Welcome to the Mansfield Free Public Library
We are a small but very busy library located in the small town of Mansfield, PA. We are located in what is now known as the Marcellus Shale Gas Field Area. Our town’s population is approximately 6,212 people. Mansfield University is located here, a member of the Pennsylvania System of Higher Education. There are approximately 3,000 students who attend classes here.
Our building is 101 years old and an original Carnegie Library building. Over the past 14 years we have automated the library and virtually remodeled the whole interior of the library. We have 5 computers for public use as well as the entire building is Wi-fi accessible. Our downstairs area houses the children’s and teen area as well as a PA History Collection. We have about 19,000 volumes in our collection.
Our Mission Statement:
” The Mission of the Mansfield Free Public Library is to provide a modern library education and reference system to area residents through printed materials, films, educational programs and computer and internet access.”
It is important that a library should count as its collection not only the books on its shelves, but also the people it serves.
This point of view is central in the philosophy of Mansfield Free Public Library. A library is great, not because of the volumes it has, but because it is used by people who will derive benefit from its resources and who produce something as a result of its use that will benefit the community as a whole.
History of the Library
In 1901, a small group of Mansfield citizens became interested in establishing a public library, and the present library is the outgrowth of their efforts and vision. They met with the Mansfield Board of Education at its organizational meeting on June 3, 1901. It was this school board and a few citizens that took action to start the founding of the library. They decided that if the citizens could raise $400.00, the board would appropriate $200.00 and elect 9 trustees, for the establishing and maintaining a Public Library.
The requirements had been met by December 1901 and the first books were purchased from a second hand bookstore in Philadelphia. Many other books were given by loyal friends. When in 1910, the need for a larger and better facilities was noted, an appeal was made to Andrew Carnegie for a gift to erect a library building. The Borough had to agree to maintain a free library at a cost of $500.00 a year and to furnish a prepared site.
The citizens again responded and pledged $1,022.75 to purchase and prepare the site. The Carnegie Grant of $5,000. was received in April 1911. Mr. Carnegie made this remark.
” I do not think that the Community which is not willing to maintain a library had better possess it. It is not only the feeling that the library belongs to every citizen, richest and poorest alike, that gives it a soul, as it were. The library buildings that I am giving are the property of all the members of the community which maintain them.”