A Little About Us

"Make reading material available to all by subscribing to the free public library fund."

The Pottsville Free Public Library opened its door for the first time November 9, 1911, in a three story building at 208 West Market Street.

The current Pottsville Library, a granite and red brick building at 215 West Market Street with a facade modeled after Independence Hall in Philadelphia, opened its doors to the public May 1, 1922. It was built with a combination of a Carnegie Foundation grant and gifts from the Sheafer family, a Pottsville family whose fortune had been made in coal and iron. The hundreds of first-day visitors saw a huge main room, 40 by 114 feet, with 20-foot high ceilings, white Corinthian columns and walls lined with mahogany bookcases. The building was expanded in the 1990s, with the new wing opening in 1999 and the original main room renovated and reopened in 2000.

Before the building expansion, the most sweeping changes at the Library have been in the number and variety of services offered. When the Pottsville Library was organized in 1911, it was mainly a lender of leisure-time reading materials. Since then, in keeping with an ever expanding information explosion and changing patterns in community life, it has also become a center of knowledge, assistance, education and culture.

The Library's main function is still to store and distribute books. But now the Library also offers magazines, DVDs, music CDs, books on CDs, eBooks and downloadable audio books, materials and services for the physically and visually handicapped, a monthly book club, a monthly writing group, and computers for public use.

For children, there are story-telling sessions, reading clubs, and educational software and toys. Programming to increase youth STEM-related skills has been introduced over the past few years, as well as groups just for teenagers.

The word "public" in the Pottsville Library's title doesn't mean that it's totally supported by taxes. The City of Pottsville, Schuylkill County, and the State of Pennsylvania contribute to its funding. However, in order to provide a full range of services, the Library must depend on gifts, interest from investments and special grants.

Since 1911, the Pottsville Free Public Library has not merely survived--it has grown from a one-room storehouse of books to a full-fledged, diversified cultural information center with services for people of all ages, incomes, interests and occupations.

Annual Events and Fundraisers at The Library

  • Art exhibitions and events throughout the year.
  • Miniature golf in the library.
  • Deppen pie, flowers, and wreath sales.
  • Cupcake War (with other libraries in the Pottsville Library District).
  • National Library Week programs and celebrations.
  • Block of Art and Small Business Saturday, in conjunction with the official downtown events.
  • Free Comic Book Day.
  • Monthly book sales by the Friends of the Library.
  • Summer reading quest and Book Bingo (with other libraries in the Pottsville Library District).
  • Mystery dinner theater.
  • 12+ Gifts of Christmas Basket Raffle.

Event Calendar for April/May

Want to Help Us?

Ongoing donation needs:

  • General monetary donations are always welcome. The annual fund drive usually happens in May or June, sometimes supplemented with a November fund drive.
  • Gift cards to local stores for food or supplies for programs, or local gas stations for our delivery vehicle.
  • Gift cards for Roma Pizzeria in Pottsville for teen programs.
  • Items for basket raffles held 2-3 times a year.
  • Plastic table covers.
  • Gently used or new books for teens and children. We use these as prizes at various programs and events.
  • Craft supplies for children’s programs like paper plates, brown paper lunch bags, yarn, and googly eyes.
  • Small and medium plastic cups for the Children’s Department (for beverages and crafts).
  • Basic office and cleaning supplies.

Volunteer opportunities include but are not limited to:

  • Help with shelving, maintaining or processing books and materials.
  • Friends of the Library membership, or help them with sorting donated books for their regular book sales.
  • Assisting with outreach services (like Meals-on-Wheels but with books).
  • Assisting with Children’s Department programs and events like book bingo, summer reading quest, and seasonal parties.
  • Digital preservation project for library history.
  • Creating or assisting with programs for adults.
  • Computer training or tutoring.
  • Assistance with fund drive envelope stuffing.

For More Information or To Get Involved With The Library

Contact the Executive Director, Ms. Jean Towle, at 570-622-8880 x20, or by email at jat@pottsvillelibrary.org

Our Location: The Pottsville Free Public Library is located at 215 West Market Street, Pottsville, PA  17901

Our Hours:
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 8:30 AM-8:30 PM
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 8:30 AM-5:00 PM