|Location||900 Library Plaza|
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802
|Access and use|
|Circulation||6 million +|
|Population served||365,918 (2014 estimate)|
|Website||Allen County Public Library Website|
The Allen County Public Library (ACPL) is a public library system located in Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana, United States. Founded in 1895 as the Fort Wayne Public Library, the library served residents with 3,606 books out of a single room in City Hall. Today the library system includes 14 library branches within Fort Wayne and throughout the county. The 367,000 square feet (34,100 m2) Main Library Branch in downtown Fort Wayne is home to the Fred J. Reynolds Historical Genealogy Department, which holds the largest public genealogy collection in the United States.
1895 – Library opened in City Hall on January 28 with 3,606 volumes.
1898 – Library Board purchased the Brackenridge Home at Wayne Street and Webster Street for $14,000.
1904 – Carnegie-funded library building opened.
1923 – Service to county residents began. Fort Wayne Public Library became Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County.
1944 – Main Library expansion began with purchase of Hollywood Building on Washington Boulevard to house administrative offices.
1952 – Young Adult Department opened in basement of main library, the first such department in the country.
1968 – 173,500-square-foot (16,120 m2) building at Wayne and Webster Streets was dedicated August 21, 1968.
1977 – Construction of the new addition to the Main Library began.
1980 – Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County officially became Allen County Public Library by act of the state legislature on January 1.
1985 – Estimated 5,500 people ate 2,731 pizzas during system's 90th birthday celebration.
1997 – Library Board and staff began system-wide space needs analysis for all library facilities.
2001 – Allen County taxpayers approved bond financing of the $84 million library expansion project.
2007 – Renovation and expansion of main library nears completion. Grand opening held on January 27, 2007, with Randall T. Shepard, Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, among the speakers.
The Fred J. Reynolds Historical Genealogy Department, located in the Main Library Branch, is the largest public genealogy department in North America, home to more than 350,000 printed volumes and 513,000 items of microfilm and microfiche. Only the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, a private institution, is larger. Allen County Public Library is also a partner of WeRelate, a collaborative online genealogy database currently providing access to over one million records and two million person pages. The website also provides the largest documented place wiki available.
Ten of the Allen County Public Library's branches are located within Fort Wayne. Four branches are located in municipalities within Allen County (the name of the communities these four branches are located in is indicated next to each library's name).
The Main Library has five public meeting rooms that accommodate from six to 500 people. These rooms are available for use by the community for meetings and events. In addition, the building has six small group study rooms, a computer training room, and a theater which seats 230. Library branches also have meeting rooms and study rooms. The Main Library and the Georgetown branch have Maker Labs.
Access Fort Wayne (AFW) is a Public-access television cable TV station which provides a variety of unique services for the library. AFW originates three Public-access television channels from the Main Library. Access 1 is channel 25 on Verizon and 55 on Comcast. Access 2 is channel 27 on Verizon and 57 on Comcast. Government-access television (GATV), City TV is channel 28 on Verizon and 58 on Comcast. The channels can only be viewed on Comcast and Verizon inside of Allen County. AFW is a full production facility with two TV studios and editing facilities.
Founded in 1979 as the Northeast Indiana Radio Reading Service (NEIRRS), the Audio Reading Service is a free broadcast service for people who are blind or have a challenge to reading normal print. Under the leadership of library staff, volunteers read local news, grocery ads, cultural events, obituaries and other features from area newspapers, plus nearly 40 magazines and other publications.
The Audio Reading Service can be heard by a special SCA radio, over a sub-channel frequency provided by WBCL-FM, which is loaned out at no cost by the library. In addition, it is available via podcast, live web streaming, the Sero mobile app, Tunein Radio, as a secondary audio program (SAP-French) on PBS 39.4, and system-wide at select healthcare facilities.
The Audio Reading Service broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and reaches an estimated 80,000 individuals. It became a part of the Allen County Public Library in 2004, and changed its name to Audio Reading Service in 2015.
WELT-LP is a non-commercial radio station, produced and delivered by members of the Fort Wayne community. From the studios at the downtown branch of the Allen County Public Library, WELT-LP's volunteers and staff promote programs with news about politics and community issues, plus music and entertainment performed by local, regional and national artists in Fort Wayne venues.