Allegheny County Library Association

Connecting Communities

aka ACLA   |   Pittsburgh, PA   |  www.aclalibraries.org

Mission

ACLA, a federated library system, provides and promotes the highest quality public library service possible for all residents of Allegheny County through collaboration, cooperation and coordination. The organization's vision is to provide the citizens of Allegheny County with the premier library system in the Commonwealth. Our core values are to:*Provide visionary leadership committed to excellence and innovation. *Visionary Leadership: We encourage visionary leadership committed to excellence and innovation. *Ethical Stewardship: We promote ethical stewardship of resources. *Openness and Collaboration: We promote a free and open exchange of information and active collaboration. *Respect: We respect diversity of member library opinions and community needs.

Ruling year info

1995

Principal Officer

Ms. Marilyn A Jenkins

Main address

22 Wabash Street, Suite 202

Pittsburgh, PA 15220 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

25-1742676

NTEE code info

Libraries, Library Science (B70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

ACLA strives to maximize resources available for the delivery of public library service countywide. This entails coordination of the sharing of resources (e.g., a common technology platform and an online catalog of all items countywide), implementation of cost-saving programs, and delivery of centralized support services (e.g., accounting services, consulting, advocacy).

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Support Services to Member Libraries

ACLA provides support services directly to, or on behalf of, member libraries in the areas of advocacy to state and local officials, continuing education for library staff and trustees, and consulting services in areas of youth services, board governance, administration, programming, adult services, and collection management.

Population(s) Served
Adults

ACLA Mobile Services is the bookmobile program that enhances the library services available throughout the county. The program has 3 routes: one focusing on Headstart and preschool sites, one customized for senior services, and a third route that provides general services to parts of the county that do not otherwise have easily accessible library service. All together, ACLA mobile services has more than 100 stops throughout Allegheny County.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Seniors

ACLA staff provides accounting services to participating libraries. These services include day-to-day bookkeeping, monthly reports, coordination of annual audits and 990's, and forecasting. This frees up local library staff to focus on direct public service.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Center of Excellence and Innovation 2005

Americans For Libraries Council

Excellence Award - Library Services for Older Adults 2009

American Association for Retired Persons (AARP)

Best Practices Award In Creating Quality of Life 2009

Association of Pennsylvania Public Library Systems (APPLS)

Good Goverment Award 2007

Greater Pittsburgh League of Women Voters

Affiliations & memberships

American Library Association 1999

Boards-by-Design 1999

Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations 1999

Pennslyvania Department of Education 1999

Regional Asset District 1999

Chamber of Commerce 2002

Pennsylvania Library Association 1999

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Goals from ACLA's 2016-2018 Strategic Plan are:
1. Strengthen libraries and improve access to library service county-wide.
2. Leverage consortium size and resources to help local libraries thrive.
3. Increase positioning of libraries as essential partners in community building.
4. Re-assess existing structures and organizational systems to determine how best to maximize public investment in library service.

Some of our strategies include:
1. Making best practices, tools, and resources readily available to library leadership.
2. Coordinating professional development for library staff at all levels.
3. Providing one-on-one consulting to library staff and boards as needed.
4. Developing more consistent policies regarding customer services across the consortium.
5. Providing opt-in back-office support services (e.g., cataloging, accounting) for consortium members.
6. Developing strategic partnerships that promote and enhance library services.
7. Demonstrating the value of public libraries to policymakers, funders, and the public.

The consortium of 46 librarians includes staff with a wide range of experience and expertise. By convening groups to discuss issues and share experience and resources, ACLA can help strengthen individual libraries. A Librarians Advisory Council (LAC) and the LAC Executive Committee provide leadership and direction to the consortium and advise the ACLA Board and staff. The ACLA headquarters staff serves as conveners, coordinators, and technical experts.

1. Back-office services. ACLA provides accounting services to 25% of the member libraries. We also provide HR support on a retainer basis for our libraries through the Bayer Center of Nonprofit Management. We identify and implement volume savings with numerous vendors.
2. Increased Funding. A donor portal was created on ACLA's web site so that every library can receive online donations. A countywide campaign is launched annually during the month of September (Love Your Library) with matching support from a local foundation. Significant grant funding has been obtained for countywide initiatives.
3. Customer Access. Specific policies (e.g., fines) are being examined to increase consistency across the consortium.
4. Regular communication with state and local elected officials has been established to create awareness around the value of library services.
5. Diversity plans being designed at every library in 2019 with specific action steps for implementation.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    The public that use libraries across the County as well as the staff members of those libraries.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We conducted an assessment of barriers to service, and, as a result, launched a pilot program testing the elimination of fines on overdue library materials.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Our member libraries are more engaged when we ask for feedback. It also enhances participation and sharing of decision-making across the organization.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Allegheny County Library Association
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Allegheny County Library Association

Board of directors
as of 3/3/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Jack Murtagh

Christine McIntosh

Library Advisory Council Representative

Sally Coyne

East Region Representative

Kristen McMahon

Central Region Representative

Tracy Soska

At Large Representative

John Murtagh

North Region Representative

Rich Fuller

At-Large Representative

Patricia Shetler

West Region Representative

Aliya Khan

At-Large Representative

Pamela Golden

ARAD Representative

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/03/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/03/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.