Month: August 2018

Public Libraries receive 2018 Theodor Seuss Geisel award-winning books!


Each of the Public Libraries in Lancaster County received 2018 Theodor Seuss Geisel award-winning books at their Youth Services meeting in August.  The books have been added to the libraries’ collections and are available to the public for checkout.

Renee Christiansen, LSLC Youth Services manager served on the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, 2018 Geisel Award Committee. In celebration, she was able to supply each of the Libraries with a collection for young readers to enjoy.

Youth Librarians at August MeetingYouth Librarians ~Seated left to right: Randi Kennedy (Quarryville Library); Colleen Gergely (Manheim Community Library);Jan Betty (Milanof-Schock Library); Coreena Byrnes(Lancaster Public Library) Standing left to right: Carla Castro (Eastern Lancaster County Library); Jess Zook (Adamstown Area Library); Karen Payonk (Lititz Public Library)



Theodor Seuss Geisel AwardThe Geisel Award is given annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year.




2018 Medal Winner

Charlie & Mouse

Charlie & Mouse, written by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Emily Hughes (Chronicle Books)

In four short chapters that could each stand alone, readers join young brothers Charlie and Mouse on a full day of imaginative adventures. The brothers talk to sleeping lumps, invite friends to an impromptu playground party, fail to sell rocks, and invent the bedtime banana. (Bedtime bananas—they’re a thing.) Emily Hughes’ playful illustrations and Laurel Snyder’s clever text work together to highlight an inclusive cast of friends and neighbors, capturing a unique sense of place while reflecting the diverse world in which all children live. Snyder demonstrates both her understanding of and respect for the child reader though these stories, which encourage creative play and capture the childhood experience. “Through authentic dialogue, thoughtfully repeated phrases, and distinctive illustrations, every reader will know that they too are invited to the party,” said Geisel Award Committee Chair Sandra J. Imdieke.

2018 Honor Books

I see a Cat by Paul MeiselI See a Cat by Paul Meisel (Holiday House)

Earliest readers enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the daily experiences of a family’s pet dog as it waits for the return of his beloved boy. With only 10 distinct words, Meisel masterfully creates an engaging, satisfying and page turning read. Watercolor illustrations superbly provide visual clues to support the text and carry the story along. After the child turns the last page of “I See a Cat” anyone watching will say “I See a Reader.”



King & Kala and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats, written by Dori Hillestad Butler, illustrated by Nancy MeyersKing & Kala and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats
written by Dori Hillestad Butler, illustrated by Nancy Meyers (Peachtree Publishers)

In this mystery, Kayla’s dog King is accused of eating treats that she baked for her friend’s puppy. In five chapters King displays his sleuthing talents to track down the culprit and vindicate himself Full-color illustrations combine with declarative sentences to assist readers in decoding complex vocabulary for a successful reading experience.




My Kite is Stuck And Other Stories by Salina Yoon. (Bloomsbury Children's Books)

My Kite is Stuck And Other Stories by Salina Yoon
(Bloomsbury Children’s Books)

In this sequel to “Duck, Duck, Porcupine,” the hilarious trio continue their antics with LittleDuck saving the day every time. The graphic novel format with its speech bubbles and bold illustrations supports newly independent readers, with each story functioning as a standalone.





Noodleheads See the Future, written by Tedd Arnold, Martha Hamilton, and Mitch Weiss, illustrated by Tedd Arnold (Holiday House)Noodleheads See the Future, written by Tedd Arnold, Martha Hamilton, and Mitch Weiss, illustrated by Tedd Arnold (Holiday House)

Mac and Mac, Noodleheads hoping to eat a cake in their future, find themselves in hilarious situations generated from their own foolishness. The authors and illustrator bring a rich oral tradition to today’s beginning reader. A reader will enjoy being in on the jokes in this cleverly crafted story told in comic book style. For example, when asked “Can you give me a hand?” Mac and Mac reply, “We would give you this hand.  But we can’t get it off.” Appealing illustrations support the text and contribute to a much-anticipated turn of the page from start to finish ending with a satisfying conclusion: “The future is here and it smells like cake!”



Snail & Worm Again, by Tina Kügler (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)Snail & Worm Again by Tina Kügler
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Snail and Worm’s gentle friendship and support of one another in these humorous and charming stories will delight readers. The seamless introduction of consonant blends and vowel diagraphsexpands new readers’ abilities.



The members of the 2018 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Committee are Chair Sandra J. Imdieke, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Mich.; Meagan Albright, Nova Southeastern University Alvin Sherman Library, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Kate Capps, Olathe (Kan.) Indian Creek Library; Renee M. Christiansen, Library System of Lancaster (Pa.) County; Rachée Fagg, Lansdowne (Pa.) Public Library; Joy Feldman, Sno-Isle Libraries,Tulalip, Wash. and Sylvie Juliet Shaffer, Maret School, Washington, D.C.

