So much more than books!
Public libraries have a history rich with innovation and determined individuals. Andrew Carnegie paved the way for many of the libraries in Butler County through funding and advocating. In addition to his contributions, local Women’s clubs championed for public libraries. These women not only took care of the day-to-day tasks of running the libraries but also gathered books and oversaw funding and staffing.
Since their inception in the late 1800’s, our county libraries have progressed with the times. Although books are still a large resource at the libraries, the range of library offerings has far expanded beyond paper-bound books! Gone are the days of dark stuffy libraries overseen by stern “shushing” librarians. Today, the libraries in Butler County are dynamic community spots filled with life! They offer classes, programs, and creative outlets for community members of all ages. While the purpose behind these libraries is shared, each library has its own unique offerings. Our libraries are truly a hub of community activity and involvement, and they are ripe for discovery!
We recommend starting with the library closest to you, and then branch out and check them all out! Each one holds unique treasures to be found.
The Butler Area Public Library just celebrated 125 years of service in 2019! It has gone through several location changes and transformations since its inception, and at its current location, it is a vital community member! The Butler Library has embraced the community role that libraries can serve, and are continually offering patrons something new to discover. Besides the obvious book lending, some of their services include:
- 1-on-1 technology issue & resume appointments
- Printing, faxing, scanning
- 16 public computers and WiFi for internet access
- E-books & E-audiobooks
- Genealogy information for Butler County and beyond
- Microfilm of the Butler Eagle newspaper dating back to the 1800s
- Video games
In addition to a wide expanse of services, the Butler Library inspires the love of learning and discovery in people of all ages and offers many creative programs to do so. You’ll be amazed at their innovative program planning, and you won’t be able to resist taking advantage of all their awesome events! Some of their offerings include:
- Storytime sessions for toddlers and preschoolers
- Boardgame days
- Craft nights
- Teen Service projects
- Spanish classes
- Community discussions
- Themed community parties
Make sure to keep tabs on their website as well as their social media platforms to stay in the know of all that’s going on!
Although the Cranberry Library doesn’t date back as far as the Butler Library, their offerings are just as impressive! In the fast-paced environment of Cranberry Township, the Cranberry Library has kept its offerings dynamic and fresh for patrons of all ages. Some of their programs and services include:
- Meeting room rental
- Adult puzzle nights
- Themed study halls
- Lego club
The newest and most exciting opportunity for the Library and patrons alike is the addition of a Makerspace! Makerspaces provide community members of all ages with the tools and space to create using many different platforms ranging from coding to 3D printing to traditional art supplies. The space is expected to be open in Spring of 2020, and it will be an amazing resource for the community! Aptly stated by Bruce Mazzoni, Cranberry library project leader, “The library is one of those things that a lot of people relate to – young and old”. This will hold true as the library continues to innovate and mold to the every-changing needs and desires of the people that it serves.
Learn more about the Makerspace and other Library services at their website: www.cranberrylibrary.org
Mars Area Public Library, like Butler, offers many signature programs! Programs are designed to cater to children, teens, and adults. Some include:
- Baby Bounce and Play
- Brews and books
- STEAM Saturdays ( with themes like Roller Coaster Engineering and Slime! )
- Teen Advisory Board
- Teen Board Games Nights
- Adult Craft Nights
Fitting to its “out-of-this-world” name, Mars Area Public Library even offers free telescope checkouts!
Stay up to date on all events and programs happening at the Mars Area Public Library: https://www.marsarealibrary.org/
Libraries of today still benefit from the contributions of time and money from generous volunteers. The Slippery Rock Community Library Friends is an organization that works directly with the Slippery Rock Community Library to raise funds and bestow a monetary gift upon the library each year. They are a diverse group of people who enjoy giving back to the wonderful library.
Thanks to the Friends and other community support, the library is able to offer patrons awesome programming. Some of which include:
- Geri-Fit ( senior strength training )
- Therapy Dogs
- Story Time
- Block Parties
- Talk Shows
- Books and Brews
Ever since the library has moved locations, the programming has exploded, necessitating the work of volunteers. One particular event these volunteers facilitate is the Slippery Rock Con charity convention that features gaming and cosplay. This event has been wildly successful and brings the community together in a unique and fun way!
Visit the library website to view programs and learn how you can become a Friend of the library and give back to your community!
South Butler (SBCL)
The mission of the SBCL aptly represents the role that most libraries now play in our culture:
The South Butler Community Library is dedicated to building community connections and providing tools for lifelong discovery. And they are fulfilling their mission well!
Some of their offerings include:
- Dog licensing
- 3D printing
- Teen movie nights
- Role Playing Games (RPG), such as Dungeons & Dragons
- Mango languages
- Story Time ( for various ages )
Their full calendar of events and list of services may be found on their website:
This year, The Zelienople Public Library will be celebrating its 100 year anniversary! Since its inception in 1920, the library has grown and expanded exponentially. The first library location was in Zelienople High School, and moved several more times before choosing their current location. Zelienople Public Library also hosts a range of events for varying ages. Some of their programs and events include:
- Spanish hour
- Arts & Culture speaker series
- Music & Movement ( hosted in partnership with the YMCA )
- Kids writing club
- Genealogy research
- Story Quilt collection
- Chess play
- Pages & Paws
In addition to their programming for their 100th year, they will also be partnering with ShuBrew in Zelienople. ShuBrew will be brewing a celebratory brew entitled “Readers Relief”, which will be on tap during the week of July 26!
So have no fear of “shushing” librarians! Rediscover the joys and magic of the library...stop into all of Butler County’s libraries to take advantage of the many offerings, and don’t forget to grab a book on your way out.