Journey of a Library Book

Story and Photos by Andrea Iglar

The South Fayette Township Library holds only 20,000 items, but cardholders can request books, magazines, CDs, DVDs and other physical materials from 74 libraries across Allegheny County.

The journey these items take between libraries includes a pit stop at a nondescript, little known hub in the West End of Pittsburgh.

The Library Support Center sorts and distributes materials for the publicly funded libraries of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny County Library Association, including the South Fayette Township Library.

Established in 2004, the sorting and shipping center moves 2.4 million items a year—that’s about 200,000 a month.

“It’s just a ton of stuff,” shipping manager Perry Munyon said.

Thanks to the sorting center, library cardholders can request any item from the entire library network at no charge and have it delivered to the branch of their choice.