ACLA Mobile Library Services Brings Books to the Community

ACLA Mobile Library Services is on the road each day to provide support service to enhance and expand the rich library resources available in Allegheny County. The Bookmobile provides the services that a library building provides, in a personalized environment, at a location accessible to customers who otherwise may not be able to use a library. The fleet of three vehicles serves all of Allegheny County on three routes, serving community stops, preschools and Headstart programs, and senior high-rises and assisted living centers, making more than 90 stops a month.

“The amazing people who work with ACLA Mobile Library Services are truly a gift to our communities,” said Amy Anderson, ACLA CEO. “The work they do every day to make sure that our patrons receive the services they need is a testament to their commitment to library service and their compassion for their fellow humans. I could not be happier with the work they do and I hope they realize their value and how much the entire county appreciates everything they do to bring library books and services to those who need it most.”

ACLA Mobile Library Services was recently featured on Pittsburgh Today Live, including a ride-along with Mobile Services director Chuck Arrigo on a Bookmobile route.

“The Pittsburgh Today Live segment that was aired recently just demonstrated how important [the Bookmobile staff’s] role is to young and old in the county,” said Dave English, ACLA board president. “We’re very pleased and very happy for them and want to thank them for all that they do.”

Community Services

Funded by the local communities, school districts and public libraries, bookmobiles visit nine communities throughout the county. The bookmobile is stocked with a wide variety of materials for children and adults, and provides many of the same library services available in a stationary building. 

Communities can request a new bookmobile stop in their area. The newest stop is in North Hills partnering with Northern Tier Public Library at the Pine Community Center. The South Allegheny Elementary School bookmobile stop, which was in danger of discontinuing, has been funded through 2023 by a very generous donor from the community.

Preschool Services

ACLA Mobile Library Services provides monthly visits to select Head Start classrooms and daycares throughout Allegheny County. A Bookmobile visit to a Head Start classroom or daycare starts with a 20-minute story time in the classroom with Ms. Becky.

“I just wanted to share the cutest conversation I had with my kids.
Hunter: Next Christmas I want a Bookmobile like Ms. Becky’s.
My husband: Who is Ms. Becky?
Oliver: She’s a girl in my class.
You definitely won the hearts of my children!”

From a Bookmobile parent

After story time, children and staff visit the Bookmobile, where they can check out their own books. Children can also register for what will typically be their first library card.

Senior Services

ACLA Mobile Library Services provides monthly visits to select senior high-rises and assisted living centers throughout Allegheny County. Bookmobile staff will bring various book carts into the facility, along with items that were pre-ordered by residents and/or activity personnel. This eliminates many barriers to the use of the bookmobile such as inclement weather, navigating sidewalks and stairs, and possibly excluding patrons from taking advantage of the service due to other mobility issues.

Recently, ACLA Mobile Library Services has been able to add five new Senior Stops from the waiting list for services.