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Indiana Free Library
Vision, Mission and/or Purpose of Organization
Mission: To serve and strengthen our community through literacy and lifelong learning. Vision: IFL - A premier library and cornerstone for community life.
History of Organization
In 1901 a women's civic organization was formed from a group of 25 women who had a high literary interest. This civic group was and is still today known as the New Century Club. In 1904 they established a Reading Room above Graff's Market on North 6th Street in Indiana. This room consisted of one book shelf made of packing boxes from the H.C. Christy Shoe Store. In 1908 the reading room needed more space and moved across the street to the Wissell building. The growth of the reading room proved a need for a trained librarian. On February 13, 1908 the NCC sponsored a book social to acquaint the community with the idea for a library to be established in the community center. But it wasn't until 1926 that the reading room was reorganized and became known as the Indiana Free Library. The NCC was the library's main support in those days and continued to be until 1914 when the school district started to donate money. From the minutes of the NCC secretary's book, "If the reading room makes one boy or girl refrain from foolishness and awakens a taste for something worthwhile, the expenditure has not been in vain." In 1930 the Indiana Free Library moved to the McCartney Homestead of SE Corner of North 8th and Water Streets in Indiana and in this year the Indiana Borough began to fund the library. Finally in 1934 the Indiana Free Library moved to the community center which is its present location. White Township began contributing financial support to the library in 1972. The Indiana School District contributed funds in the beginning of the library's history in 1914 and recommitted funding to the library in 1989. These funds entitle every resident of Indiana Borough, White Township, Armstrong Township and Shelocta Borough the opportunity to secure a free membership card for access to all facilities and services. Today, the Indiana Free Library has approximately 88,000 holdings and services 32,924 patrons. The library currently offers children and adult programming on a regular basis. Also, the library offers free public access to the Internet. The current Library Board consists of seventeen (14) members who represent White Township, Indiana Borough, and Indiana School District and the community at-large. The Library Board meets monthly with the exception of July.
Accreditations and Licenses
The Indiana Free Library is one of two Independent state-aided libraries in Indiana County with a service area of 32,924 within the Indiana School District. Blairsville Public Library is also a state-aided library. We are also licensed to show popular movies and enjoy small games of chance activities. IFL is now a Pa Forward Gold Star Library.
The Indiana Free Library is an independent library affiliated with the Johnstown District of state-aided libaries. It is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization under the supervision of a Board of Trustees composed of members of the community with representatives from both White Township and the Indiana Borough who support the library with funding.
Indiana Free Library is State-aided recieving local support from Indiana Borough, White Township and Indiana School District. Local support is also solicited through fundraising, grants and local giving.
Indiana School District
The library website at www.indianafreelibrary.org has services available such as renewing and reserving books online, streaming independent movies, downloadable ebooks and audiobooks, online reference and book clubs all for area residents.
A strong fiction collection with designated and endowed mystery collection, science fiction, westerns, paperbacks and graphic novels is available of the second floor of the library.
A non-fiction collection is available on the first floor with biographies, local history, craft and cookbooks, self-help literature, and career or workforce development resources on the second floor of the library.
A very lively Children's Department with children's computers, interactive games, craft spaces, puppets, story time area, friendly staff and inviting displays are available for area children. Please check the website or Saturday Gazette column for event times.
The AV area of the library at the back of the first floor houses the extensive DVD collection of cinema and informational videos, music CD's and quality audiobooks as well as seating for smaller groups, studying or tutoring.
The journal area at the entrance of the library contains more than a hundred current issues of popular journals and newspapers which can be read in a quiet seating area, with two years of previous issues available for circulation.
Board games are avialable tp play in the library and can be checked out and returned from the Children's Department.
For registered book clubs, Book Club Kits of 15-20 copies of a title and discussion questions can be borrowed by special arrangement from the Johnstown District Center. Please ask a Reference Librarian for details.
Interlibrary Loan is used for materials not available at the library. Ask about acquiring titles you do not find in the collection.
For the visually-impaired, Large Print books, audiobooks in CD or downloadable formats are available. There is an enlarger in the journal area for on-site reading. Ask for an application to services for the visually-impaired for in-home use from the Carnegie Center in Pittsburgh.
A collection of parenting books and materials on child care issues is available in the Children's Department.
FREE programs are offered for public education on many topics such as local history, book discussions, music performances, technology classes and more. Please check the website under EVENTS for a complete and updated listing. The library follows PA Forward initiatives supporting Basic Literacy, Information Literacy, Health Literacy, Financial Literacy and Civic and Social Literacy to improve our world.
A designated Teen Space has an extensive Young Adult collection, two teen-only computers, a gaming area and study or tutoring spaces.
A meeting room , complete with kitchen, wireless connections and presentation space may be rented for two-hour time slots for $40., with a possible extension of $5. per each additional half hour. Reservations may be made by calling the Front Desk of the library to schedule. A returnable $20. cash deposit is required on the day of your event.
Fax service, mail pick-up, photocopying, Internet printing and disc cleaning are available from the Front Desk or Circulation area. Copies and prints .10 cents for B & W, color are .25 cents.
Library Service, FREE WiFi indoors and outdoors. During the pandemic indoor activities are relocated to online services. A Grab N Go service offers access to all library materials. Currently volunteers are not accepted nor is there any foot traffic inside the library during limited operational hours. Monday 4-7 pm Tuesday 11 am - 3 pm Wednesday 11 am - 3 pm Saturday 11 am - 3 pm
Meeting spaces and room rental are suspended during the pandemic.
Monday 4 - 7 pm, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. Closed Friday and Sunday.
Fees/Cost for Services
Any resident of Indiana Borough, White Township, Shelocta or Armstrong Township is eligible for a free library card. Other people can use the library materials while in the library, but to borrow materials must pay a fee of $25.00/year per family. The library will honor Access PA cards with a valid home library card. Fee attached to some other programs, details available at the library. *For added service during the pandemic, all Indian County residents may request a free regular card which will not expire for two years but must be obtained prior to December 31, 2020.
Resident within service area. * Currently a special offer to all Indiana County residents.
Proof of current address to establish residency.
How to Access Services or Schedule Appointments
Contact the Front Desk or Circulation Desk of the library by phone or send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org
Library is wheelchair accessible through the entrance to the Jimmy Stewart Museum and elevator. External bookdrop available on ground level at Museum entrance.
Languages Spoken or Available
Digital resources such as the Power Library give the option to interface with over 50 languages.
Volunteers needed for book shelving and event staffing. Act 34 Clearances are required as well as initial training in library procedures.Volunteers also needed for special events. The regular volunteer program will be reinstated after the time of the pandemic.