As 2023 comes to a close, I am so happy with the work that ACLA and our libraries have done to make the library experience a great one for all. From our new online catalog that, among many great features, helps make our “library of things” stand out and be more visible to the community, to the wealth of great programming offered across the county, I couldn’t be happier with our libraries.
At ACLA, we want everyone in Allegheny County to get out and visit our libraries. The ACLA Road Trip program was launched this year to encourage everyone to see what our great libraries have to offer across the county. Every library has different programs and offerings, all in different kinds of spaces. We want everyone to see what all goes on in our libraries and to know that every library in Allegheny County is “their library” to use and enjoy.
Many of these new programs and opportunities could not have happened without the help of our great partners in the community. Perhaps our biggest boost in financial support this year came from our friends at the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD). This year, the RAD provided an additional one-time bonus to our libraries in the amount of $3 million. This funding helped libraries to add programming, make some much-needed repairs, and create rainy-day funds for future needs, in addition to meeting other important needs.
Not only that, but the RAD also granted $3.8 million to five libraries that serve distressed communities through their RAD Transformative Community Libraries Fund. These grants will help with major renovation projects that will make these libraries more accessible, have more public space, and, in the case of Clairton Public Library, create a whole new library for that community to enjoy.
So, it has been a great year in Allegheny County libraries and we are excited to see where 2024 takes us! I encourage everyone to get out and visit our great libraries. I promise you won’t be disappointed!