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Shared Library Feasibility Study

Allegheny County Library Association
Economic Equity

The Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA) is a system of 46 independent public libraries with more than 70 locations in the Pittsburgh region. ACLA provides and promotes the highest quality public library service possible for all Allegheny County residents by fostering cooperation, collaboration and coordination between local public libraries.

ACLA engaged Fourth Economy to conduct a feasibility study to assess the viability of a Triboro Community Library System shared between the boroughs of Etna, Millvale, and Sharpsburg. The feasibility study was conducted with the recognition that the three communities of the Triboro have much in common, including a close physical proximity (Etna, Millvale, and Sharpsburg are neighboring communities, within a few square miles of each other), though each is limited in capacity and resources. This study explores how potential multi-municipal coordination, building from other close collaborations like the Triboro Ecodistrict work, could allow for leveraging resources together and a more efficient approach to library services for residents of the Triboro communities.

Our Approach

The Project Team sought to engage residents and community leaders within the Triboro communities to better understand community needs and capacity to support a potential Shared Community Library System, from a resource and organizational standpoint.

Our team performed stakeholder interviews, a community survey, public build sessions, a community needs assessment, and case study research. We then made operational recommendations reflecting staffing, governance, budget & shared costs that would build on the existing relationships and programs and leverage resources across the communities.

The Results

The Project Team sought to engage residents and community leaders within the The Feasibility study was delivered to the client in 2021. The communities are in the process of exploring a Memorandum of Understanding to continue to engage with each other.


Etna, Millvale & Sharpsburg, PA

Project Type

Feasibility Study

Client Type




Final Deliverable Design Samples (Click to Enlarge)
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