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News Archive

Summer Reading Program

The library's summer reading program begins each year in June and runs through July. During the program, children have a chance to attend events and earn prizes for the hours that they read. Participants can begin keeping track of their reading hours as soon as they register. View the 2016 program flyer.


Penn Area Library's Science Discovery CenterThe Penn Area Library is pleased to announce that our new Science Discovery Center is now open for all young budding scientists!

A very special thank you to:

  • The Michael J. and Aimee Rosinko Kakos Fund of the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, which provided STEAM items such as specimens, musical instruments, discovery tubes, mazes, building sets, and much more.

  • The Friends of the Penn Area Library, who provided a child-sized storage unit to house the materials.

  • Our Children’s Services Coordinator, Pat Cappeta, and volunteer Barb Baker for presenting six outstanding STEAM preschool classes from September through October.

Six discovery kits will be available for parents, teachers, and childcare facilities to borrow: Insects & Spiders; Weather; Trees; Body & Senses; Oceans; and Health & Nutrition.

Be sure to visit the Library soon and have fun with your child exploring science concepts!

Story Times at the Library

Meet the Author Event

Penn Area Library is pleased to host author Rebecca Drake on Monday, June 13th at 7:00pm.

Drake is a Penn State graduate and an instructor in the Writing Popular Fiction M.F.A. program at Seton Hill University. She currently lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and two children.

Her hardcover debut, Only Ever You, delves into a parent's worst nightmare when three-year-old Sophia goes missing in a Pittsburgh suburb and her mother launches her own investigation to clear her name and save her daughter.

Please call the library at 724-744-4414 to reserve your seat for this program.

Story Times at the Library

Look Up To The Stars @ Penn Area Library

Join us for an exciting astronomy program on Monday, May 16, 7:00 to 9:00pm!  Kevin Manning, an award-winning astronomer, will present "Astronomy for Everyone: Size & Scale of the Universe."  If weather permits, the program will include a night sky observation through a telescope.

Manning is a gifted astronomer, having worked as a consultant with NASA, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory launched on the space shuttle, and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and other ground-based observatories.  Manning has won national and international awards in his field, was both a Wright Fellow and an Einstein Fellow, and has worked with the Brookhaven National Laboratory.  Besides the numerous workshops he has presented over the years at libraries, observatories, and science centers, some noteworthy presentations include Tufts University; SUNY at Stony Brook; the National Science Teachers Association National Convention; the American Association for the Advancement of Science Breakfast with Scientists; and the National Parks Service.

The program is free, but seating is limited to 50 attendees, and advance registration is required.  To register, please call the library at 724-744-4414.

Story Times at the Library


Registration begins Monday, January 4th. It would be a shame to miss out on these... the kids have SO MUCH FUN!!

Mondays: Toddler Story Time and Craft - 10:00 am & 11:00 am -- Ages 2 1/2 and 3

Tuesdays: Pre-School Story Time plus Craft - 11:00 am & 1:00 pm -- Ages 4-6

Thursdays: Book and Blocks Stories and Play Time - 10:00 am -- Ages 17 to 30 months

(This session of story times will wrap up on March 31st.)

Book Sale

Book Sale

Book Sale!

The Friends of PAL will hold a book sale on Friday, March 11 (9:00—5:00) and Saturday, March 12 (9:00—3:00).

A huge selection of items—like-new books and library discards—will be offered at bargain prices, including many children’s titles and jigsaw puzzles!

Please be sure to stop in, buy some great books, and help your library!

All book sale proceeds benefit the services and programs of the Penn Area Library.


The Friends of Penn Area Library will hold their summer used book sale in the library's multi-purpose room on the following dates:

• Friday, July 24th from 9:00am to 5:00pm
• Saturday, July 25th from 9:00am to 3:00pm

Check out our great selection of books, including several hundred cookbooks from a private collection. We also offer a good supply of jigsaw puzzles. Crafters will find several boxes of crafting magazines, with many titles aimed at woodworkers.

Items are priced to sell individually, or "books by the bag" at $5.00 per bag. Summer Reading Program participants--don't forget to bring your "free book" coupon!

If you wish to help at the sale, please phone the library at 724-744-4414 to volunteer. Help is especially needed on Thursday, July 23rd at 3:00pm to set up for the sale, and again on Saturday, July 25th at 3:00pm to pack up unsold items.

Thank You to our Generous Donors!