For more information about the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award and the summaries for the award-winning books,  visit:


CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health and Library System Offer FREE “Brush Twice-A-Day Challenge” for Lancaster Families

Click here to find out more CHI St. Joseph Children's Health


Library System of Lancaster County logo


CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health and Library System of Lancaster County Offer FREE “Brush Twice-A-Day Challenge” for Lancaster Families
“Ready, Set, Brush!” improves oral health habits Lancaster County youth

LANCASTER, PA – CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health and the Library System of Lancaster County are proud to present the third-annual Brush Twice-A-Day Challenge, a FREE educational program designed to encourage children to create and maintain healthy oral hygiene habits. This 10-week initiative begins Sept. 10, 2018 and runs through Dec. 10, 2018 and is open to all children and families throughout Lancaster County. Families interested in participating may pick up materials at any of the 17 public libraries throughout Lancaster County or visit the library’s Bookmobile.

“The Brush Twice-A-Day Challenge is a unique and fun way to help inspire children to take time out for their health leading to a lifetime of healthy habits and smiles,” said Lori McCracken, director of education at CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health. “This is a great FREE program for children throughout Lancaster County.”

Children who register to participate will receive a free Health Hero Starter Pack. The Health Hero Starter Pack includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, caregiver information and ten “Smile Counter” scratch-off cards designed to help children track brushing progress at home. To locate a participating library, click here.

Hank the Health Hero GraphicFor Hank the Health Hero events happening this fall at your local public library, click here!

Each time the participant brushes in the morning and at night, they can scratch the plaque off a tooth on the card. Completed cards can be placed in specially marked mailboxes in the libraries, which will be mailed to Hank the Health Hero, the lovable and imaginative puppet and champion of the Brush Twice-A-Day Challenge. Hank the Health Hero will be making appearances throughout the 10 weeks the program runs at libraries throughout the county.

“As an organization committed to fostering and nurturing the well-being of our community, we are proud to partner again with CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health to bring the Brushing Challenge to children throughout Lancaster County,” said Bonnie Young, executive director for the Library System of Lancaster County. “This fun and educational program has been a wonderful way to encourage healthy habits for our youngest community members.”

The Brush Twice-A-Day Challenge is one of many ways CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health strives to improve the overall health and well-being of children and families in the Lancaster community. The organization’s mission encompasses multiple efforts such as educational programs as well as services including two Dental Centers, a Behavioral Health Center and the recently announced St. John Neumann School for Children and Families planned to open in 2020 – all which serve children regardless of their insurance or ability to pay.

“Our continued partnership with the Library System of Lancaster County allows us to reach the community in a distinctive way who may not otherwise know of our various services and programs,” said Philip Goropoulos, president of CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health. “We thank the Library System of Lancaster County for their continued support in outreach to our community.”

About CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health

A location of Catholic Health Initiatives, CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health is a community-based organization dedicated to the health and well-being of children and families in the Lancaster community. The organization works in collaboration with community partners to assure access to appropriate, quality health services and benefits for every child in the Lancaster community. This mission in children’s health includes multiple efforts, programs and services committed to improving the health of children and families throughout the Lancaster community. Most recently, the nonprofit announced plans to open the St. John Neumann School for Children and Families in Columbia, Pennsylvania in 2020. To learn more about CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health, visit

About the Library System of Lancaster County
The Library System of Lancaster County is a federated system with 14-member libraries, three branches and a bookmobile, which serves 519,462 residents. Established in April 1987 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization, the Library System provides well-coordinated countywide services and cooperative programs to assist member libraries in meeting the diverse needs of its community residents. The mission of the Library System of Lancaster County is to bring together all 14-member public libraries to plan and create a cost-effective network of technology, facilities and resources to meet the informational, educational and recreational needs of all residents of Lancaster County.  The Library System ensures that a network of support services is provided to all public libraries in the county.

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Columbia Public Library to welcome Pennsylvania Secretary of Education at its Dedication Ceremony

Columbia Public Library New Logo

New Columbia Public Library

Columbia Public Library officials are pleased to announce that the Dedication Ceremony of the newly renovated Library is scheduled for Sunday, August 12, at 2:00 p.m. at the library location on 24 South Sixth Street, Columbia, PA 17512. The Dedication Ceremony culminates the combined efforts of library board members, the capital campaign committee, library staff and numerous volunteers in the community—all who worked together to make the dream of the stunning new library a reality. The event will also feature a special guest—Pedro A. Rivera, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Education, who will present a keynote address at the community’s dedication of their new library. As Secretary of Education, Rivera has a strong interest in successful collaborations between school districts and public libraries.

