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Our History

Since its inception over 50 years ago, the Highland Community Library has provided residents of the East Hills area with reading materials and information resources to meet their entertainment and educational needs. A look back reveals the many pioneering individuals and organizations that joined together to take the library from an idea and turn it into a successful reality.

In 1957, a study group was formed by the Richland-Geistown Parent Teacher Association to conduct a survey to determine the possibility of providing library services to the area. Five years later, after much discussion among community leaders, elected officials and library supporters, Richland Township and Geistown Borough approved plans to give financial support for the creation of Highland Community Library.

In 1962, launched with an informal reception to celebrate the occasion, Highland Community Library officially opened at its new home in the Kinamrok Building at 1004 Tener Street. Leila Dodd was named librarian of the new facility. The popularity of the library brought about the need for more space, and in 1964 the library moved to a new location within the Kinamrok Building. The following year marked the appointment of a new librarian, Lois Siehl, whose tenure at Highland Community Library would eventually span 25 years.

As the population of the East Hills area grew, so too did the information and literacy needs of its residents. To meet these growing needs, the Highland Community Library Board of Directors began to look for a larger home for the library. In 1989 the Richland Township Board of Supervisors received a Department of Community Affairs grant in memory of Pennsylvania Representative William Telek for the building of a new and larger facility for the library. The Board of Supervisors donated land adjacent to the Richland Township Municipal Building, and in 1990 construction of the William Telek Memorial Library Building commenced. On May 9, 1991 Highland Community Library opened its doors and began a new era of service to the residents of the East Hills area.

Highland Community Library has grown from a traditional library to an innovative and modern community hub, providing materials, programs, and services intended to meet a broad spectrum of community needs. In 2017, a new library mission was adopted by the library’s Board of Trustees: to empower our community by providing opportunities to connect, discover, and thrive. Looking to the future, Highland Community Library will be the vibrant and vital heart of our community, recognized as a trusted resource for literacy, enrichment, and lifelong learning.

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330 Schoolhouse Road
Johnstown, PA 15904-2924

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