Discover Crawford County’s Vibrant Libraries: Where Knowledge Meets Community | Visit Crawford County, PA

published on February 2024

Discover Crawford County’s Vibrant Libraries: Where Knowledge Meets Community

Family-friendly, History and Culture

Libraries have long been treasured destinations for the curious, the avid readers, and those seeking connection. Crawford County, Pennsylvania, boasts a collection of libraries that not only captivate with their extensive resources but also leave an indelible impact on the local community. Come with us as we explore these libraries and their unique contributions to fostering knowledge, creativity, and community spirit. Prepare to be inspired to bridge the gap between imagination and reality.

Benson Memorial Library in Titusville has a rich history, tracing back to its origins in the Titusville Library Association in 1877. The library was established in 1904 through a proposal by the children of Tidewater Pipe Company President Byron D. Benson to create a public library as a memorial to their parents. Over the years, the library has expanded and joined the Crawford County Federated Library System.

 Benson is renowned for its extensive collection of local history and artifacts, including rare documents such as newspapers, yearbooks, birth and death records, cemetery records, and city directories that span more than 150 years. Additionally, the library provides free access to valuable databases like Ancestry, HeritageQuest, Fold3, and NewspaperArchive for patrons.

Cambridge Springs Public Library was established in 1928 with a modest collection of 1574 books and 336 registered borrowers and has since established itself as a vital community hub. In 1976, supported by local residents, the library moved to its present location from a room in the city hall building. Apart from traditional library services, the library is known for its community room that is open for public use. The library offers the convenience of hosting events like birthday parties for children with a story hour and craft provided by the library and a small fee charged.

Cochranton Area Public Library (CAPL) has a unique history, opening its doors on August 1, 1969, in two rooms of an old house that was previously part of the former Cochranton High School cafeteria building. The house contained an attached building that had been relocated from Keystone Ordnance Works in 1946. However, as the years passed, the building faced issues with its roof and foundation.

To address these concerns, a new library building was constructed on the same property in 2014, providing a fresh and updated space for the community.

CAPL is known for its active Friends of the Library group, who organize various events throughout the year. Alongside the traditional used book sales, one notable annual event is the Garden Sale, which takes place at the library during Cochranton Garage Sale Days over the Memorial Day weekend. These activities, supported by the Friends of the Library, contribute to the vibrant and engaged community that surrounds Cochranton Area Public Library.

Linesville Community Public Library (LCPL) started serving the community on December 20th, 1982 and soon outgrew its shared space with the borough. In 1989, LCPL seized the opportunity to move into the Unitarian Church, which added a unique charm to the library with its stained glass windows. This distinctive feature attracts visitors who appreciate the historical significance of the building. LCPL remains dedicated to providing a range of diverse programs and flexible services to the Linesville community, ensuring that it continues to be a valued resource for all.

The Margaret Shontz Memorial Library, located at 145 South 2nd Street in Conneaut Lake, is a beloved community institution that has been serving the area for over 50 years. Established in 1971, the library was founded in memory of Margaret McClintock Shontz, a dedicated Sunday school teacher. Thanks to the support of community groups and the American Legion Post 587, the library found its permanent home at its current location in 1978.

The Shontz Library is known for the warm and inviting atmosphere it provides to its patrons. With a large, patron-made dollhouse near the entrance, visitors of all ages are welcomed into a relaxed and comfortable space. The library offers a wide range of resources including books, reference materials, magazines, videos, WiFi, and digital resources. Additionally, the library hosts classes and provides a welcoming environment for people to learn, explore, and indulge in the joy of reading.

The Meadville Public Library, established in 1879, is a historic institution located next to Diamond Park. The library moved to its current building in 1925, which is known for its beautiful arched windows and spacious children’s room. The collections are spread across three floors, with the top floor recently renovated to offer more meeting rooms and study spaces for patrons.

The Meadville Public Library is not only known for its extensive collection of books but also for its diverse range of resources. From toys and games to tools and video equipment, the library provides access to various materials that cater to different interests. It also hosts numerous community events throughout the year, including free tax preparation services.

The Saegertown Area Library, established through the dedicated efforts of the Saegertown community in August 1984, has been a beloved institution in the area. With the support of fundraisers, donations, and local businesses, the library opened its doors to the public and later relocated to a larger facility across the street in 1999. Known for its welcoming and friendly atmosphere,

the Saegertown Area Library is a cozy hometown library where visitors are often greeted by name. Whether you’re browsing for books, enjoying a drink in the cafe, or using the computer, the library aims to create a magical and inviting space for each visit.

The Springboro Public Library has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1944 with the support of the Amicus Club. Initially located in a corner of a town restaurant, the library officially became a part of the community with a modest collection of books. As the library grew, it moved through various spaces until finding its current home in 1994, when the former hardware store on Main Street was purchased. Unique fundraising efforts, such as the sale of a cookbook filled with local recipes, enabled renovations to be completed in 1998.

The library is known for its dedication to preserving Springboro’s history, with portraits showcasing landmarks and community event shirts on display. Visitors can also admire the newly restored original tin ceiling tiles and a full-size horse-drawn sleigh built into one of the front windows, creating a cozy and nostalgic atmosphere.

The Stone Memorial Library in Conneautville has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1904 by Julia L. Stone in memory of her husband, James A. Stone. Mr. Stone is honored with a “spirit painting” portrait that still hangs on the library walls today. The Stone Memorial Library has been a reliable resource for the community of Conneautville and its surrounding townships for over 119 years.

It is known for providing access to information, entertainment, and educational resources throughout the changing seasons of the town.

Crawford County’s libraries are more than just buildings; they are living, breathing spaces that bring individuals together, enrich lives with knowledge, and inspire a love for learning. The Meadville Public Library, Cambridge Springs Public Library, Linesville Community Public Library, Cooperstown Public Library, and Saegertown Area Library all play a pivotal role in fostering connection and personal growth within their communities. With their diverse collections, engaging programming, and warm atmospheres, these libraries offer something for everyone. So, join us in exploring the libraries of Crawford County and embark on a journey of discovery, imagination, and lifelong learning. Let the libraries become your gateway to a world full of opportunity and adventure.

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