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Gallitzin Public Library's History

In 1913 the Gilson Sisters started a public library in the old Public School Building on Church Street. Upon their deaths, the Ladies Catholic Benevolent Association maintained a library for several years in a building on Hemlock Street. The library was set up for several years on the second floor of the United Mine Worker's Building on Hemlock Street with a few shelves and tables with books that were donated.  On February 7, 1957, the library was formally opened to the public as the "Gallitzin Public Library".  Members of the Gallitzin Women's Club worked very hard to move the shelves and books to the second floor of the municipal building on Jackson Street where they cleaned, catalogued, and assessed books to lend. The Women's Club raised money to keep this worthy cause going.

On February 21, 1963 the first Board of Directors was formed:

  • Alvin T. Buck, President
  • Arthur Julian, Vice President
  • Rose Watts, Secretary
  • Stella Lawn, Treasurer

The Library was open on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM staffed by Rose Watts and Stella Lawn.  A daytime Librarian, Angela Cronauer was hired to work 3 hours every afternoon.  The Library became affiliated with the State and Cambria County Library System. They received State Aid every month for the first time to pay the daytime Librarian, buy books, records, magazines and supplies.  Many books were received from the County and District Libraries.  By 1966 the library had approximately 6,000 books. The Gallitzin Borough Council donated the room and utilities to the library.  

On October 6, 1998 a brand new handicapped accessible facility was opened in the new Gallitzin Area Community Center. The new area has 2400 square feet, a substantial increase from the previous size of 800 square feet. In 1999 the library automated the card catalog, circulation functions and cataloging functions with the assistance of an LSTA grant.  Presently we have approximately 14,000 books in our collection.  From previous donations and fund drives the library has new shelves and office space, 40 circulating magazines, 200 audio books, all the new best sellers, reading competition books for the young adults, and a great children's collection. We have a daily newspaper and the weekly local Mainliner.  We have five computers for the public to use with internet access, four of which we obtained from a Bill Gates Foundation Grant. We have five computers with internet access for the public to use. There is a book drop in the front of the building to use when the library is closed. Some programs we offer at the library are: summer reading program, registration and field trips for head start, craft classes for adults, story time, tours for local youth organizations, computer classes. Please check our calendar and facebook page for events and dates. 

 

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