Celebrate with Us!
The people of Sewickley Borough recognized the need for a community library nearly 20 years before Andrew Carnegie began gifting libraries to local neighborhoods, making Sewickley Public Library the oldest library in Allegheny County. In 1873, the shenanigans of some young men in a whiskey boat on the banks of the Ohio prompted community leaders to think they needed “a place for more rational amusement and self-improvement.” The Young Men’s Library Association was formed and rented rooms at various locations within the village until the current building at the corner of Broad and Thorn was constructed in 1923 when a gift of $50,000 by Mr. W. L. Clause, then president of Pittsburgh Plate Glass, made the construction of a permanent library building a reality. In a beautiful coincidence, this year also marks its 100th anniversary.
Today, the library remains an asset to the Quaker Valley School District, and a centerpiece of community connection, providing lifelong learning opportunities to patrons of all ages. It employs more than 40 staff members who are dedicated to providing access to a world of ideas and imagination through its educational resources, enrichment programs, and welcoming environment that invites more than 100,000 visitors each year.
We’ll be celebrating with special events all throughout the year beginning on February 7th, the exact date of our founding 150 years ago, when we unveil an exhibit of SPL History in our display cases, a merch shop where you can find some SPL swag, and some fun giveaways for patrons who visit us that day.
We look forward to celebrating this momentous year together with our donors, patrons, funders, and library family in our historic building where we have provided Great Stories Since 1873.
2023 Special Events
150th Anniversary Commemoration
February 7, 2023
We’re kicking off our celebrations on the same day the library was founded: February 7!
- Library History Exhibit Unveiled
- Anniversary Gift Shop Open
- Special Giveaways
- Special Edition 150th Anniversary Logo Library Cards Available for $5
Biggest Storytime Ever!
June 23, 2023
Quaker Valley Middle School Auditorium
Families are invited to join their friends and neighbors to help us create the biggest storytime ever presented by the Children’s Department. Get ready for interactive reading fun and an epic celebration of 150 years of great stories!
100th Anniversary Commemoration
June 26, 2023
Take a step back in time on this exact date of the 100th anniversary of our 1923 building and join us for the premiere of a film highlighting the Library’s place in Sewickley history showcased in our historic Reference Department. Q&A to follow.
More details to come in 2023!
150th Anniversary Campaign
Sewickley Public Library belongs to us all, a shared community asset, that requires continued love and care to ensure its presence in the lives of neighbors, friends, and loved ones for generations to come. In recognition of the visionary leadership that has made our library possible, our board of directors has created the 150th Anniversary Campaign. The gifts we make to the library this year are a testament to the value we find in its storied history, creating a partnership between us and the community members of our past who gifted us with this beautiful library. Please consider helping to write an extraordinary chapter of that history in 2023 with a gift of your own. Campaign brochures and giving envelopes can be found at the library circulation desks, or make your gift online.
Preservation of our Historic 1923 Building
In 2022, Sewickley Public Library was awarded a grant from the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund from the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Pennsylvania Department of Education to conduct preservation work on our original library building to include a new Spanish tile roof and the replacement of ten original windows, as well as the replacement of the air conditioning system for the entire library. As construction progresses, we will post updates here. Matching funds for this grant were largely provided by The Raymond C. and Martha S. Suckling Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, as well as other individual major gifts.
Construction Project Updates
Construction materials have been ordered, and construction is set to begin in late spring. (Updated 1/4/23)
Public Bidding Process Complete
The Sewickley Public Library Board of Directors, in cooperation with Landau Building Company, has successfully completed a public bidding process to engage with the contractors who will perform the work for our Keystone Project. Their contracts are now being drawn up, reviewed and prepared for signature. Upon completion, construction materials will begin to be ordered. Our estimated commencement of the construction phase is currently predicted to be February of 2023. Stay tuned for updates as more information becomes available. (Updated 8/26/22)
Moving Forward with Restoration Undertaking
Please excuse our team of architects and engineers as they take measurements and make final plans to replace the roof of our 1923 building, ten historic windows, and air conditioning for the entire library. They are working in cooperation with Landau Building Company with whom we have contracted to manage the project. In the meantime, some updates are being made to our existing air conditioning units that we hope will keep us a little cooler this summer until the new units can be replaced. Thank you for your patience as we work through construction logistics and try to keep library service interruptions to a minimum. (Updated 5/24/2022)
This project is supported, in part, through a grant with the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Department of Education, with funds provided from the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund.
Bookmark this page and check back for frequent updates about construction and 2023 anniversary celebration events.