are designed to inspire, engage and educate. The summer reading program draws over 350 participants. The outreach program visits local schools, including 9 preschools, introducing children to the wonderful world of books. Teens have the opportunity to participate in leadership programs where they can learn and grow. The library visits area senior luncheons and hosts programs on various topics including diet, cooking, languages, aromatherapy, and much more. As a partner of North Fayette’s Live Well Initiative the library encourages residents to eat well, be active and exercise.
Recently the library partnered with West Allegheny School District and Monark Student Transportation to create a mobile library called the Book Bus which takes literacy programs outside the library walls and into the community. Additional partnerships with the school district include Battle of the Books and summer reading programs. The library is working toward a goal for every student to have a library card so they can benefit from all the services offered including access to educational databases and free homework printing.
To this day the library is still supported by W.A.F.E.L., which now stands for Western Area Friends to Enhance the Library.
Something new is always on tap at the Western Allegheny Community Library. Stop by and browse our collection of over 45,000 items including books, DVDs, audio books, kindles eReaders, puzzles, storytime kits, American Girl dolls, and so much more – all available for check out! What will the library inspire in you?