History

The Downingtown Library was first established in 1829 as a private collection to serve member families. It was located in Jacob's Edge Store, on the site now occupied by the Downingtown National Bank. On January 27, 1876, the Downingtown Library Company was formed to "sustain a library and reading room for the Borough of Downingtown". The company moved the library to the Haines Building at 229 East Lancaster Avenue, renting the building for sixty dollars per year. Soon it was necessary to find a larger facility. The Miss Thomas Boarding School property was made available for purchase in 1913. The new library, located at 330 East Lancaster Avenue, opened in 1914. The library was expanded over the years from one room to the entire first floor and back porch.

The Downingtown Library joined Chester County Library as an associate member in 1961 and became a participating member of the Chester County Library System in 1979. Today, the library serves many purposes for the Downingtown area and surrounding communities. The library provides various activities, such as book clubs, story times, and educational programs to the general public, in addition to circulating over 117,000 books per year.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Downingtown Library is to provide library services to Downingtown area residents by making information available in a variety of formats to satisfy recreational needs and to promote lifelong learning.

Your Library Card

Your Downingtown Library card may be used to check out materials at the Downingtown Library or at any other System Library in Chester County. To obtain a library card, an application must be filled out along with providing proper identification with a current address showing that you live, work, or go to school in Chester County. There is no charge for a library card.

Borrowing and Returning Materials

Most materials can be borrowed for 3 weeks. Items may be renewed either in person, online, by viewing your record at www.ccls.org, or by calling 610-280-BOOK or the Library at 610-269-2741. However, items on reserve are not renewable. You are responsible for overdue fines and replacement costs of list or damaged materials borrowed on your card. Materials may be returned to any public library in Chester County. The Bookdrop is available to return materials at any time.

Adult Books 25c/day $10 Max
Adult Audio Books 25c/day $10 Max
Children's Books 15c/day $5 Max
Children's Audio Books 15c/day $5 Max
DVDs 25c/day $10 Max
Fines

Other Information

Reserves

You may reserve books and DVDs online or by filling out a reserve card at the Library. You will be notified by email or phone when the item becomes available.

Interlibrary Loan

We will try to provide books that are not available at our library. We have access to the holdings of thousands of public, academic, and special libraries. Place your request at the circulation desk.

Copier

A self-service copier is available for 20c/copy

Volunteer Opportunities

The library volunteer program provides an opportunity for you to share your talents and skills in a positive way. To become a library volunteer, fill out an application at the Circulation Desk.

Friends of The Downingtown Library

The Friends provide financial support to the Library by sponsoring fundraising activities and events throughout the year. Flyers are available to join the Friends and the special activities.