History and Timeline

History and Timeline

The Peters Township Public Library is located in McMurray, Washington County, in the southwest corner of Pennsylvania. The library was founded in 1957 by the Women’s Club of Peters Township and originally located in a section of the Peters Township High School. In 1961, the library moved to the basement of the School Administration building. In 1965, the library moved to the new Peters Township Municipal Building, where it occupied the entire second floor. In 1966, sponsorship was officially transferred to Peters Township.


The library moved in 1976 to a 7,000 sq. ft. renovated Township maintenance building, and constructed an addition in 1985 to increase the total size to 11,000 sq. ft. A fully automated catalog and circulation system was introduced in 1993. Due to tremendous growth in the Township and a corresponding greater demand for library materials and services, planning for a new library began in 1997.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on April 4, 1998 for a 23,000 sq. ft. two-story facility. The new library opened its doors to the public on February 16, 1999. In 2000, the library received national recognition from the Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings (HAPLR), which ranked the library fourth in the nation among public libraries serving populations of 10,000 – 24,999.

In 2008, construction was completed on a 4,800 sq. ft. expansion which added a Teen Room, a Family Activity Center, a Local History Room, a Conference Room, and expanded shelving capacity on both levels of the library.


Today, the Peters Township Public Library is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and closed on Sundays. The library contains over 136,000 items including books, magazines, DVDs, music CDs, books on CD, eReaders, Playaways, Teaching Company “Great Courses” CDs and DVDs, circulating video games for Wii and Xbox consoles, Bi-Folkal “Memory” kits, interactive books for children, LeapPad Electronic Platforms and books, and much more. Services include free public computers, online databases, e-audiobooks, wireless Internet access, homebound delivery of items, meeting rooms, book clubs for all ages, a free weekly e-newsletter, and more. A multitude of programs for patrons of all ages are offered throughout the year.


Peters Township High School Library Circa 1957Founding of the Peters Township Library by the Women’s Club of Peters Township.

  • Located on grounds of current Middle School
  • Library located in a corner of Peters Township High School library
  • Pictured is the 1957 addition where library was located
  • 625 E. McMurray Road


Holdings: 2,500 volumes. Circulation: 1,950. Open: 6 hours per week.


Peters Township High School Library
Library moves to the Peters Township School Administration Building

  • Located on grounds of current PTPL
  • Library located in basement
  • 616 E. McMurray Road
  • Holdings: 3,043 volumes. Circulation: 3,718. Open: 9 hours per week.


First township tax money given to the library.


Library Board of seven members appointed by the Women’s Club.


Peters Township Municipal Building Circa 1965Peters Township Library moves to the PT Municipal Building

  • Currently Municipal Offices
  • Library occupied second floor
  • 610 E. McMurray Road


Transfer of library sponsorship from Women’s Club to Peters Township.


  • Library awarded a Library Services and Construction Act, Title 1 Grant of $78,600 for books. (February 3, 1967)
  • A full-time professional librarian employed. (September 1967)


Holdings: 16,704 volumes. Circulation: 55,938. Open 26 hours per week.


Friends of the Peters Township Library organized.


  • Board appoints a Building Committee to plan a larger library.
  • Holdings: 19,175 volumes. Circulation: 55,697. Open: 36 hours per week. Staff: 3.


  • Bond issue of $159,931 to finance renovation of the Township’s former maintenance building for the library.
  • Holdings: 24,151 volumes. Circulation: 82,068. Open: 45 hours per week.


Peters Township Library Circa 1976The new library opens — 7,000 square feet. $30,000 raised by township residents for library furniture and equipment.

  • Currently houses the PT Police Department
  • Converted from Maintenance Building to Township Library (first building exclusive to library operations and services)
  • 200 Municipal Drive


  • A large variety of 205 programs for children and adults is added.
  • Holdings: 27,609 volumes. Circulation: 106,331. Open: 56 hours per week. Staff: 5.


  • The first newsletter appears.
  • Holdings: 35,023 volumes. Circulation: 132,257. Open: 57 hours per week. Staff: 6. Programs: 396.


Peters Township Library becomes a part of the Washington County Library System as of July 1982.


Groundbreaking for an addition financed by a Library Services and Construction Act, Title II Grant of $97,125 along with matching funds from the township, $10,000 from the Friends of the Library, and $50,000 contributed by township residents.


  • Dedication of the new addition (4,110 square feet) on June 2, 1985.
  • The library is now a member of Access Pennsylvania, a state-wide library card system.


Holdings: 50,000 volumes, 1,200 records, 500 video tapes, 155 puppets and 300 audio cassettes. Also available: many magazines and newspapers, a microfilm reader, a coin-operated copy machine, typewriters, computers, large-print books, cameras, interlibrary loan service, over 600 educational and recreational programs, and the opportunity to donate books in memory or honor of friends and family. Full and part-time employees: 10. Circulation: 187,022. Open: 67 hours per week.


