Category: Press Release

Public Libraries encourage giving with their Annual Mitten Tree Project!

Mitten Tree 19th Annual Campaign

Public Libraries throughout Lancaster County will hold their 19th annual Mitten Tree Campaign beginning on Monday, November 19. Librarians from the county’s public libraries, in the spirit of holiday giving, will be collecting new mittens, gloves, hats, scarves, earmuffs and umbrellas that will benefit children & families in need living in Lancaster County. Several of the public libraries in Lancaster County will participate in this year’s project. Items will also be collected on the Bookmobile.

Donations may be made from Monday, November 19 – Friday, December 14, 2018.

The Mitten Tree project has been hugely successful during the past eighteen years. Each year the project has netted between 4000-5000 donations, many of which are hand-knitted items!  Distribution of the donations will benefit children and families in churches and service agencies located in local library communities.

Amy M. Campbell, Children & Youth Director of Quality Assurance, said of the project, “Lancaster County Children and Youth is blessed to be in a community that cares about others. The Mitten Tree project reaches many of the families we serve, meeting a need that some may take for granted–warmth. Families come into our office for assistance and are able to leave with hats, gloves and scarfs to fend off the harsh temperatures of winter. All thanks to the generosity of the Mitten Tree Project.”

Individuals interested in participating should bring new, unwrapped mittens, gloves, hats, scarves, umbrellas and earmuffs to any of the public library locations during their hours of operation. Call your local public library at the following locations [see list below].

Mitten Tree Snowman

Lancaster County’s Public Libraries
Participating in the Mitten Tree Project 2018

  • Adamstown Area Library-  3000 North Reading Road Adamstown
  • Columbia Public Library – 24 South 6th Street, Columbia
  • Eastern Lancaster County Library -11 Chestnut Derive, New Holland
  • Elizabethtown Public Library – 10 South Market Street, Elizabethtown
  • Ephrata Public Library – 550 South Reading Road, Ephrata
  • Lancaster Public Library – 125 South Duke Street, Lancaster
  • LPL East – Leola Branch – 46 Hillcrest Road, Leola
  • LPL West – Mountville Branch – 120 College Avenue, Mountville
  • Lititz Public Library – 651 Kissel Hill Road, Lititz
  • Manheim Community Library – 15 East high Street, Manheim
  • Manheim Township Public Library – 595 Granite Run Drive, Lancaster
  • Milanof-Schock Library – 1184 Anderson Ferry Road, Mount Joy
  • Moores Memorial Library – 9 West Slokum Avenue, Christiana
  • Pequea Valley Public Library  – 13 Center Street, Intercourse
  • Quarryville Library – 357 Buck Hill Road, Quarryville
  • Salisbury Township Branch Library – 855 Houston Run Drive, Suite 220, Gap

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Bookmobile receives funding to add STEM resources for Head Start and preschool youth!

Design located on the New Bookmobile

The Library System is pleased to announce that the Bookmobile will be promoting STEM throughout Lancaster County in the coming years.   Currently, the Bookmobile sees as many as 41 Head Start class rooms around the county each month, plus an additional 11 pre-school and childcare classes at other locations such as the Wonder Club and San Juan Bautista Learning Center.  They also see several after-school clubs and 4 Amish Schools each month.

Children with STEM activity

The newly-acquired STEM resources are made possible through our partnership with the Lancaster County STEM Alliance and the High Foundation.

