Adams Memorial Library History

Home | About AML | Hours and Locations FAQ | Site map | Contact Us
Adams Memorial Library
Search the catalog:
How do I...

History

Lois Anthony and Madelyn McCarthy Blair stand in front of the Masonic Building in 1936.
Lois Anthony and Madelyn McCarthy Blair stand in front of the Masonic Building in 1936.


Adams Memorial Library sits on the corner of Chestnut St. and Ligonier St.
Adams Memorial Library sits on the corner of Chestnut St. and Ligonier St.
The Latrobe Public Library was founded September 1, 1927 in the Masonic Building on the first block of Spring Street. Mrs. Eleanor Bye was the first librarian followed by other talented directors including the legendary Sara McComb. Tracy Trotter is our current director, Karen Herc is Children's Director, Allyssa Yanniello is Branch Manager of Caldwell Memorial Library.

It wasn't long before the growth in the library's popularity called for a new building. The Masonic Building could no longer hold the books and patrons. George Hamilton Adams, a railroad industrialist, developed a plan for the growing library in his hometown. Upon the deaths of Adams and his wife, his estate was to be given to the library with the approval of a tax levy.

The library as we know it today was completed in the fall of 1954. It currently contains over 100,000 volumes and has topped 300,000 in annual circulation. Special features include the Resource Center library of educational toys and games, where educators and children can find useful tools to make learning more enjoyable.

Eventually three branch libraries were added. First came Caldwell Memorial Library in 1992, which is located in the Derry Area High School. During the day the space operates as a school library, and in the evenings and on weekends it transforms into a public library. We believe ours may be the longest-running "shared use facility" of this kind in Pennsylvania. Following that success, Unity Library opened in 1996 as one of only two libraries in the world located inside a supermarket. This branch moved briefly to the Unity Township Muinicipal Building before closing in 2013 due to lack of funding. The bookmobile, know as "Your Neighborhood Library" (but called MO by the folks who loved her) was operated from 2001 until 2018.

The growth of Adams Memorial Library cannot be acknowledged without the help of Robert E. Reed. Upon his passing, Mr. Reed gave the bulk of his estate to the library and two other facilities. The library still uses this money today as a source of funding.

Adams Memorial Library is also funded through the State, Westmoreland County, Latrobe and surrounding townships, school districts, and private grants, including generous donations by the McFeely-Rogers Foundation, the Latrobe Foundation, the McKenna Foundation and the Arnold Palmer Foundation. Patron donations and memorial books also help the library maintain a collection that appeals to everyone.

Adams Memorial Library and Caldwell Memorial Library serve the populations of the City of Latrobe, Derry Township, Derry Borough, Donegal Township, Donegal Borough, Youngstown, and New Alexandria.

©2015 Adams Memorial Library | Policy on Public Use of the Internet