  • October 10, 1987, 30th anniversary of Peters Township Library.
  • Circulation exceeds 200,000 for the first time.


First phase of library computerization initiated. Computer center officially opens.


Peters Township Library becomes a member of the Access Pennsylvania CD ROM database.


Installation of computer terminals to begin library automation.


April 5, 1993, library automation completed. Patrons now access collection via a computer terminal and the online public access catalog.


Holdings: 70,845 volumes. Four databases available for public use: Business Newsbank, Access Pennsylvania, Magazine Article Summaries (MAS) and Social Issues Resources (SIRS). Circulation: 279,450. Programs: 720.


Addition of two Internet terminals, as well as a PC in the children’s room loaded with “World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia.”


  • Groundbreaking for new library on April 4, 1998.
  • Construction of new library begins April 14, 1998.
  • A fundraising drive to purchase library furnishings and equipment raises over $300,000.
  • Time capsule installed in new library on December 5, 1998.


Peters Township Public Library Circa 1999

  • January 15 – February 15, 1999 library closed for moving.
  • April 17, 1999 dedication of the new library building.
  • Name officially changed to Peters Township Public Library.
  • 616 E. McMurray Road


Library receives national recognition by receiving a high ranking in the Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings (HAPLR). Among public libraries in the United States serving populations of 10,000 – 24,999, the Peters Township Public Library receives fourth place.


Holdings: 96,188. Circulation: 307,193. Programs: 834.


  • Launched the Peters Township Online Book Clubs.
  • Installed the iBistro electronic library.
  • Established the Blind / Low Vision / Learning Disabled Center.
  • Hosted a “Local Authors Dinner.”


  • Work begun on Oral History Project.
  • Became a distance learning center for library students from Clarion University.
  • Redesigned the library’s website.


Holdings: 117,590. Circulation: 394,127. Programs: 939.


  • Celebrated 6th anniversary in the new library on February 14, 2005.
  • Initiated a travel series.
  • Hosted an Art Auction fundraising event.


  • Installation of Wireless Internet Service.
  • Library ranked 6th in the nation by the HAPLR survey.
  • Holdings: 118,893. Circulation: 411,845. Programs: 1,132.


  • Construction of 4,800 square foot library addition. Total cost $1,000,000, with partial funding by a $500,000 Keystone Grant. Library fundraising drive raises $500,000 in matching funds. Campaign slogan: “Here We Grow Again! @ Peters Township Public Library.”
  • April 15, 2007 celebration of 50th anniversary of the library.
  • July 14, 2007 groundbreaking for library addition


Peters Township Public Library Circa 2008April 13, 2008: Dedication Ceremony for library addition. The 4,800 sq. ft. expansion added a Teen Room, a Family Activity Center, a Local History Room, a Conference Room, and expanded shelving capacity on both levels of the library.


  • Library ranked 5th in the nation by the HAPLR survey.
  • Launched downloadable audiobooks.
  • Subscribed to Mango Languages database.
  • Holdings: 138,886. Circulation: 413,856.


  • Library receives “Voice of the People Award for Excellence” as a result of resident satisfaction with library services as determined by a National Citizen Survey (developed in conjunction with the International City/County Management Association) conducted in 2009.
  • Library ranked 7th in the nation by the HAPLR survey.
  • Launched downloadable electronic books, Universal Class Courses (offering 500 free online classes), and three databases (Global Issues in Context, Global Reference on the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources (GREENR), and Grizmek’s Animal Life).


  • Began circulation of Pandigital eReaders and Kindle eReaders.
  • Launched Freegal (downloadable music).


  • Peters Township Public Library Cookbook published.
  • Eleventh annual Taste of the Township welcomes 450 guests and raises over $40,000 for the library.
  • Launched new library website.


June 6, 2013 Establishment of Washington and Greene Greater Information Network (WAGGIN).


Installed the MakerSpace. Featured equipment includes three 3-D printers, a sewing machine, an embroidery machine, a digital cutter, a Dremel tool, and 3-D pens.


  • Installation of new circulation desk. Received a $5,000 grant from the Washington Financial Foundation towards purchase of new desk.
  • Received a $13,700 Pennsylvania Public Library Broadband Connectivity Micro Grant from the Pennsylvania State Library to improve Wi-Fi service in the library.
  • Adoption by Peters Township as an official municipal department effective July 1, 2015.
  • Myra Oleynik begins her position as new Library Director on July 20, 2015.
  • Outgoing Library Director Pier Lee is bestowed title of Director Emeritus.


Peters Township Public Library celebrates Sixtieth Anniversary on October 22.