About the Library

Mission Statement

The vision of the Mount Carmel Area Public Library is to improve and enrich the lives our patrons by providing quality collections of information in education and recreation.  MCA Public Library assures public ownership of printed collections and digital resources in a safe gathering space to promote the development of literate and informed citizens.  

MCA Public Library serves the entire Mount Carmel Area School District including Kulpmont, Marion Heights, the Borough of Mount Carmel, Mount Carmel Township, Atlas, Beaverdale, Centralia, Connersville, Dooleyville, Diamond Town, Locust Gap, Strong, and Wilburton.

Collections and Services

  • Free Access to informational and entertaining materials

  • Free WiFi

  • Responsible stewardship of resources including our communities histories with their mixed cultures

  • Microfilm reader/printer

  • Inter-Library Loan Service

  • Public computers/printer

  • Basement Rental

  • Home of Ed Romance Lower Anthracite Chapter of the PA Sports Hall of Fame

  • Wall of recognition of gifts from Ellen Albertini Dow, area native and Hollywood Actress

  • Maintaining a bulletin board of community events

~Be sure to send in notices for your events~

 

Over 52,000 items including books, audio books, cds, magazines, newspapers, and area newspapers on microfilm dating back to 1860, High School yearbooks [MCA, Kulpmont, Mt. Carmel Township, Mt. Carmel Catholic, Conyngham Twp.], a collection of local histories, genealogy sources, and much more.

 

 

History

The Mount Carmel is in the Anthracite Coal Region of Eastern-Central Pennsylvania.  The Library serves a population of 12,577 (2010 census) of which approx. 8,800 are library patrons.  

 

According to local historian Jeff Kanezo, Mount Carmel was named by Albert Bradford after the holy mountain in Palestine.  Anthracite coal was discovered in 1790 by Issac Tomlinson, but it was not until twenty-four years later that the first anthracite coal was shipped to market from Mount Carmel.

 

During the 1800's Mount Carmel grew with settlers from foreign lands: Polish, Italian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, German, Scots, Irish, Welsh, Slovak English, and Russian.

The library movement began in 1949 with the formation of a Public Library Committee.  A sum of $25 each was turned over to the committee by the Woman's Club, the Lions Club, and the Rotary Club.  An additional sum of $434.96 was made available from a defunct Memorial Project Fund.  The Committee failed to function, however, and within a few years passed out of existence.

 

In 1956, Mrs. Joseph Moroz promoted a Tom Moorehead television show in the High School auditorium which netted $350 for a library fund.  With bank interest, $380.85 was turned over by Mrs. Moroz to the Woman's Club Library Committee to reactivate the library movement.

 

In the spring of that year, Mount Carmel Borough Council turned over the old City Hall at Avenue and Oak Street for use as library quarters.  Renovation began that fall.  Additional contributions were made from time to time by civic organizations, clubs, and individuals and a book collection drive met with generous public response.  The women of the club pursued their drive and acquired much needed revenue by holding rummage sales, bake sales, flower shows, and other activities.  A tag day was held on Dec. 9, 1961 with the help of the High School Band, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts collecting nearly $300 more dollars.

 

The interior of the old City Hall was transformed into a compact, modern library.  The club women assisted with much of the renovating such as polishing and placing shelves.  An interior stairway was opened into the basement which contained valuable space for storage. Contractors were generous and considerate with the carpentry, electrical work, and painting.  The interior of the building was improved. The familiar red coat of the old City Hall gave way to shiny white paint.  The wooden porch was replaced with brick and wrought iron railing and a metal canopy formed the entrance.

 

On December 6, 1961, the first public library was dedicated at Avenue and Oak Street.  The culmination of this occasion was due to the long-time ambition, dedication, and perseverance of the members of the Mount Carmel Women's Club.

 

Staffed by members of the Women's Club with three competent librarians serving as technical advisers (Miss Martha Johnson, Mrs. Marilyn Kanezo, and Miss Edna Olshefski) the library was opened for public inspection on December 6, 1961.  Registration of members was held from Dec. 8 through Dec. 31 and actual circulation of the 3,500 book collection began on Dec. 15, 1961.

 

From this modest beginning, the library has grown through the last 4 decades, to its present status as one of the cultural landmarks of the area.  In 1961 the library consisted of approximately 500 donated books but in the summer of 1966 as needs of the community were overwhelming the facilities of the original building, the library was moved to the southeast corner of Second and Maple Streets.  By 1972 the library had expanded to 15,000 volumes.  It was on November 29th of that same year (1972) that the public was informed that the library would be moving to spacious new quarters in the former Grossman Department Store at 30 South Oak Street.  The Move was made possible by the philanthropy of Mr. Joseph A. Palumbo and Mr. William Grossman and families.  The "new" library was formally dedicated by President Judge Michael Kivko on Tuesday, October 9, 1973.  On October 24, 1974, Mount Carmel Area School Board voted to contribute a yearly donation to the Mount Carmel Area Public Library  Although the Mount Carmel Area Public Library serves the entire Mount Carmel Area School District, only the borough of Mount Carmel has voted to support the Library through a small tax millage.

 

Library Staff:

Vivian McCracken, Librarian

Barbara Wagner, Bookkeeper

Rose Hindmarch, Processing

Christine Callahan, Registration & Processing

Heather Fishburn, Custodian

 

Library Board:

Walter Kozlowski, President

Marilyn Kanezo, Treasurer

Claudia Chesney, Secretary

Rose Marquardt, Library Board Member

Kathy Lutz, Library Board Member

Jacob Betz, Library Board Member

Helene Boylan, Library Board Member

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