The following made wonderful contributions as prizes for our Adult Reading Club for this summer:

Buckets Boutique - Bracelet
The Club at Blackthorne - Gift Certificate for 4 Rounds of Golf
Kavernputt - 4 Passes for Putt Putt Golf at Laurel Caverns
Penn Franklin News - 4 Passes to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium (additional passes for the Kids and Teen Clubs too)
Sweet Buzz Bean & Bistro - Gift Basket
Wednesday Morning Book Group - $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card, $25 Amazon Gift Card and $10 Panera Bread Gift Card

We greatly appreciate your support!

2015 Summer ReadingPenn Area Library 2015 Summer Reading Program    View the flyer
June 1 - July 29
Join in the fun at the library for reading, story times, special events, prizes, and more.

Registration starts Monday, June 1 and the program will run from Monday, June 15 to Saturday, July 25. Our end of summer reading party will be held on Wednesday, July 29.

Participants must come to the library to register and can begin reading and recording at that time. First completed logs will be accepted on Monday, June 15 or after.
Read to Me Club for children through age 7
Summer Reading Club for children ages 8 through 12
Teen Reading Club for teens ages 13 through 17

Children in the Read to Me Club will have the books someone reads to them recorded on their reading log. They will receive 5 raffle tickets for every completed log of 15 books read.
Children in the Summer Reading Club will keep a log of the hours they read. They will receive 5 raffle tickets for every completed log of 5 hours they read.
Teens will receive 1 ticket per book read and will have their own designated prizes.

Preschool Story Time will be held throughout the summer program.
Please check the calendar for programs, times, and dates. Parents can register their children for programs in the library, by telephone 724-744-4414, on this website.


Escape the Ordinary at the library! Registration for our adult (18+) summer reading program runs from June 1 thru July 18. This year, our Grand Prize will be a Kindle Paperwhite® eReader, in addition to prizes such as baskets and gift cards.

For each book read or audiobook listened to, adult participants will receive one ticket good for this year’s prizes.

If you prefer our downloadable OverDrive® eBooks and audiobooks, no problem! Just pick up a log at the library, track the OverDrive® titles you’re reading, and bring your log to the library before July 25.

All entries will be eligible for the Grand Prize, drawn July 27. July 25 is the last day to enter the drawing. Winners will be called on or about July 27.

Sign up today and start reading!

Read Flight 93 with Us!Penn Area Library Announces "One Book, One Community" Program

The book, Flight 93: The Story, The Aftermath, and The Legacy of American Courage on 9/11 by Tom McMillan, is the focus of the 2015 One Book, One Community program, presented by the Westmoreland Library Network.

The so-called "fourth plane" involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, United Airlines Flight 93 took off from Newark bound for San Francisco. In this debut, McMillan, vice president of communications for the Pittsburgh Penguins and volunteer at the Flight 93 National Memorial, re-creates the event--based on passenger phone calls, the cockpit voice recorder, interviews, and the official record of the past 13 years--as well as the aftermath, including the dedication of the memorial in 2011.

The Penn Area Library will host a group discussion on Monday, June 29, at 6:30pm. Community members interested in participating in the discussion should contact the library at least two weeks prior to the discussion to register and borrow a copy of the book to read.

In addition to the discussion groups planned at area libraries throughout the summer, the program will feature a field trip to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville. There will be a fee for the field trip, which is open only to those who register and participate in the book discussions at area libraries.

For more information or to register by phone, please call the Penn Area Library at 724-744-4414. The book discussion is free of charge, but is limited to 20 participants.

Special Event - Tuesday May 21, 2015 @ 7:00 pm

Westmoreland County Federated Library System presents two time National Book Award Finalist Author Eliot Schrefer at the Seton Hill University, Performing Arts Center, 100 Harrison Ave., Greensburg, PA.

Reserve Tickets: 724-552-2929 or http://www.setonhill.edu/tickets (click on Special Events on the left)

Admission is free, but the seating is limited. Reserve your ticket today.​

Threatened is a selection for the 2015-2016 Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice award program.

Penn Area Library to feature Stan Gordon, UFO and Bigfoot Researcher

Stan GordonStan Gordon will present an illustrated lecture called "Strange Encounters of Pennsylvania" on May 18 at 6:30 at the Penn Area Library. The lecture will cover the history of UFOs, Bigfoot, and other strange incidents that have occurred in Westmoreland County and throughout Pennsylvania.

Also discussed will be the 1965 UFO crash-landing near Kecksburg, as 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of that historic event, as well as the massive wave of UFO and Bigfoot activity that occurred in 1973. Gordon will also give an update on more recent strange encounters that he has been investigating.

Gordon has been researching UFO sightings, Bigfoot encounters, and other mysterious events in Pennsylvania since 1959. Since then, he has been involved with the investigation of thousands of unusual incidents. He has been taking calls on UFO sightings and other strange reports from the public since 1969 and continues to receive unusual reports on a regular basis.

