History of the Bangor Public Library
The Bangor Public Library was founded in 1921 by the Bangor Women’s Club. After many years of fundraising the library was finally opened to serve Bangor and the surrounding economic community. The library was a cultural focus of the community.
The library was located on North First Street – next to the current police station – in a building that has since been torn down. The library moved two more times by 1939. In 1940 the library moved to our current location at the corner of Broadway, South Main and Erdman Avenue. This building was built in 1890 as the home of the Merchants National Bank of Bangor. The cost of the original building was $6,400. In 1939 Robert Steinmetz gave the building to the Borough of Bangor to be used as a public library and as the home of the Bangor Women’s Club. Due to lack of space the Women’s Club no longer meets in the building. In 2001, the Bangor Public Library Association acquired the parking lot next to the library for $10,000.
The mission of the Bangor Public Library is to provide free, high quality information, resources and services for all citizens residing in the Bangor Area School District and beyond. As part of that mission, the Bangor Public Library seeks to promote life-long literacy, learning and personal enrichment by offering materials and services in a variety of formats.
The Bangor Public Library serves a population of 22,896 residents in the Bangor Area School District. This statistic is based on 2010 census information and has undoubtedly increased since then. The Bangor Area School District includes the communities of Bangor Borough, East Bangor Borough, Portland, Roseto, Upper Mount Bethel, Washington Township and a portion of Lower Mount Bethel Township.
Funding is received from Bangor Borough, Portland Borough, East Bangor, Roseto, Upper Mount Bethel Township and Washington Township. The library also receives support from the Bangor Area School District and from the Bangor Women’s Club.
State aid for the past year was $25,980. To continue receiving state aid, the library must raise and spend a minimum of $5 per person living our service area. This money is raised from local sources, including Friends of the Library fundraisers, book sales, etc. and our annual Fundraising Campaign. All financial donations are greatly appreciated and necessary to continue to provide library service to our community.
Qualifying for state aid means more than just getting money. It also provides access to POWER Library and the Interlibrary Loan programs. POWER Library provides free online 24/7 access to newspapers, magazines, journals, historical documents and photos, online databases, and ebooks and is accessible from anywhere as long as you have a library card. If you want a book, DVD, etc. that the Bangor Public Library does not have, Interlibrary loan allows the library to borrow library materials from other libraries throughout the state. These services are free as long as the Bangor Public Library qualifies for state aid.