The mission of Western Allegheny Community Library is to provide a safe, inclusive, and accessible community-centered library that is free to the public and empowers its residents’ personal, educational, and professional growth through our collection, programs, and services.
Western Allegheny Community Library began more than 30 years ago when four local residents came together with a shared dream to create a library to serve the communities of Findlay Township, North Fayette and Oakdale Borough. Western Area Friends to Establish a Library (W.A.F.E.L.) was formed. After years of building relationships in the community and with local governments the library opened on November 17, 1990. The original facility at 8042 Steubenville Pike in Oakdale, PA was strategically located within a mile of the high school and centrally located to all three municipalities. With an initial collection of 3,400 books in a two room space, the library was small but mighty – a place for community members to gather and foster a love of learning.
Over the years the library endeavored to keep pace with the needs of the community in the ever-changing information age. In 1999 a building expansion gave the library the increased space to offer computers and videos. Although the library had grown and changed over the years, it soon became obvious that more space was needed to accommodate the full vision of the board.
In the early 2000’s the library board and staff began to strategize a way to expand the library to become a hub for the community, a warm place where people can feel comfortable and welcome. They met with local governments, patrons, other libraries, architects, and businesses to garner support. With the support of the local municipalities the library acquired its current facility at 181 Bateman Road in Oakdale, PA.
Thanks to a team of dedicated volunteers the new library offered not only a much larger space with room to grow, but a beautiful, vibrant, state-of-the-art atmosphere. With multiple meeting spaces, free Wi-Fi, computers, and a constantly growing collection of both traditional and non-traditional items, the library has become a destination point for the community.
The library currently offers programs for all ages that are designed to inspire, engage, and educate. The summer learning program draws over 350 participants. The outreach program visits local schools, including nine preschools, introducing children to the wonderful world of books. Teens have the opportunity to participate in leadership programs where they can learn and grow. The library visits hosts programs for adults on various topics including financial literacy, book clubs, and much more.
Recently the library partnered with West Allegheny School District and Monark Student Transportation to create a mobile library called the Book Bus, which takes literacy programs outside the library walls and into the community. Additional partnerships with the school district include Battle of the Books and summer reading programs. The library is working toward a goal for every student in the West A district to have a library card so they can benefit from all the services offered, including access to educational databases and free homework printing.
Something new is always on tap at Western Allegheny Community Library. Stop by and browse our collection of over 45,000 items including books, DVDs, audiobooks, eReaders and other technology items, board games, storytime kits, American Girl dolls, and so much more – all available for check out! What will the library inspire in you?
PA Forward® “Gold Star” Library
PA Forward® is a literacy initiative of the Pennsylvania Library Association. Its mission is to fuel success in our communities by promoting the types of knowledge essential to success: Basic Literacy, Information Literacy, Civic & Social Literacy, Health Literacy, and Financial Literacy. The “Gold Star” designation that the library has held since 2017 showcases WACL as a high-quality learning provider, offering programming and services essential for early literacy and life-long learning alike. Visit PAForward.org for more information on this statewide library initiative.