A Short History of the Allen F. Pierce Free Library, Troy, PA
Attempts to start a library in Troy can be traced back to as early as 1870 when a library was opened in the Troy Graded School. It became a public free library on January 20, 1912, relocating to the north side front room of the Halfshire Courthouse, which became the Van Dyne Civic Building in 1916, and is now home to Troy’s Citizens and Northern Bank. The first librarian was Miss Kate Paine and the first books were checked out by Daniel Compton and Harold Gustin. The inaugural book collection included 923 books brought down from the original school location, several gifts from local personal libraries, but no financial provisions for purchasing new books. Community sales, cake baking contests, bridge parties and ice cream festivals helped generate needed operating expenses. By 1976, only $450 a year was being allocated to purchase new books, continuing the library’s tradition of frugality.
The library was incorporated in 1967 and was granted status as a 501.3.c non-profit entity in 1978.
In 1978, upkeep expenses for the Van Dyne Civic building, and a lack of revenue generating tenants, forced closure of the building and the library to seek a new location. A successful $40,000 capital campaign, spear-headed by librarian Carole DeLauro, funded a new addition to the Troy Borough Hall to house the library and in the Fall of 1978, Boy Scouts moved the now 10,000 book collection into the new location. On February 15, 1980, the library added another addition to the Troy Borough building and was renamed the Allen F. Pierce Free Library, honoring the legacy and generosity of its namesake.
Today, in addition to limited state funding support, an annual community fund dive, special event fund raising, as well as much appreciated bequests and endowments, demonstrate the continuing generous support of Troy’s citizens, businesses, and service clubs and allows the library to continue its long history of community service.
Sue Wolfe currently serves as the library’s director, managing the library’s current collection of over 22,000 books, audio CDs, and DVDs, circulating almost 12,000 items annually. In addition to books, today’s Troy library also provides public computer and internet access, and numerous programs tailored to age-appropriate interests, including the Teen Reading Lounge, which is recognized state-wide as one of the best in Pennsylvania. Among the other ancillary services offered by the library are an adult book club, teen Dungeons and Dragons club, toddler story hour, youth summer reading and entertainment programs, holiday celebrations including an Easter egg hunt, participation in Troy’s Hometown Christmas, and providing meeting space for local support groups and municipal committees.
Board of Directors
Carole C. Bayer, President
Abby Werlock, Vice-President
Susan Storch, Treasurer
Curt Bayer, Secretary
Jim Eckert, Member
Kay McNeil, Member
Carol Zuber, Member
Steve Bolt, Director
Lynn Rogers, Associate Director