Library Cards

Library cards are free of charge to any resident of Pennsylvania.

  • Residents living outside Allegheny County must produce a card from their home library.
  • Identification is required to obtain a library card.
  • Children of any age may obtain a card. Applicants age 15 and under must have the signature of a parent or guardian.
  • Library users may have only one (1) card at a time.
  • Library cards are valid for three (3) years. Renewal is based upon verification of specific information, and must be done in person. Renewals cannot be done over the phone or via an e-mail request.
  • Cards are not transferable.
  • Your library card must be presented to check out materials. The Library staff may also ask for photo ID in addition to your library card.
  • If you forget your library card, a valid photo ID is required to borrow Library materials.
  • No one may request the Library Card number or any information about another patron.
  • It is the parent or guardian’s responsibility to supervise and monitor children’s borrowing practices.
Lost or Stolen Card

A mandatory replacement fee of $1.00 will be charged for a lost or stolen library card. Borrowers are also responsible for the replacement cost of any items checked out to their card before it is reported lost. Any claim that a borrower did not check out items on their card must be supported by a police report listing the theft of the card and/or items dated within 2 weeks of the checkout.

Check Out Limits

As of April 2014 there is no limit to the number of materials that individuals may check out. Happy reading!

Borrowing Periods

Most of our materials circulate for three (3) weeks.

  • Popular “new” adult fiction, magazines, Adult/YA DVDs, and music CDs circulate for one (1) week.
  • Some reference materials are available for in-library use only.
  • You may reserve library materials currently checked out by another customer and you will be notified when they become available.
  • If an item is not currently in our collection, you may request it from another library at the customer service desk or through the library catalog.
  • Depending on availability and popularity, requested items usually become available in one (1) week to three (3) weeks.
  • Materials will be held at the library for eight (8) days.

Responsibilities of Library Card Holders

Customers are responsible for Library materials borrowed on their cards. If materials are lost or damaged beyond repair, the Library may charge the card holder the replacement cost of the items and a processing fee.

  • Customers are responsible for returning Library materials on time so that others may use them.
  • Customers must notify the Library of any change in name, address, and/or telephone number.
  • Customers are responsible for paying any fines and fees associated with overdue, lost, or damaged Library materials. Failure to pay fines or failure to pay for lost/damaged Library materials may result in the loss of borrowing privileges and/or their names being submitted to a collection agency.

Returning Materials

All materials should be returned inside the Library when it is open.

  • When the Library is closed, materials may be placed in the outside drop box. Book Baskets and other items too large for the book drop must be returned inside during open hours.
  • Library materials may be renewed twice for the original loan period (one or three weeks, respectively) if they are not on reserve by another customer.


Fines & Fees

The Western Allegheny Community Library assesses a fine to the record of any borrower who fails to return library materials on or before their due date. Accumulated fines will result in the suspension of borrowing privileges.

Fines (Per Day) for Overdue Materials
  • Books                                                $0.25
  • Periodicals                                        $0.25
  • Audio Books                                     $0.50
  • Music CD’s                                       $0.50
  • DVDs                                                $0.50
  • Computer/Video Games                   $0.50
  • Toys, Games & Kits                          $0.50

Fines will continue to accumulate daily on all overdue items until the item is renewed, returned, reaches a maximum fine, or is declared lost by either the borrower or The Library. If an overdue item is successfully renewed, borrowers are responsible for the payment of any fines that accumulate while the item is overdue.

Borrowers are responsible for the replacement cost of library materials that are declared lost. The Library will not accept replacement of the actual item. Once The Library receives payment for a lost item, the item becomes the property of the patron. If a lost item is found within 30 days of payment, The Library can accept the return of or provide refunds for lost materials, but will not refund any processing costs. Beyond 30 days, The Library cannot accept the return of or provide refunds for lost materials.

Borrowing privileges will be suspended for cardholders with fines and fees totaling $10 or more. Fines totaling $20 or more will disallow computer access.

Collection Agency and Payment Plans

The Library is obligated to attempt the recovery of all outstanding debt and/or library materials. To that end, borrowers with fines or fees of $50 or more are subject to contact from a collection agency. A non-negotiable collection fee will be applied to the account of any borrower who reaches this threshold.

