County System History

The Cambria County Library System, established in 1963, has fourteen member libraries. A task force was formed in 1995 to develop a long-range plan for the county system. In response to the financial recommendations of that task force, the county commissioners increased their funding to one mil for county library service. In 2005–06 a strategic planning process resulted in a new long-range plan for library service in the county.The Cambria County Library System is a federated library system, meaning that each library maintains local independence and has its own operating board. Participation in a county system is voluntary and every public library in Cambria County opted to become a member of the county system. In return every library shares in the county funds, enabling them to provide even better local library service.One advantage to system membership is participation in joint grant applications. For example two separate LSTA grants were received by the system in 1998 and 1999 for the purpose of automating checkout functions at twelve county libraries.

As part of that project the libraries also added lists of their holdings to ACCESS PA, a statewide database intended to improve resource sharing among Pennsylvania libraries.

This database provides public web access to the catalog indexes
of most Pennsylvania libraries.The Office of Commonwealth Libraries, part of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, appropriated additional funds for county systems in 2001. To date those monies have funded a range of projects, including new web pages for each Cambria County System member library, special book collections for each library, and the hiring of a County Coordinator.