Gladwyne Free Library
Carolyn Conti, Head Librarian
The Gladwyne Free Library is the “Heart of the Village” of Gladwyne, a role it has filled since 1931 when it was founded by Maud and Stuart Bell in one room of the Gladwyne Community Hall. In 1951 the building was transferred by the Episcopal Diocese to the Library’s Board of Trustees, who continue to own, and lovingly maintain, the attractive stone structure. The Library now entirely occupies the historic building, lending immeasurable charm to the surrounding town. The unique Pennsylvania Room Collection located on the second floor of the Library has books and photographs of local and state history along with nine Pennsylvania Railroad atlases that chronicle land ownership from Overbrook to Paoli from 1886 to 1926. Over the years the Library was expanded and renovated to meet the needs of a growing population, all the while retaining the warmth and welcoming atmosphere that makes it so well-loved in the community. The friendly and committed staff provides excellent and extremely personal customer service. No wonder the Library is truly a community gathering place for people of all ages and interests.
In 2016, the Library embarked on a renovation project intended to provide ADA accessibility, as well as improve safety, building efficiency, and service to Young Adults. Central to the project is the addition of an ADA compliant exterior elevator serving all floors of the library, an ADA compliant restroom on the main floor, and a new entryway to accommodate the elevator. The project includes landscaping upgrades for improved traffic and pedestrian safety, a designated Young Adult area, and reconfigured workroom space to improve staff efficiency and provide good sight lines to the main checkout desk. Funds for the project come from a Pennsylvania Keystone Grant, the Lower Merion Library Foundation, and the Township of Lower Merion.
Click here for a brief history.