There will be a display of UFO and Bigfoot information, and Gordon will be available for book and DVD signing. His books and DVDs will also be sold at the event.

Please call the Penn Area Library at 724-744-4414 by May 15 to register for the lecture, as seating is limited to 50 attendees.


We are very grateful to all who gave so generously during The Community Foundation’s 2015 Annual Day of Giving.

Your tax-deductible donations, partially matched with funds from The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, help to support literacy, library programs, and valuable resources for our community.

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2015
4:30 - 9:30 pm

The Friends of Penn Area Library are sponsoring a fundraiser to benefit the Penn Area Library.

Giuseppe's donation will be based on a percentage of each meal purchased by library friends and patrons.

Make it a party -- invite your family and friends to join in the fun!

(Giuseppe's is located at 33 Harrison City Road, State Route 130, Trafford, PA 15085 412-229-8481) View flyer

Special Event - Tuesday May 12, 2015 @ 7:00 pm

Westmoreland County Federated Library System and SHARE Westmoreland present James L. Swanson at the Seton Hill University, Performing Arts Center, 100 Harrison Ave., Greensburg, PA.

Reserve Tickets: 724-552-2929 or http://www.setonhill.edu/tickets (click on Special Events on the left)

Sponsored by: The Friends of the Norwin Public Library,
Richard P. Gibson & Rosemary Kirr Charitable Trust,
Education Fund of the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County and The Penn Area Library

Admission is free, but the seating is limited. Reserve your ticket today.​

Day of Giving May 5, 2015

Make Your Donation Go Farther

You can help support Penn Area Library on Tuesday, May 5, from 6:00 am EST to midnight EST during the Community Foundation’s annual Day of Giving.

Any donation between $25 and $1,000 will be partially matched by The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County.

A 3% credit card fee and a 2.9% technology fee will be assessed on all donations.

Your online donation, made by Visa or Master Card only, is tax deductible and helps to support literacy, library programs and valuable resources. Go to www.westmorelandgives.org.

The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County


Welcome Spring at Penn Area Library with our Sunflower Art Workshop on Saturday, April 25th! Limited to 15 participants. Register by April 11th. View flyer.

Happy New Year's from Penn Area Library!Library New Year's Closings

The library will close at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, December 31st and will be closed on Thursday, January 1st.

Holiday PartyEarly Closing, December 19

The library will close at 12:00 pm on Friday, December 19 for our Staff and Volunteer Holiday Party.

Happy holidays from Penn Area Library!Library Holiday Closings

The library will be closed on Wednesday, December 24th and Thursday, December 25th.

Penn Area Library
Basket Raffle

1 ticket for $2.00 - 3 tickets for $5.00

Winners will be drawn on Wednesday, December 23rd!

Penn Area Library to Hold Book Discussion

Penn Area Library will present a "One Book, One Community" Fall History Book Discussion Tuesday, Dec. 9, at 6:30 pm. The discussion will be based on the book "Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer" by James L. Swanson.

Those who wish to participate should stop at the library at least two weeks prior to the discussion to borrow the book for reading. For registration and questions, contact the library at 724-744-4414.

For this program, the Westmoreland County libraries will partner with the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra. On Feb. 21, the symphony will present "American Masters," a concert featuring Aaron Copland’s "Lincoln Portrait." This concert will be held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg at 7:30 pm. Anyone who participates in the book discussion at any Westmoreland County library will be eligible to purchase a $26 ticket to the Feb. 21 concert for $10. View press release

Story Times at the Library

You really don't want to miss them...
Come on in and have LOTS OF FUN!!

Toddler Story Time and Craft
10:00 am & 11:00 am -- Ages 2 1/2 and 3

Pre-School Story Time plus Craft
11:00 am & 1:00 pm -- Ages 4-6

Book and Blocks Stories and Play Time
10:00 am -- Ages 17 to 30 months

Every other Friday (next one 10/31):
Baby Lap Time 11:00 am -- Ages 6 to 16 months

(This session of story times will wrap up the end of November.)


The Westmoreland Library Network will no longer support older versions of Microsoft Windows® due to known issues. Your computer must have Windows XP® or higher in order to access your Polaris account. If you do not have Windows XP® or higher, you will be unable to access your Polaris account to look at your items checked out, fines, holds, reading list, etc.

Please be aware that while the library staff cannot assist patrons in resolving this issue, you are welcome to use the library's public computers to access your Polaris account.

