Pittsburgh, PA — Four organizations representing Millvale and Etna gathered on Dec. 9 at the Millvale Food + Energy hub to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU), thus beginning the multiyear process of creating a shared community library system between the two boroughs.
The Millvale Community Library, Borough of Millvale, Etna Community Organization, and Borough of Etna made the decision to proceed after a year of research, community outreach, and planning meetings with Fourth Economy Consulting and Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA).
“As Etna continues to grow and change, we need to make sure that we are bringing vital educational and social resources back into our community, so everyone who lives here can have access to resources, programs, and the technology that they will need to live productive lives,” said Etna Community Organization Executive Director Megan Tuñón.
Etna’s library, which will be housed inside a new community center, will be located at 341-343 Butler St.
Etna has not had a library in the borough since 2004 and a Triboro Library System Feasibility Study conducted by Fourth Economy Consulting highlighted what Etna residents need from a library in terms of programs and services. According to the study from Jan. 2021:
- 20% of households in Etna have children for a total of 640 children in the borough
- 0 child care centers in the borough
- 26% of households do not have access to the internet
- 10% of households do not have a vehicle
Millvale Community Library Executive Director Nora Peters said the completion of the MOU allows the borough to move forward with logistics and planning in 2022.
“When we’re talking about staffing two libraries instead of one, and what that’s going to look like, those decisions are really informed by the successes of MCL,” Peters said. “This is an opportunity to take a step back and look at what we’ve done well and use that as a starting point for this new library system versus learning it through trials and tribulations.”
The Sharpsburg community and its library were included in the research study and after it concluded, decided it best for them to stay within the Cooper-Siegel Community Library system for the time being.
Executive Director, Millvale Community Library
Director, Etna Community Organization
Mary Ellen Ramage
Manager, Borough of Etna
Director, Triboro Ecodistrict