History and Mission


The Adamstown Area Library was founded in the mid-1940s by the Adamstown Woman’s Club. The initial collection was approximately 100 books. In 1954, the library moved into 400 square feet of space in the basement of the Adamstown YMCA. In 1988, it became evident to the Woman’s Club that growth in the area and increased library usage warranted hiring their first library staff person. In February 1990, the Adamstown Woman’s Club founded the Friends of the Adamstown Library in an effort to raise funds for the library. Also in the early 1990s, the Lancaster County Library System established geographical areas to be served by specific library locations. This became the basis for the allocation of state, county and municipal funds for the library. A further change occurred in 1995 as Adamstown became a member library of the Library System of Lancaster County. It was at that time the library established a Board of Trustees to act in a fiduciary capacity and to ensure ownership of the library was in the hands of the Board of Trustees and the local boroughs and municipalities it served.

In 1997, the library applied and was granted 501(c)(3) status as a non-profit organization. In 1998, the library moved from the YMCA location to its present location at 3000 North Reading Road. The Adamstown Borough leases the space to the library for one dollar per annum.

In 2003, the library was approved as an agency of the United States Passport Office. Monies earned from processing passports have been placed in a contingency fund to achieve the strategic goal of moving to a larger facility.

Then in 2008, a consultant was hired to conduct a Needs Assessment  of the service area. The findings indicated that the community required 22,000 square feet of space to accommodate a 34% growth in population by 2030.

This facility is heavily used by residents in the service area and beyond. Since 2006, circulation of materials increased by 40 percent. In 2010, patrons borrowed over 183,000 from this facility.

The library also has a very savvy Friends group, raising more than $300,000 for the facility since their inception in 1998. In September of 2010, the Friends of the Adamstown Area Library was nominated and awarded the Pennsylvania Citizen of Better Libraries “Friends Group of the Year” Award.

In January 2011, the library was honored for its many years of service and contributions to Adamstown Borough by the Adamstown 250th Anniversary Committee.

In recent years, the role and responsibility of the Library has increased. It became a full-fledged member of the Library System of Lancaster County and is now responsible for providing library services to the 30,439 residents of Adamstown, Brecknock, Denver, East Cocalico and West Cocalico.


Our mission reflects the commitment we are making to the community:
Adamstown Area Library serves as a vibrant community hub utilizing extensive resources to provide innovative programming and services that engage and educate residents of all ages and cultures.