Our mission at Citizens Library is provide the resources to enrich, inform, and educate the public.
- To ensure that all patrons will be able to rely on the quality and integrity of the library’s information, services and staff.
- To select, acquire, organize, and maintain a diverse collection of materials in the most appropriate format.
- To promote intellectual freedom and cultural growth.
- To develop and maintain effective leadership on board, administrative, and staff levels.
- To encourage staff participation, open communication, and development.
- To implement ongoing fund development in order to achieve long-term financial stability.
- To cooperate with government agencies, non-profits, and local businesses.
- To develop and maintain local information and history collections.
Citizens Library was founded in 1870 by Dr. Francis J. LeMoyne, a leading citizen of this area in the 19th century. Until 1965, when the new building was dedicated, Citizens was located in the Town Hall for which the cornerstone was laid in 1869 by President Ulysses S. Grant. In 1904, the Current Events Club of Washington persuaded the Washington Borough Council and the Washington School Board to contribute equal sums yearly to the library, transforming it from a fee to a free institution.
In 1990 a campaign was initiated to raise money to enlarge both the Children’s Room and the cultural meeting area in the library. In June of 1992 the new Children’s Room was dedicated along with the Cultural and Educational Center.
In the Summer of 2003 the library launched a fund drive to raise money needed to complete the renovation of the adult department, the first renovation since the library opened nearly 40 years ago. Our thanks to those who have donated. You can still be a part of this renovation. Pledge forms are available at the library or if you call we will mail you a form.
The library is funded with money from the state, Washington County, the townships of Amwell, Canton, North Franklin, South Strabane, South Franklin, the city of Washington, East Washington Borough, the school districts of Washington, Trinity, and McGuffey, and the remaining boroughs and townships that make up the McGuffey School District. In addition, Citizens Library receives money from generous donations by its patrons and the Friends of The Library Organization. See our Donate page to find out how you can help support your library.
Malcolm Parcell Mural
Books are Many Lives is the title and central theme of Malcolm Parcell’s mural which was commissioned by Mr. and Mrs. T. S. Fitch in memory of Mrs. Fitch’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Colin McFarquhar Reed, for the Citizens Library building.
The eighteen by five-and-a-half foot mural symbolizes man’s limitless literary horizons. The figure in the lower center of the mural represents mankind who, reading, is brought into contact with all the symbols of knowledge. At the left of the painting, Parcell has depicted children’s fairy tales and the land of enchantment. Moving to the right are the large figures of the three fates who spin, measure, and cut the thread of life and symbolize mythology and the mystery of life.
The missile and artist’s palette represent the arts and sciences while the large central figure shows the vast store of fiction, drama, and romance. They are the faces of life as portrayed by books. Next are represented the world’s great religions and religious writings. The two large figures at right symbolize mankind’s disputations in law, philosophy, and religion, and the books represent man’s knowledge of himself. The final section depicts the study of nature.
Malcolm Stevens Parcell was an artist of international fame, whose portraits, murals, and historical scenes won numerous awards. His work is best known locally from the series of historical murals in Martha’s Pub in the George Washington Hotel.
He was born in Claysville, Pennsylvania in 1896, a son of the Reverend Steven L. and Emma Minor Parcell. The family moved to Washington where his father for many years served as the pastor of the Broad Street Baptist Church. Mr. Parcell graduated from Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1918.
Several other works of Parcell are displayed in the library. An original portrait of Steven Foster hangs in our public meeting room on the main floor.