An Overview of the West Chester Public Library
West Chester Public Library is a destination for connection, collaboration and enrichment through knowledge and community engagement.
WCPL Strategic Plan 2015-2020 – read about our plans for library services to the community.
In agreement with the Chester County Library System, the library serves six municipalities: West Chester borough, and the townships of Birmingham, East Bradford, Thornbury, West Goshen and Westtown. The population in the area is diverse. It includes well-educated professionals and their families, sizable African American and Hispanic communities, other immigrant groups, university students, and a growing population of people over 65, as well as many young adults 18 and younger.
For the majority of these residents, the library is a valued element in their community. New residents seek out the library upon their arrival to learn about their new community. The library provides resources about the area, and offers children’s and teen services, including reading and homework materials. The library is also a source of current events and financial information; a place to access the Internet (the library has a fiber-optic connection) or conduct research on a variety of electronic databases licensed to the Chester County Library System; an ideal place to plan a trip or find new ideas for a hobby; a resource for sending resumes to prospective employers; or a place to pursue any one of a score of other interests people have. For others, the library is a place to volunteer, see a friendly face, have a pleasant chat, or while away an otherwise unoccupied hour.
Whatever their need, all of these people expect and deserve the best library service available. As the library is far more than a place to find a good book to read, the Board of Trustees has identified two service roles for the West Chester Public Library:
- Current Topics and Titles (Life-long Learning) – A library that provides current topics and titles helps to fulfill community residents’ appetite for information about popular cultural and social trends, current events, and their desire for satisfying recreational experiences. The library’s collections and services also assist community members in achieving self-directed personal growth and development opportunities.*
- Commons – A library that acts as an information commons provides a meeting and gathering place for the community that is safe, neutral and inviting. The library presents programs of interest to the community, provides spaces for large and small groups to meet, study space, and a public space that invites conversation and discussion.*
Guided by these two roles, the West Chester Public Library strives to provide quality library services for its community. Much has changed in the library since the library’s inception in 1872. What has not changed is the library’s commitment to being the center of the community for everyone’s benefit. The library invites you, as a community partner, to join it on the journey.
* from Sandra S. Nelson, The New Planning for Results, Chicago: ALA, 2001