The Mission of the Bridgeville Public Library is to serve as a center for lifelong learning. The BPL serves the people of its area by helping them develop the literacies and connections that support individual achievement and strengthen the bonds of the community. By providing access to ideas and imagination through its educational and informational resources and enrichment programs, the BPL is a cornerstone of the community it serves.
The Bridgeville Public Library is a member of the Allegheny County Library Association and the eiNetwork. The Library is funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD Tax), Bridgeville Borough, and private funding.
The concept of the Bridgeville Public Library began in 1962 when a group of concerned citizens gathered to discuss organizing a public library to serve the community. The idea was well received and the establishment of the library soon became a community effort. As a result of the fund-raising campaign to enlist charter members and a drive for donated books, the library first opened its doors for service on November 4, 1962, in a small room in what is now PNC-Bridgeville Trust Branch on Washington Avenue. The original founders of the BPL were Louise Bergstrom, Grace McDivitt, Betty Mihalyi, Betty Mincemoyer, Sylvia Saperstein and Betty Sutton.
Shortly thereafter, the library was moved to a more accessible location in the Dreon Building. But interest in finding a permanent home for the library was growing and led to the purchase in 1968 of the abandoned Penn Central Railroad Station building and grounds at 441 Station Street. An extensive fund-raising drive was conducted to raise support for this purchase and for remodeling of the building. The entire renovation, which began in April, 1969 was done by volunteers from the Bridgeville Kiwanas Club. Except for a few additions, such as the doorway and the lighted cupola and a few finishing touches, the exterior of the depot has been preserved in its original state.
At the time of the library’s dedication in June, 1970, the collection had grown to 7,000 books and continued to expand until the library began to experience growing pains. An ingenious solution to the space problem was the addition of a children’s wing in the form of a caboose, which was purchased from the B & O Railroad in 1974, remodeled by the Kiwanas Club and opened for service in June, 1975.
Over the next 36 years the library collection grew to approximately 20,000 items, and once again the library was out of space for the collection and for other services, such as children, teen and adult programming.
In January 2011, a new chapter began with the opening of the new Bridgeville Public Library at 505 McMillen Street. The new building houses an expanding collection and provides designated children’s, teen and adult areas, a community room that can accommodate large groups for library programs, such as storytimes, book discussion groups and speakers and also provides community groups with a meeting room, more public use computers, comfortable seating for all ages and adequate parking spaces.
The long time BPL location at the Penn Central Station on Railroad Street was sold to the Bridgeville Historical Society in 2011.