The Library will make all attempts to work with patrons by providing payment plan options. Borrowers owing $50 or more on returned materials may request a monthly payment plan of no less than $10 per month. Borrowers may continue to use all library services within the building and check-out materials as long as monthly payments are being made. Borrowers will not be able to access online materials or remote databases while making monthly payments.

Payment Method

Fines can be paid at the Western Allegheny Community Library by cash, personal check or by credit card.

Checks must be made out to Western Allegheny Community Library. Fine payments can be mailed to:

Western Allegheny Community Library
181 Bateman Road
Oakdale, PA 15071

To facilitate processing, include your library card number in the note/memo field of any check mailed. Fines can also be paid online by credit card by logging into My Account on the online catalog or through the library app.

Program Policy

Western Allegheny Community Library selects, plans, prepares and presents programs and events. These programs further library goals and are part of the established ongoing service of the library. Most programs and events, promoted or sponsored by the library, are free of charge. There may occasionally be a materials fee requested by the library. However, when there is a fee for materials, this fee will be stated up front, and should not exceed actual costs. Programs may be designed for a specific age or grade level and attendance may be limited to a specifically described audience (for example : 3 – 5 years old). Programs require registration. This is done in order to:

1. Not exceed the capacity of the rooms.
2. To ensure the audience matches the specifically described characteristics such as age or grade level.
3. To allow the presenter to make preparations for each individual attending.

If registration is required, it will be done on a first-come, first-serve basis for the described audience. If programs are filled, we will make every effort to include those on waiting lists or to expand programs to accommodate demand. Programs may be presented off-site or by request from groups or area schools. These programs are selected and presented by volunteers and professional staff, but outside speakers or presenters may be invited to provide programming sponsored by the library. Arrangements are made for these programs on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Photo Policy

On occasion, staff will take photographs of programs and attendees. WACL retains the rights to these photos and may use them for promotional purposes, on the library website, and in social media. If you do not wish to have your picture taken during any program or event, it is your responsibility to inform staff beforehand.

Unattended Child & Vulnerable Adult Policy

The Western Allegheny Community Library strives to welcome children to use its facilities and services. However, the care, safety, and behavior of children using the library are the responsibility of the parent, guardian, or caregiver. For the safety of our youngest or otherwise vulnerable patrons, the library has instated an Unattended Child & Vulnerable Adult Policy, which you may review for details.

Computer Policy

Any patron with a current library card and fines under $10.00 may use a computer. (School cards are also available for students who do not have a library card to use the computers for school work. Ask at the front desk for details).

When you log in to a computer, the system will request your library card number. Enter the entire number without spaces.

You will be allotted one hour. If no one is waiting to use a computer, you may ask a staff member to extend your session. Please request this extension while you have at least 5 minutes remaining and not after the system has logged you off.

Use of the computers will be on a first come, first served basis. No reservations will be taken.

Printing is available on all terminals. Choose what pages and copies you want printed; staff is not able to alter print jobs once they are sent. The system will ask your name and inform you of the payment amount required for the print job. The pages will be sent to the printer behind the circulation desk. A staff member will release your pages and ask for your payment. You are responsible to pay for all pages printed. Copies are 25¢ per page for black and white and 50¢ per page for color.

You will not be able to save anything to the C: (hard) drive. When computers restart, all information, files, and settings are erased. Compact discs (CDs), flash drives, and memory cards (SD cards) may be used to save your work permanently.

Our staff will be happy to provide assistance to patrons using the internet and computer software.

The library is not responsible for the loss of personal data or damage to personal property.

Internet Policy

In response to advances in technology and the changing informational needs of our community, WACL endeavors to develop collections, resources, and services that meet the cultural, informational, educational, and recreational needs of our diverse community. It is within this context that WACL offers access to the Internet. The Internet is a global communication network and information resource. WACL does not monitor and has no control over the information accessed through this resource. The library cannot assume responsibility for the accuracy, quality, or current nature of Internet information. The Internet may contain information of a controversial or offensive nature. The determination of viability and usefulness of Internet information falls upon the patron.