Ed Miller, Special Services Manager and Bookmobile driver, sees real value in reaching youth with these resources and he is planning to expand the program to add CAP Head Start. They are currently in the planning process to develop a 5-year plan for the Bookmobile to promote STEM in their classrooms.  This new STEM education program has four essential components:

  1. Preschool STEM collection: The Bookmobile will create a STEM collection suitable for preschoolers. The collection will consist of books, tech toys (like little robots for coding, blocks and construction sets) and kits for exploration (such as magnifying glasses to explore the natural world and other kits) covering a wide range of STEM related themes.  The collection will be kept on special STEM themed carts that teachers or centers can request.
  2. Professional STEM collection: The Bookmobile and LSLC will be investing in professional resources for teachers and librarians to use to promote STEM.
  3. Training: CAP Head Start, the Bookmobile and LSLC will plan co-training events focused on STEM education for preschoolers. The trainings will be for Head Start staff and for youth librarians throughout Lancaster County.
  4. STEM programing: The Bookmobile will be making STEM education one of its primary focus areas for storytimes.  Storytimes are book based, but also designed to introduce materials to teachers and children in a way that promotes growth of literacy and learning.

STEM learning activity with Legos

Sandy Strunk, Executive Director of the Lancaster County STEM Alliance, shares her enthusiasm for the Library System’s vision to bring STEM resources to the youth of Lancaster County, “The STEM Alliance is excited to partner with the Library System of Lancaster County in bringing these high-quality STEM resources to all parts of our county. The new Bookmobile is a wonderful vehicle for introducing young people to the magic of STEM learning.”

Robin Stauffer, Director of the High Foundation, has high praise for how their support will benefit children who are served by the Bookmobile. “The early years of a child’s life are the foundation upon which they can build future success, and Head Start and preschool programs across the County are an important component of Kindergarten readiness.  The High Foundation Board felt it was important to see this service continue and expand. Funding for the new bookmobile ensures that books and programs are made available to children in need of these services throughout Lancaster County.”

The new bookmobile will facilitate these efforts by giving the Bookmobile staff the flexibility to carefully curate the collection of materials of items we take to each location visit.  Taking these resources and programs into the classrooms will allow the staff to engage the children in an environment more suitable for learning and also allow for effective use of time and resources.

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Library Telephone Renewal service will discontinue

Telephone Renewal DiscontinuedThe Library System is discontinuing the Telephone Renewal Service that allows library users to renew their books and other library items by a designated telephone number. The service will discontinue on December 31, 2018. The decision to terminate the service was made due to outdated software and decline in usage.

Despite the discontinuation of this service, library borrowers still have three ways to renew their items:

  1. Renew items through their Online Library Account (See below)
  2. Ask at any of the libraries’ circulation desks
  3. Call any local public library in Lancaster County

 Setting up an Online Account

  1. Go to
  2. Click on “My Account
  3. Follow the directions on the screen
  • Type your last name and then
  • Your library card barcode number
  1. Scroll down and click “submit
  2. Then, create a PIN you’ll remember
  3. Manage your account (Renew Items here)
  4. When finished, Click “Log Out” for privacy

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Adamstown Area Library announces new design for the final stage of their “Room to Grow” Capital Campaign!

ADM New logoAdamstown Library New Design - Front view

New Design ~ Front View

The Adamstown Area Library Board of Directors are pleased to announce that they approved a redesign for their new library plan. A rendering of the new design has been completed as library officials are embarking on the final leg of their “Room to Grow” capital campaign.

Over $960,000 has been raised during the capital campaign—the goal is $1,500,000. The Library Board is optimistic that the Adamstown Area Library’s community will help them get close to their goal so that construction can begin soon.  The AAL serves over 30,000 residents in five municipalities: Adamstown Borough, Brecknock Township, Denver Borough, East Cocalico Township and West Cocalico Township.

A Town Meeting has been scheduled for Monday, November 12th from
6:30 – 7:30 pm at the library. Coffee and dessert will be served.


Adamstown Library New Design - Parking Lot view

New Design ~ Parking Lot View

The new design represents a collaboration between Heck Construction and Olsen Design Architects who evaluated the existing VFW multi-story building that was purchased by the library in 2016.   Upon assessing the building code, they discovered that the upper three floors of the building were deemed ‘unusable’—even for storage—without the installation of fire prevention measures, a costly stairwell and substantial structural steel. Despite this discouraging news, the ‘footprint’ of the older structure will be used while the library’s new front design will fit into the neighborhood. The new design of the building will better accommodate the circulation desk, offices and the children’s area.

