Community involvement central to library's plans

Bookmobile, outreach to students and artists, are in the works

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Photos



  • The Pike Library Board is percolating with new ideas, including getting a bookmobile. Did you know that April 16 is National Bookmobile Day? To see an historic bookmobile, click on the blue arrow to the right.




  • This is how folks in the bayous of Louisiana used to get their reads. Next, the first bookmobile in New York State....




  • Children using the Monroe County, N.Y., Traveling Library, New York’s first county bookmobile, in 1929. Did you know that now there are digital bookmobiles (see the next photo)?




  • Bookmobiles are relevant even in our digital age.



By Charles Reynolds
— The Pike County Library Board met in Milford on Monday to discuss topics that ranged from getting a bookmobile into underserved areas, to providing meeting space for senior citizens.

Recently appointed president Kirk Mackay said he had met with the county commissioners and senior citizens groups to provide a location for their twice-weekly meetings. The Area Agency on Aging is working on a grant to help provide for the seniors' transportation, staffing and food.

Mackay said it would inappropriate to charge a group of residents who “have given so much to this community.”

The meetings will be held on Wednesdays and Fridays in the Milford branch's community room, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Librarian Ellen Schaffner clarified that the staff from the centers would be arriving at 9 a.m. and leaving between 2-2:30 p.m. in order to facilitate set-up and clean up. The actual meetings will probably between 10 a.m. and 1-1:30 p.m.

Mackay hopes the first meeting — likely in mid-April — will also include a tour of the new library and an opportunity for seniors to get library cards.

A roving library
The board is now in the “infancy stages” of talks to acquire a bookmobile that would serve various municipalities, senior centers, child care facilities and community associations in underserved areas of the county. The idea of a bookmobile is a way for the board to help those who feel that the Milford and Dingman branches are too far away from areas in the western part of the county.

Since the cost of opening new branches does not hinge on tax dollars, as it does in other states, but rather on grants and donations, the bookmobile is a cost-efficient way to make library services available to these residents.


School outreach
Questionnaires sent to the Delaware Valley School District grades K-5 asking about their interest in movie offerings. Board member Dina Feldman said the surveys were due back by April 15. Board member Neil Bonner said other school districts, like Wallenpaupack and North Stroudsburg, should also be queried. Feldman said they planned to do that after getting the questionnaires back from Delaware Valley. The compilation of responses could be more efficiently handled one district at a time, she said.

Mackay said he was going to Shohola Elementary, which his granddaughter attends, to be a “mystery reader” for her class. He said working with area school districts to offer field trips to the library would be a great way to build students' interest in reading.

Other plans
Internet in Dingman — Macaky said he'd spoken with county commissioners about “beefing up” the internet connection at the Dingman branch. Talks are in the planning stages between the commissioners, a committee from the library board, Pentel Data and Met Ed. The issue is the cost: the communications and utility companies say they cannot add more wires to the existing poles. Bonner said his background is in the industry — Mackay joked they had their first volunteer for the committee. Bonner happily accepted the responsibility.

New book club — A book club at the Milford branch. The first book to be discussed is Barbara Kingsolver's "The Bean Tree." The group has about 15 members and will meet monthly. The first meeting is set for April 9 at 5:30 p.m. The response surprised both Miesje Jolley, the moderator of the group for this discussion, and Schaffner. If more people are interested in forming discussion groups, the library might be willing to consider setting something up, according to Schaffner.

Master Gardners — On Saturday April 29, the Penn State Extension is holding the first of a Master Gardener's discussion. The first will be on “Designing Your Own Vegetable Garden.” It will be held in the community room from 10 a.m. to noon. The programs are free and open to the public.

Book reading — On April 6, Dr. Gregory Steinberg will read from his book, "A Doctor’s Odyssey." from 1-3 p.m. in the Community Room of Pike County Public Library in Milford. A discussion and book signing will follow the reading. The book chronicles Dr. Steinberg’s experiences in the medical field in the United Kingdom and the United States. This event is also free and open to the public.

Raffle — Schaffner reminded the board and those in attendance that the current raffle for a gift / gas card will be ending on March 31. Member Rob Rohner asked that it be extended so they could bring some raffle tickets to an event being held by Rep. Rosemary Brown on April 6, which several members of the board would be attending. The board decide on a mid-April drawing. The next raffle will be for a beautiful hand made quilt that had been donated to the library for the purpose of raising funds.

Safe Haven — Safe Haven will be holding a four-part multimedia documentary series of events at the Milford branch's community room titled HERstory of The Women's Movement in the US, starting on April 3 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Other dates for this series will be April 10, 17 and 24.

Magazine collection — Schaffner said the Zinio collection of 130 magazine titles are available for downloading by library patrons. She said that once downloaded, they remain until deleted by the patrons. To get to this collection, patrons simply log onto the library's website (www.pcpl.org), go to the “Online Database” link to the left, scroll down to the Ziono logo and search for magazines. The collection includes such varied titles as ELLE DECOR, 4 Wheel Drive, American Craft, Astronomy, Backpacking, Country Living, Dog's Life, Forbes, Guitar Player, the Writer, Harper's Bazaar, Popular Mechanics, Ladies Home Journal, Women's Day and many more.

Bookstore update — Elspeth Goodin gave the Friends of the Pike County Public Library report about the success of the new bookstore. She said that in 2013, they had raised about $3,000 in book sales. Already in 2014, the group has raised over $4,000 in just six months. Goodin also mentioned a partnership with the Ship Shop on Route 6 in Shohola. The store offered to place books on ebay and ship them. So far, the partnership has yielded 16 book sales netting the library almost $300. The Friends will be holding a big book sale in the community room in mid-June.

Book fines — Schaffner said the auditor raised the concern about the cost of going after delinquent patrons compared to the cost of not recovering fines or the books themselves. The board asked: how much were the fines, and how many patrons did they affect? Schaffner said she would get them those figures, but that the amount ranged from a dollar to possibly over $100 per patron. There were also questions of how far back to go in order to recoup the losses of these library resources. It is possible some patrons have moved, others may have died. The board will give it further consideration after getting the numbers.

Parking — Board member Betty Hague said people were parking in the library lot who were not actually using the library, and that the board should place signs stating that the lot is for library patrons only. Most members agreed. Schaffner said that since it included parking for use by the community room events, the Keystone Grant would cover it. Mackay was the lone dissenter, saying that it seemed unfriendly and would be hard to enforce. “People ignore parking signs all over the borough,” he said.

Living history — Bonner suggested creating some kind of video or audio history of Pike County from living residents. Someone approached him about doing the job as a donation. He said it would not cost the library any money to do it. He asked that the oldest residents be interviewed first, as they would have the most memories to share. Schaffner said that they had discussed this with the students of DV-TV (Delaware Valley television club) but that they would not be able to edit the final product. Bonner said the person who approached him would do it all.

Artwork needed — The community room was in need of artwork, the board decided. Ideas included involving local artist — who may not be interested because the room is not always open to the public — and local students.

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