The Columbia Public Library has enjoyed a successful collaboration between the Columbia School District for the past fifteen years. This collaborative success is credited to Lisa Greybill, Library Director, and Mr. John Black, principal at Park Elementary School, which is located next door to the library. “Mr. Black is absolutely wonderful to work with”, said Greybill. “He generously allows us the use of the school gym for Summer Reading programs in order to accommodate all who attend”. In addition, Greybill works in tandem with Mrs. Kelsey Bucks, Park Elementary librarian. Visits to the public library are part of Mrs. Bucks’ curriculum for her students. Greybill also works with superintendent, Tom Strickler and high school librarian, Michael White. “Columbia Borough School District is made up of wonderful people who truly support their public library”, Greybill added.

In today’s ever-changing world, a lot is happening in libraries. Libraries are not just about books; they also provide access to information beyond items that are checked out on a library card.   Libraries act as gateways to information, education, and opportunity — and the Columbia Public Library is no exception.   Not only has the library undergone a major expansion and renovation, but the Columbia Public Library as a whole is now transformed itself into a community and technology hub.  The library is improving the community through access to books and technology that individuals might otherwise be unable to afford.  In addition to books in a number of formats — including e-books, audiobooks, and online resources — there are a number of programs offered that appeal to all ages.

About Pedro Rivera

PA Secretary of Education, Pedro A. RiveraPedro A. Rivera was nominated by Governor Tom Wolf to serve as the Secretary of Education on January 20, 2015, and was confirmed by the state Senate in June 2015. He joined the Wolf Administration after having served as Superintendent of The School District of Lancaster, a position he held from 2008-2015.

Under Rivera’s leadership, The School District of Lancaster developed and implemented a new curriculum, an aggressive professional development plan, and innovative classroom observation tools. These initiatives resulted in an increased graduation rate, notable improvements in math, science and writing proficiency scores, and enhanced the level of participation from high-performing students in programs that help prepare them for college and other post-graduation opportunities. In September 2014, Rivera was honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for his efforts to transform urban education – one of ten recipients nationwide to receive the prestigious honor.

He brings extensive experience in public education to his role as a member of Governor Wolf’s cabinet and has spent his entire career helping students. Prior to serving as superintendent of The School District of Lancaster, he served as a classroom teacher, staff member with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, assistant principal, principal, and executive director for the School District of Philadelphia.

Rivera is a first generation college graduate and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from The Pennsylvania State University, a Master’s degree in Education Administration from Cheney University, and his Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility from Arcadia University.

The Columbia Public Library would like to thank all of the contractors and donors who have helped make the newly renovated library a reality. Anyone interested in supporting the library, can make a tax deductible donation online at, by mail at 24 South Sixth Street, Columbia, PA 17512, or in person when the library re-opens. For more information or discuss how you can help, call 717-575-9032 or

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Pequea Valley Public Library names new director!

Pequea Valley Public Library logo

The Pequea Valley Public Library’s Board of Directors was pleased to name Catherine O’Sullivan as the new Library Director of the Pequea Valley Public Library. When Margie Perella, Director of the Library announced her retirement after serving as Library Director for the past 27 years, she didn’t have to look very far for her replacement. Catherine O’Sullivan, who has served as the Salisbury Township Branch Library manager, was offered the job as the new PVPL director in June. O’Sullivan knows the value of public libraries since she utilized the library as an excellent resource when homeschooling her own children.

O’Sullivan’s vision for the library includes maintaining Perella’s tradition that made the library a valuable resource for the community located in the heart of Lancaster County’s Amish country. In fact, she noted that approximately half of the library users are from the ‘plain community’. She also credits Perella with creating a library that is a welcoming place, which is run by a fantastic, supportive staff.

Since taking on leadership of the library, she has implemented creative ideas to make the library a place where there is “something for everybody”. For instance, when the recent World Cup Soccer matches began, she set up special screenings where the tournaments were televised for large-group viewing. O’Sullivan loves the challenge of implementing new ideas, “I am a person who likes to ‘think outside the box’ and I enjoy being adaptable—there’s always a way to get from point “A to C”, even if it means going through or around point “B” to get the job done!”

Pequea Valley One-Room School House Class circa 1937
Pequea Valley One-Room School Class ~ 1937
This building became the Public Library in 1975.

She has also unearthed fascinating historical records about the library that she intends to share by creating displays for library visitors to view. One such find is a group photo of school attendees (circa1937) taken outside the old school house, which later became the Pequea Valley Public Library in 1975.

O’Sullivan, who is currently working on her master’s degree in library science, moved to the area nine years ago from New York City. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Chinese language from Michigan State University.

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For more news about the transition of the PVPL Library Director position and the retirement of Margie Perella, visit Ann Mead Ash’s article that appeared in the Penny Saver, June 2, 2018.