James V. Brown Library

The James V. Brown Library is a public library in Williamsport, in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania and the headquarters of the Lycoming County Library System and the North Central Library District.[3] The main building formally opened to the public in 1907.[4]

James V. Brown Library
A heavy white marble doorway with double columns on either side
The East Fourth Street entrance
CountryUnited States
ArchitectEdgar V. Seeler
Other information


When James V. Brown died in 1904, he left a plot of land and $150,000 for the creation of a public library. This included $10,000 for the purchase of books and an endowment of $10,000 per year for other library-related purposes.[5][6] The cornerstone was laid on 10 March 1906,[7] and the library opened on 17 June 1907 with an initial holding of approximately 12,000 volumes (1,300 were in the reference room, 1,600 in the children's room and 600 in the Pennsylvania room).[5] By noon of the first day, 150 books had been checked out.[6]

The building was designed by Edgar V. Sealer of Philadelphia in imitation of French Renaissance architecture, and is built of white Pennsylvania marble. The entrance door is flanked by double columns; over it is a bust of the donor.[5]

Groundbreaking for the Kathryn Siegel Welch Children's Wing

In 2008, work began on a new children's wing with 26,400 square feet (2,450 m2) of floor space on three floors.[8] This new wing, the Kathryn Siegel Welch Children's Wing, was completed in 2009 at a cost $6.5 million, of which $2 million came from a state grant.[7]

The completed Kathryn Siegel Welch Children's Wing opened in 2009
The Lycoming County Mobile Library – also known as the Bookmobile.

The library operates two traveling library vehicles, the Bookmobile, and the Storymobile.[9][10]


The library has received many "Best Practices in Early Learning" awards from the Pennsylvania Library Association for its early childhood programs.[11]


  1. ^ "Locations". Family Place Libraries. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  2. ^ "ideas | ALA Libraries Transform". www.ilovelibraries.org. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  3. ^ "North Central Library District | Going the extra mile for libraries". northcentrallibraries.org. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  4. ^ "First Annual Report of the James V. Brown Library – 1908 :: James V. Brown Library – Historic Documents". digitalcollections.powerlibrary.org. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  5. ^ a b c [s.n.] (July 2007). The James V. Brown Library, Williamsport, Pa.. Library Journal 32 (7): 317–318. New York: Publication Office.
  6. ^ a b Mix, Richard (2005). A bicentennial postcard history of Williamsport, 1806–2006. Williamsport, PA: Lycoming County Genealogical Society. pp. 135–138.
  7. ^ a b Borick,, Brigandi, Dana. Williamsport. Charleston, South Carolina. ISBN 978-1-4671-2360-0. OCLC 905736436.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  8. ^ 2009 Library Design Showcase. (2009, April). American Libraries Magazine, 40(4), 34.
  9. ^ "Celebrate the county's Bookmobile during National Bookmobile Day | James V Brown Library". jvbrown.edu. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  10. ^ "Outreach Services | James V Brown Library". jvbrown.edu. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  11. ^ Van Auken, Robin (2005). A Pictorial History of Williamsport – Vol. Three. Wheeling, W.Va.: Odgen Newspaper Publishing. p. 103.

  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: [s.n.] (July 2007). The James V. Brown Library, Williamsport, Pa.. Library Journal 32 (7): 317–318. New York: Publication Office.