Andrew Bayne Memorial Library Centennial Celebration
By: Paula Green
The Andrew Bayne Memorial Library, located at 34 N. Balph Street, is celebrating 100 years of serving the Bellevue Borough.  “This is a unique, small community and the folks here really do support the library, it is really great to see,” said librarian and cultural director, Denise Plaskon.
“We are very excited about our upcoming centennial anniversary celebration.  On May 16, is the first part of the festivities where we will have an adult’s-only party from 6- 8 p.m.  Then on May 17, is the family birthday get-together which will run from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.,” Plaskon added.
In March, the library went through a major computer upgrade to enable them to better serve the community.  The facility has undergone many positive changes over the years, and has expanded its horizons since it was founded a century ago by Amanda Bayne Balph and Jane Bayne Teece.
These two sisters bequeathed their old homestead and four acres surrounding it to the Bellevue Borough to be used as a library and park. The library was named Andrew Bayne Memorial Library in memory of their father, Andrew Bayne who also was a member of The Constitutional Convention of 1837-38 and subsequently elected Sheriff of Allegheny County in 1838.
The house in the park, which is now known as Andrew Bayne Memorial Library was the home of Amanda Bayne Balph.  Amanda’s husband, James Madison Balph, a prominent architect of Allegheny County, designed and built the beautiful Victorian home in 1875.  Inside the home, there are marble fireplaces in each room.  His initials are engraved in the glass transom over the front door. Mrs. Balph, widowed in 1899, lived on in the big white house until her death in August, 1912, when it became Borough property.
In May of 1914 a Library Committee consisting of George F.P. Langfitt, A.E. Hummell and J.B. Arthur announced the opening of two rooms in the old home for use as a library.
Today, the building houses more than 22,000 titles, reference materials, and magazine subscriptions.  In 1995, Internet access was installed in the library, and a teen room was added in 2011 as well.  The newest technology and Internet access has developed a better place for everyone.  Web browsers can access the online catalog or eBooks through the library’s website.   Wifi is also available.
Another nice addition is the park outside of the library which is very family-oriented.  Parents can bring the children along where they can enjoy the slides, swings and other playground adventures.
The library also offers a “Summer Reading” Program for all age groups.    For added convenience, the Andrew Bayne Memorial library is open seven days a week.  Their hours are:  Mon. & Wed. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Tue. & Thurs., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Sun. 1-5 p.m.
For additional information, call phone (412) 766-7447, or visit them on the web, at http://www.baynelibrary.org/.   Be sure to stop by the centennial party on May 16 and 17 and celebrate the 100 year journey of the Andrew Bayne Memorial Library.