Libraries strengthen communities and transform lives every day. In addition to well-loved books, the Osterhout Free Library offers innovative programs that promote lifelong learning, connect patrons to technology, and advance knowledge and opportunity for all.

Join us during NEPA Gives for a 24-hour online fundraising event!

Please consider supporting the Osterhout Free Library during NEPA Gives! Every dollar raised will go immediately to work right here in your community supporting and helping the library to:

  • expand library programs and services;
  • inspire a child to discover the wonders of learning and reading;
  • provide Wi-Fi hotspots and up-to-date technology to those in need;
  • grow and diversify items available for checkout in Library of Things;
  • provide engaging and educational programs for all ages from birth to senior;
  • help sustain the vision of Isaac S. Osterhout for generations to come!


For 135 years, YOU have made our story possible!


Something for everyone!

We need YOUR help to raise $50,000 for the Osterhout Free Library between now and December 31, 2024 in order to close funding gaps and to continue to serve the community with free educational programs and services!

The Osterhout Free Library is a unique library presented with the very special challenge of preserving a storied and historic past, while modernizing and continuing to make strides toward the future. Thanks to your generous donations, we’ve been able to continue to meet this challenge -through floods, pandemics and wars – for 135 years.

Funds raised will be used to expand the vital mobile hotspot program which provides internet access to thousands of Luzerne County residents who do not have access to the internet in their homes. Funds will also be used to continue building improvements in order to better serve our patrons – like installing a new family restroom in our Children’s Wing which will provide a safe and welcoming space for our youngest of visitors.  Can we count on YOU for your support?  Every gift, no matter how big or small, will go immediately to work right here at the library.   Thank you in advance for your support!

Donate Online

This is the easiest and fastest way to make your tax-deductible donation!  CLICK HERE to make your donation now!  Online donations are also accepted via the library’s PAYPAL GIVING FUND (no fees).

Donate by Mail

If you prefer to pay by personal check, please make the check payable to the ‘Osterhout Free Library’ and mail to:

Osterhout Free Library
Attn: Michelle Riley
71 S. Franklin Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701

Donate Over the Phone

Please contact Michelle Riley at (570) 823-0156, ext. 218 to make a donation by phone. We accept all major credit cards.


The library accepts donations for books In Memory of or In Honor of friends and loved ones. Drop off your cash or check donation with your written request to any library location or donate online via  THIS LINK.

You can also click here for a printable version of our Memorials/Honorariums form. For more information, please call 570.823.0156.

North BranchNorthBranchSm

The Osterhout Library North Branch occupies the former Abbott Methodist Church, located in the Parsons section of Wilkes-Barre.

Donations to support the North Branch can be made by contacting Joanne Austin, North Branch Supervisor, at 570.822.4660 or All donations are tax-deductible.

Michelle Riley
Director of Development
Osterhout Free Library
71 S. Franklin Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
570.823.0156 x 218

Planned Giving
Make a contribution to the Library as part of your will. Planned giving can be tailored to your unique circumstances and provide long-term support to the Library, while saving you significant amounts in estate, gift, and income taxes. Naming the Osterhout Library as a beneficiary of your retirement plan assets, such as an IRA, or your life insurance policy, may also provide tax savings and help protect your assets.

How to Make a Planned Gift
Including the Osterhout Library in your will is simple, even if one has already been created for you. Make changes to your will by executing an amendment called a “codicil.” Both your will and codicil should be drafted by a qualified attorney who specializes in estate planning. Your will or codicil should refer to: Osterhout Free Library, 71 S. Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701.

More Information
We welcome the opportunity to work with you and your professional financial advisor. If you have any questions regarding a planned gift to the Osterhout Free Library, or if you would like to inform us of your plans to bequest a gift:

Contact Michelle Riley, Development Director, at 570.823.0156 x 218 or email

A great way to support your Library and clean-up your home or office bookshelves is to donate your used materials to the Friends of the Osterhout Free Library. The Friends will re-sell your donations at their annual June Book Sale. Proceeds from the book sale help sponsor Library projects and activities not covered by the Library’s operating budget. Plus, you can become a member of this grassroots organization dedicated to promoting Wilkes-Barre’s Library as an essential institution of our community.

Learn more about the Friends of The Osterhout Free Library, and become a member.

Donations of Specialty Items
Donate special items, such as artwork, historical books, memorabilia and other rare books. To make arrangements, please contact Michelle Riley at 570.823.0156 x 218 or

Testimonials from our patrons

The library was a special place to me as a child. I loved being able to choose from all those books. Learning how to use the card catalog was monumental! Taking my children there was a huge part of their younger years, especially story time and the wonderful children’s librarians! – Susan R.

I loved going to the library as a kid. Reading was & still is my favorite past time. I love the smell, the peacefulness, the feeling of being surrounded by so many stories. – Melissa Y.

One of the few places you can see so much and travel so far for so little. – Anna S.

The library where I spent all my time as a kid. I took my first sign language class here. The Osterhout library will always have a special place in my heart. – Hearing Services of Virginia

I spent a vast amount of time there during my teen and college years. I always thought it was such a special place. The research section was my favorite! Too many term papers to count got their start within those beautiful walls. – Mimi B

I LOVE your monthly staff picks in the newsletter! – Angela G.

