Our History

The Donora Public Library was founded in 1930. On January 30th of that year, a meeting of citizens took place representing 22 organizations interested in forming a public library. The meeting was sponsored by the Donora Women’s Club with Mrs. C.B. Charles presiding. The meeting was held at the Tri-Plant Club. The Donora Library Association was formed at this meeting, and donations of books were solicited from the community.

April 22, 1930 was set aside as Library Day and on that day, hundreds of books were donated to the library. Early in July of 1930, a formal opening was held at the library’s first location at the Tri-Plant Club. The first Librarian was Mrs. Caroline Goodman, and Mrs. Rose C. Muoio was an assistant.

In 1940, William Donner, one of the founders of Donora, provided the library with its first annual gift of $100. The Donora Public Library was incorporated on October 18, 1943 and was housed at the Tri-Plant Club until 1946 when the collection was relocated to the Community Center Building.

In 1995, ground was broken for a new home at 510 Meldon Avenue. The project was funded by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and funds from the Donora Public Library Board of Directors, the Borough of Donora, the Redevelopment Authority of Washington County, Polycom-Huntsman Corporation, Friends of the Donora Community and local fund-raising campaigns.

The present facility was dedicated on October 26, 1996.

In 2001, the Harold W. Lauerman and Hazel R. Lauerman Memorial Fund for the Donora Library Association was created at the Washington County Community Foundation to fulfill the terms of a bequest made by Mr. Lauerman to support the Donora Public Library. Lauerman, who died November 7, 2000 at the age of 86, was born and raised in Donora. He was a veteran of World War II. He and his wife Hazel, also from Donora, spent their retirement years in Donora and Florida. Hazel Lauerman, a retired head elementary school teacher in the Donora School District, died in 1999.

The Lauerman Foundation is one of the examples of the generosity of Donorans. Throughout the years, community members continue to show their dedication to the Donora Public Library through memorial gifts and donations. Without the help of those dedicated individuals in augmenting our municipal and state funding, the Library would not be able to serve as such a vital part of the community.

As we reflect on our first seventy-five-plus years, we feel great pride and gratitude to those, both living and passed, whose gifts allow this library to be a treasure for generations to come.