The Pennsylvania Legislature has expressly exempted public libraries from persecution for displaying or permitting the display of obscene materials to minors. While the Library has been exempted from the obscenity statute and prosecution, we will assume practices that fully regard the issue of what is harmful to minors, and restrict access of obscene and explicit sexual materials as defined in 18PA C.S. 5903 of the Criminal Code.

Internet resources throughout the Library are provided equally to all patrons, no matter the age. Parents are fully responsible for the activities of their children at the Library. WACL does not act “in loco parentis” and acknowledges the exclusive responsibility of parents and guardians to guide their children’s reading and computer use.

Adults may be advised that while accessing and viewing sexual materials is within the law for an adult, the risk of exposure to minors and the consequence of being “harmful to minors” is significant. When children are in proximity or even if another adult is expressly offended, the patron viewing such materials may be asked to close a web site and select a more appropriate resource or location outside of the library.

Children or adults who continuously disregard the library policies and the requests of the staff may be asked to leave the building.

Hotspot Policy

The Western Allegheny Community Library has WiFi hotspots available for checkout. The following checkout policies are in effect for hotspots, to ensure the greatest usage and fastest turnover.

1. Priorities on holds cannot be altered. Holds are placed and fulfilled in the order they are received. If there is an oversight where someone’s turn was mistakenly skipped, it will be addressed by a librarian or circulation desk supervisor.

2. A hold for a hotspot cannot be placed for someone who has one checked out already. Once a patron returns the hotspot currently checked out, a hold can be placed for the future.

3. Patrons can only place a hold for themselves, or an officially linked patron. Along these lines, a library card or I.D. is required for checkout.

4. The hotspot must be picked up within 3 days. A personal phone call will be given to let the patron know it is ready on the first day. If the hotspot has not been picked up by an hour before closing on the third day, the hold will be canceled.

5. Hotspots may only be checked out and returned at WACL. Holds may be placed by calling the library or stopping by the circulation desk. Holds placed online will not “trap” a hold on hotspots, as they are listed as “no request.”

BYOB Policy


The Western Allegheny Community Library has social events where attendees bring their own alcohol to consume.

Requirements for BYOB Events

All patrons upon entering the library will be asked for a current identification with their picture and birthdate clearly printed to show proof of legal drinking age. The Library will not allow patrons to attend the event if the patron refuses or does not have proper identification. Staff members have the right to deny access to the event to anyone they think is already impaired by alcohol or other drugs.

The following recommendations apply per person for a typical four to five-hour function:

  • Maximum of six twelve ounce cans, bottles of beer, wine coolers, or malt beverages
  • No cases, twelve-packs, or other alcohol containers larger than six twelve ounce beers or wine coolers
  • No squeeze bottles, water bottles, beer bongs, party balls, pitchers, tumblers, or other containers
  • No shots, drinking games, or other activities that encourage inappropriate drinking behaviors

The Western Allegheny Community Library reserves the right to stop consumption of alcohol to any patrons who seem excessively intoxicated and could harm themselves or others. The Library also reserves the right to call the North Fayette Township Police if any patrons become belligerent.

Collection Development

Collection Development

Western Allegheny Community Library collects materials, in a variety of popular formats, which support its function as an information source for the needs of the community. The collection also serves the popular and recreational needs of the general public, and reflects the racial, ethnic and cultural diversity of the community.

Customer use is the most powerful influence on the WACL’s collection. Circulation, customer purchase requests and holds levels are all monitored, triggering the purchase of new items and additional copies of high demand items.

In addition to customer demand, selections are made to provide depth and diversity of viewpoints to the existing collection.

Inherent in the collection development philosophy is an appreciation for each customer. WACL provides materials to support each individual’s journey, and does not place a value on one customer’s needs or preferences over another’s. The Library upholds the right of the individual to access information, even though the content may be controversial, unorthodox or unacceptable to others.

Materials for children and teenagers are intended to broaden their vision, support recreational reading, encourage and facilitate reading skills, supplement their educational needs, stimulate and widen their interests, lead to recognition and appreciation of literature and reflect the diversity of the community. The reading and viewing activity of children is ultimately the responsibility of parents, who guide and oversee their own children’s development. WACL does not intrude on that relationship.