Allen County Public Library

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Coordinates: 41°4′37.6″N 85°8′35.5″W / 41.077111°N 85.143194°W / 41.077111; -85.143194

Allen County Public Library
Allen County Public Library (logo).jpg
Established 1895
Location 900 Library Plaza
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802  United States
Branches 14
Size 3,445,808
Access and use
Circulation 6 million +
Population served 365,918 (2014 estimate)
Other information
Budget $11,084,786
Director Greta Southard
Staff 309
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 throughout the city and 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.[1][2] Only the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, a private institution, is larger.[3] 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.

Access Fort Wayne[edit]

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.[4]

Audio Reading Service[edit]

In 2004, the Northeast Indiana Radio Reading Service (NEIRRS) joined the library, under the supervision of AFW. NEIRRS is a free radio reading service for people who are blind or have a visual or reading impairment. NEIRRS volunteers read local news and features from a dozen area newspapers, plus magazines, books, grocery ads, obituaries and more. NEIRRS broadcasts in a fifty-mile radius from Fort Wayne over a sub-channel frequency provided by WBCL-FM. The special receiver needed to hear NEIRRS is loaned to listeners at no charge.

In June 2015, the service changed its name from NEIRRS to the "Audio Reading Service", due to the information service being available in a variety of ways. In addition to special radios provided at no cost, the Audio Reading Service can be received via podcast, live web streaming, iBlink Radio mobile app, as a secondary audio program on PBS 39.4, and on TV at select facilities.[5]

WELT 95.7 FM[edit]

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.[6]


  1. ^ West, Nick (2009-10-09). "Genealogy gathering; 420 expected for conference, library's largest yet". The News-Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  2. ^ "Genealogy Center". Allen County Public Library. Archived from the original on August 8, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-09. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Family History Library". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Archived from the original on August 9, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  4. ^ "Allen County Public Library: Access Fort Wayne". Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  5. ^
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