Mobile services newsletter

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. We provide 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, and we have been doing it for 70 years.

ACLA Mobile Services’ 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.

more than 90 stops a month.

On the Road Since 1952

Bookmobiles first started providing service in Allegheny County in 1952. The program started out of the Carnegie of Pittsburgh Library in Oakland, providing City Service with 2 vehicles throughout the city.

Beginning in 2003, administration of bookmobile services was taken over from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh by the Allegheny County Library Association.

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. 

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 consists of a 20-minute story-time in the classroom followed by a visit to the bookmobile by the children and staff, where they can check out their own book. All checked out materials will be due on our next visit. We can also register children for what will typically be their first library card. Our early childhood specialist can provide details on the program. If you are a daycare requesting service, please call us at (412) 321-1853 to discuss what options may be available.

“We’re oftentimes their first library card, and their parents can take that card and take them to the library. It’s kind of a circle, right? You want to get them interested in reading early, and then we’ll catch them again [at the senior stops] because they’re going to become lifelong readers.”

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. In this way we eliminate 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. Items can be ordered through the bookmobile staff at the stop, through the online catalog, or by calling (412) 321-1853. If you are a facility that would like services, please call us to discuss options that may be available.

“As you get older, you’re not as mobile. You don’t have as many options to get out of the building and go do things, and the library is one of those. For a lot of these folks, this is a lifeline to the outside.”

“We get to know them and we get to know their families. They don’t just come to pick up books.”