Funded Projects

Funds raised by the Association are primarily used to preserve and maintain the beautiful historic building that houses the Allentown Public Library. These funds, along with state-funded grants, have enabled the APLA to undertake a number of major improvement/renovation projects. Guiding the APLA is a Preservation Plan funded in part by a grant from the New Jersey Historic Trust. 

To help with future projects, donate today!

Cabinets (2024)

The APLA added hand-crafted cabinets to the Bernyce Van Kirk New Jersey Historical Collection that will hold valuable documents collected and preserved by local historians Alice Wikoff and Robert Peppler. The APLA is grateful to Linda Ely, Robert Peppler, and John Fabiano for their generous donations that funded this project.  

Pictured, from left to right: Linda Ely, John Fabiano, APLA President Joan Ruddiman, Alice Wikoff, and Robert Peppler. 

Exterior Painting (2023)

In 2023, the APLA marked its 50th year in the historic former church on Main Street.  Donations from a special 50th Anniversary mail campaign funded significant exterior power washing, sanding and painting on three sides of the building, including the distinctive dentil molding on the upper reaches of the structure.  

Carpeting (2020)

With the proceeds from the mega-raffle fundraiser, the APLA was able to replace the 30-year-old carpeting throughout the entire library.  

community room (2018)

The Allentown Lions Club renovated the library’s community room as its Centennial Project, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Lions Club International.  The club members performed the work of replacing the ceiling, painting and updating the kitchenette.  While the majority of the project was paid for the by Allentown Lions Club, the APLA contributed to the project as well. 

Foyer renovation (2017/2018)

The foyer renovation project started with the need to fix the front doors so they would close and lock properly.   As original church doors from 1879, they were intended to open outward and remain in that position, not in the same manner in which they needed to function for the library.  In the Fall of 2017, the original church doors were removed from the hinges, repaired, sanded, painted, and re-hung in a manner that meets current building codes while maintaining their original character.   

The renovation also removed the modern flooring and restored the original hardwood floors.  The foyer walls were resurfaced and painted.  The project finished with a new set of custom interior doors mirroring the style of the original  doors while allowing more light into the library. 

Chair-ity (2017)

Existing library chairs from 1994 were sorely in need of some love and updating. The "chair-ity" campaign asked donors to sponsor a chair and cover the cost of re-upholstery. With generous donations from Library friends, we re-upholstered 27 chairs throughout the library space.

Nix our debt (2014)

In 2014, the Allentown Public Library Association launched a NIX OUR DEBT (NOD 2.0) campaign to raise money to pay off the last of the APLA's debt. Since 1973, the APLA borrowed and repaid two mortgages and then multiple loans for the extensive renovation projects. Borrowing and repaying debts was a decades long cycle. In 2015, the APLA celebrated the 50th anniversary of its 1995 founding by "burning" the last of the loan papers.