The Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA) is a system of 46 independent public libraries with more than 70 locations that collaborate and share resources to better serve County residents.

These libraries are community connectors, providing opportunities for personal and professional development through access to content and experiences for all ages. ACLA libraries support education and exploration, while developing early literacy skills, school readiness and lifelong learning programming and resources for all. Through its coordination, ACLA expands the resources of local libraries beyond what they could accomplish individually.

ACLA’s story began in 1991 when the County Controller’s office issued “A Quiet Crisis: Libraries in Allegheny County.” The report detailed the dismal state of County libraries, each working independently of one another without any centralized coordination or communication structure. In response, the Allegheny County Library Association was established, becoming a 501(c)(3) corporation in 1994, and became one of the charter contractual assets to receive funding through the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD).

The primary funder is the RAD, which annually has committed one third of its allocations for library service since its inception in 1995.  ACLA and its member libraries are grateful for their commitment to our County’s cherished resources.

With the main foundation of countywide cooperation established, Allegheny County’s libraries have many more resources at their disposal and are better positioned to meet the increased demand from residents for services in education and community enhancement. 


We envision a healthy, engaged, and thriving community supported by libraries that welcome, inspire, educate, and provide equal opportunities to all residents of Allegheny County.


As a federated library system, ACLA provides and promotes the highest quality public library service possible for all residents of Allegheny County through collaboration, cooperation, and coordination.

Core Values

  • Visionary Leadership: We encourage visionary leadership committed to excellence, sustainability, and innovation.
  • Ethical Stewardship: We promote ethical stewardship of both current and future resources.
  • Openness and Collaboration: We promote a free and open exchange of information and active collaboration.
  • Respect: We respect diversity of member library opinions and community needs.
  • Diversity: We encourage diversity by recognizing, valuing, and embracing the uniqueness of every individual.
  • Inclusion: We foster environments in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully; are valued for their distinctive skills, experiences, and perspectives; have equal access to resources and opportunities; and are empowered to contribute.
  • Equity: We are committed to providing access, opportunity, and advancement by taking into account and recognizing that some groups were (and some continue to be) disadvantaged in accessing opportunities for advancement in society.