Wrote some of my first programs there on the library’s first computer—an Apple II clone by Franklin. My love of the Great Lakes and shipwrecks was sparked by Fred Stonehouse’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”, and my curiosity of electrical power and nuclear plant engineering in many of the science and math books located in the stacks. – Joseph J.

General comments about the library

I am grateful to the library for having this program.  You never see programs on this topic (Lupus).

I wish other libraries were this helpful.

Genealogy patron:  I should have come here first.  You have all the info. that I need.

Computer class attendee: Equipment and information was excellent. The instructor explained everything so well with such patience. Weavre was very knowledgeable on the subject.

If you want to share your experience, let us know via our social media platforms or email us at

Many employers sponsor matching gift programs and will match charitable contributions made by their employees. Companies may also match gifts from employees’ spouses or retirees as well.

If your company is eligible, request a matching gift form from your employers HR department, and send it completed and signed with your gift to:

Michelle Riley
Director of Development
570.823.0156 ext. 218

Osterhout Free Library
71 S. Franklin Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701

Dozens of volunteers, from teens to seniors are critical to the Library. They work in certain departments, such as Youth Services, Circulation, Development and perform vital jobs. As valued members of the Osterhout team, volunteers learn about our many programs and they’re constantly exposed to ideas, books, book lovers, and authors. It’s a great way to serve your community while meeting interesting people and expanding your horizons.

To Volunteer
To learn how you can join in on the fun and the benefits of volunteering at the Osterhout Free Library, please call us at 570.823.0156. Here is the Volunteer Application to print and fill out. Thank you for your support of the Osterhout Free Library.

The Windows of Opportunity Campaign

Welcome! Please take some time to look through the site and consider this unique opportunity to sponsor one of the Osterhout Free Library’s exquisitely restored stained glass windows.

Remember, the exclusive naming rights for each window are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Now is your time to reserve a lasting legacy in memory or in honor of a loved one, your family, a business, or yourself.

Your acknowledgement plaque will hang by your window for generations to come.

Printable Brochure

Printable Commitment Form

Peter J. Danchak
Barbara Toczko-Maculloch

Click the window numbers below to tour the windows:

Windows Map

Window 1 Window 2 Window 3 Window 4 Window 5 Window 6 Window 7 Window 8 Window 9 Window 10 Window 11 Window 24 Window 25 Window 26 Window 27 Window 28 Window 29 Window 30 Window 31 Window 12 Window 13 Window 14 Window 15 Window 16 Window 17 Window 18 Window 19 Window 20 Window 21 Window 22 Window 23


1 The 1849 Majestic Rose Window $50,000 SOLD
2 The 1849 Gold Window $20,000 SOLD
3 The 1849 Emerald Window $20,000 SOLD
4 The 1849 Sapphire Window $20,000 SOLD
5 The 1849 Ruby Window $20,000
6 The 1849 Violet Window $20,000
7 The 1849 Mosaic Window $20,000
8 The Shakespeare Window $12,500
9 The Twain Window $12,500
10 The Hemingway Window $12,500
11 The Poe Window $12,500 SOLD
12 The Papyrus Window $5,000 SOLD
13 The Gutenberg Window $5,000 SOLD
14 The Printers Window $5,000 SOLD
15 The Ivy League Window $5,000 SOLD
16 The Peter Pan Window $10,000
17 The Snow White Window $10,000 SOLD
18 The Dr. Seuss Window $10,000 SOLD
19 The Harry Potter Window $10,000 SOLD
20 The Curious George Window $10,000
21 The Winnie-the-Pooh Window $10,000
22 The 1849 Looking Glass Window $20,000
23 The 1849 Renaissance Window $20,000 SOLD
24 The Stephen King Window $5,000 SOLD
25 The Agatha Christie Window $5,000 SOLD
26 The David Maculloch Window $5,000
27 The Stephen Ambrose Window $5,000
28 The Great Gatsby Window $5,000
29 The Harper Lee Window $5,000
30 The Jane Austen Window $5,000 SOLD
31 The Dr. Norman Vincent Peale Window $5,000 SOLD



In Recognition of Your Generosity:
A recognition plaque to hang in perpetuity next to your window of choice. Your choice of wording will be engraved on the acrylic plaque. A representation of your plaque is seen below:


Display in your home or business a recognition plaque of our sincere appreciation. A representation of the window shaped plaque in its base is seen below:


Donors will also be recognized on the Osterhout Free Library website and in the Annual Report.

Restoration Endowment Fund Created:
Funds raised through the “Windows of Opportunity” campaign will go to a Restoration Endowment Fund. This fund will benefit future library renovations and help restore more library windows.

Michelle Riley, Development Director
By Phone: 570-823-0156 x 218
By Email:


Purchase the one-of-a-kind children’s book all about the City of Wilkes-Barre!

Get Set, Get Ready: A Tour of Wilkes-Barre with Tony & Debi is a completely locally produced paperback book – from the writing to the illustration to the printing, it is truly a celebration of the city!

The books are available for $10 each and can be purchased at the library, at Circles Cafe or at Abide Coffee Shop in downtown Wilkes-Barre.

These books were produced with funding from a local grant. All proceeds from the sales go right back to the library, supporting free programs and services in the community.

Questions? Please contact Michelle Riley, or call (570) 823-0156 ext. 218