The Friends of the Uniontown Public Library is open to all persons, eighteen years or older, interested in the purposes of our organization. We meet on the second Monday of each month, September through June, at 1:00 PM in the second floor meeting rooms of the Uniontown Public Library.
Together, we aim to:
- foster relationships between the Uniontown Public Library and the general public;
- inform the public of the resources and services of the library and to encourage its use;
- stimulate interest in and support of the library and its activities;
- raise funds for purchase of library books and services;
- and support other functions deemed appropriate by the Friends.
The Friends have items for sale to help fund activities and book purchases at the library. Please check with the library to see what we have for sale.
Annual Campaign of the Friends of the Library
In February or March of each year, the Friends of the Library sends out a letter to patrons of the library asking for their financial support. The letter highlights our contributions for the previous year. The donations we receive go a long way towards helping us achieve our goal to support the Uniontown Public Library’s collection development and programming, especially those programs presented for children.
During the summer, children flock to the library for a Summer Reading Program centered around storytelling, music, and crafts. All children are accepted, whatever their residence, for a mixture of fun and a gentle push toward more reading. At the conclusion of the summer, the Children’s Library hosts a Scholastic Book Fair, which has been sponsored annually by the Friends of the Library since the 1980. Participants in the Summer Reading Program have the opportunity to be rewarded with a free prize coupon to shop at the Book Fair for reading a designated number of books.
History of the Friends
The Friends of the Uniontown Public Library, a nonprofit, all volunteer organization, was founded as an auxiliary [organization] to provide additional programs and channel supplemental public support into the library. The library had been operated by a community group, The Uniontown Library Association, since 1927.
After the Association sold its building and assets to the City of Uniontown in 1966 coincident with construction of a new building, the Friends provided the continuity of volunteer service.
On March 31, 1967, the executive board of the new Friends met at the home of President Jo Hook Ruse to organize and plan for the future. Since then the Friends have promoted library usage with special programs and services of many different kinds for both adults and children. In this, they continue to carry out the service to young people set forth by the founder of the first “reading room,” The Women’s Civic League in 1912.
Accomplishments of the Friends of the Library include the 1986 receipt of an Award of Merit from the Pennsylvania Citizens for Better Libraries as the “Best Community Library Support Group” in the state. The award was won in open competition with libraries throughout Pennsylvania, including metropolitan areas.
The Friends also sponsored the publication of Jean Brownfield’s “Our Uniontown,” as well as the publication of an index to the Colonial Records of Pennsylvania. The latter project, undertaken by Friends member Dr. Mary Dunn, received nationwide acclaim. Today the Friends are a member of United for Libraries, the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations.
Through the years, the Friends of the Library have raised thousands of dollars annually for the purchase of new books, equipment, and supplies for the Uniontown Public Library.