Pat DiCesareWednesday, October 29, 6:00pm
An Evening with Pat DiCesare
Pittsburgh’s “Music Man” of the ‘60s & ‘70s

The name Pat DiCesare is synonymous with rock ‘n roll and entertainment in Pittsburgh. His memoir "Hard Days Hard Nights" is the fascinating, behind-the scenes story of the birth and development of modern rock concerts. View flyer

To register, please call the library. Limited to 50 attendees.

Reading Rescue -- A Monthly Article of Featured Selections: To help you forget the icebox we're living in, here are some recommendations to curl up with in front of a fire or under a cozy blanket. All books are, as always, available at or through the Penn Area Library. Read this month's Reading Rescue article to see our featured selections for January 2014.

Adult Winter Reading Program: January 27-March 20, 2014

Come on in and sign up starting Monday, January 20.
Enter to win prizes!!!
Prize drawing and notification will be done on March 21st.

Free Tax Help!

AARP tax preparer volunteers will provide help for low and moderate income individuals -- special attention to those age 60 and older.
Attention: E-File only

When: Every Friday from February 7-April 11, 2014 (except March 28th)
Time: 9:00 am-12:00 pm
Please be sure to bring Photo ID and proof of Social Security Number with you.

By appointment only: Call 724-744-4414 or sign up at the circulation desk

Story Times at Penn Area Library

Registrations for fall reading programs are now being taken at the Penn Area Library.

Toddlers, ages 2 1/2 and 3, will meet every Monday, beginning September 16th. Story time sessions will be available at 10:00 and 11:00 am.

Pre-schoolers, ages 4 through 6, will meet every Tuesday, beginning September 17th. Sessions will be available at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.

Parents with children in two age categories should choose the group most appropriate for their children.

Baby Lap sessions will be held on Thursdays at 11:00 a.m. for babies 6 to 16 months of age, starting September 19th. We are offering a new program this fall on Fridays at 10:00 am called "Books and Blocks" for ages 17 months to 30 months. It will include stories, music, and play time. It begins on Friday, September 20th.

The Reading PALs Girls’ Book Club, ages 8 and up, will begin again this month. The girls will meet once a month starting on Wednesday, September 25th at 6:30 pm.

To register children for any of the reading programs, call 724-744-4414, visit the library, or register on our website calendar.

Book Amnesty Week: November 3rd through November 9th

Westmoreland County libraries and The Westmoreland County Food Bank are working together helping to feed our neighbors and fill our bookshelves. Return any overdue item along with a jar of unexpired peanut butter or jelly (or other non-perishable item) during Amnesty Week - - -
No fines will be charged and no questions will be asked!
You don't have to have an overdue book to donate a jar of peanut butter or jelly - all food donations will be very much appreciated!

Westmoreland County Food Bank Inc.       Westomoreland Library Network

The Civil War in PennsylvaniaOne Book One Community
Sign up at the library or call to register: 724-744-4414
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
6:00-7:30 pm

Penn Area Library's History Book Discussion is based on the book
The Civil War in Pennsylvania: a photographic history by Michael Kraus, David Nevill and Kenneth Turner.

All the participants in our discussion are eligible for a special bus trip on Saturday, September 28, to the Senator John Heinz History Center. The authors will be present and the events will include an exhibition on the Civil War and Pennsylvania relative to the book.

Details will be given at our book discussion.

E-Book Forum
Sign up at the library or call to register: 724-744-4414
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
6:00-7:30 pm

E-Books at Your Library!

FREE Canine Aggression Class – This event has been rescheduled for Saturday, July 13, 2pm-4pm - at the Library!
This class explores canine aggressive behavior towards people and other dogs focusing on considering behavior from an emotional level, useful tools in protecting yourself, understanding canine body language and practical ideas for defusing threatening actions by dogs you encounter.

This class covers:
- How to defuse a threatening dog attack
- How to defend yourself in a one dog attack
- Canine body language
- How to defend yourself in a pack attack
- The different types of aggression and the triggers
- How to protect a baby in a stroller and more...

There will be question and answer time.


To register, go to www.myauntpenny.com or call 724-515-7790.

Book Discussion Groups for Adults: Join us for our book discussion groups this winter.
The morning book discussion group meets on the last Wednesday of the month at 10 am. The titles for the next few months are listed below.
The evening book discussion group meets on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm. They choose their titles monthly; call the library to find out what they are reading.

Penn Area Library Morning Adult Book Discussion Group Titles:
May - The Art Of Racing In The Rain, by Garth Stein
   June - Killing Lincoln, by Bill O’Reilly
   July - The Swan Thieves, by Elizabeth Kostova




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