According to Marjorie Hyrb, Library Board President, “Our work with the construction firm and the architect was extremely valuable in making this determination. The goal for the new library has always been to provide more space, better access and meetings rooms that will best serve the public at the most reasonable cost. We believe that these new plans will achieve these goals!”

 Adamstown Area Library ~ Brief History

First Adamstown Library Location was a tool shed.
First Adamstown Library was housed in a chicken coop. (1945)

The Adamstown Area Library was founded in the mid-1940s by the Adamstown Woman’s Club. The initial collection was approximately 100 books. In 1954, the library moved into 400 square feet of space in the basement of the Adamstown YMCA. In 1988, it became evident to the Woman’s Club that growth in the area and increased library usage warranted hiring their first library staff person. In February 1990, the Adamstown Woman’s Club founded the Friends of the Adamstown Library in an effort to raise funds for the library. Also in the early 1990s, the Lancaster County Library System established geographical areas to be served by specific library locations.

This became the basis for the allocation of state, county and municipal funds for the library. A further change occurred in 1995 as Adamstown became a member library of the Library System of Lancaster County. It was at that time the library established a Board of Trustees to act in a fiduciary capacity and to ensure ownership of the library was in the hands of the Board of Trustees and the local boroughs and municipalities it served. In 1997, the library applied and was granted 501(c)(3) status as a non-profit organization. In 1998, the library moved from the YMCA location to its present location at 3000 North Reading Road. The Adamstown Borough leases the space to the library for one dollar

Complete History of the Adamstown Area Library

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Brad Rutter, all-time Jeopardy! Champion, funds online catalog enhancements for better searching!

Brad Rutter, All-Time Jeopardy ChampionWe have exciting news for Public Library users thanks to Brad Rutter, all-time Jeopardy Champion! Rutter has donated funds that have been used to support Syndetics Unbound, which is an online catalog enhancement tool that is now available. The Lancaster County native has been contributing funds for the past eight years through his Lancaster County Community Foundation donor-advised fund to benefit the Public Libraries in Lancaster County. The only stipulation by Rutter is that the funds he donates be used to support technology-based services that will benefit many library users throughout the county.

Our previous Content Enrichment package was very text heavy and did not include the special features listed below. Lancaster County is a fast growing, tech savvy community that expects these features from their modern library. In fact, these enhancements are also available on mobile devices. Many of our neighboring counties offer these enrichments already.




Syndetics Unbound Logo
Syndetics Unbound Catalog Enhancement Features

  • More Cover Art: Library users will see the cover pictures for items such as books, DVDs and CDs. This way, customers will know exactly what they are requesting.
  • Readers’ Advisory: This add-on service will give “tell me more” information such as recommendations, what books are in a series, other formats available, related titles and more about items the library user might like to borrow. This will help our customers to find more items that they love from the library.
  • Reading levels: Are now listed by age, grade and Lexile® level **
  • Awards – Click on the award and see additional award winning titles and their availability

**Lexile® Measure: A popular method used by schools to measure a student reader’s ability. Lexile measure is a valuable tool for teachers, parents, and students. It serves two unique functions: it is the measure of how difficult a text is OR a student’s reading ability level.

Brad Rutter’s story…

Brad Rutter is a Lancaster County PA native and long-time public library user who earned the distinction as All-time Jeopardy! Champion in 2005. He credits his record-breaking success on the popular game show to a passion for reading that started with his early visits to the public library. It is no surprise that Brad decided to name public libraries in his hometown as beneficiaries of his success. In 2005 Brad set up a donor-advised fund with the Lancaster County Community Foundation. His intention was to have the fund support public libraries in the purchase of technology that would enhance library services countywide. Rutter who is passionate about libraries sees the funding of library services as a way to give back to the community that will benefit readers and library users, “I am proud to have the benefit of ever-changing, improving technology to assist readers of all ages at the libraries.” He foresees technology programs as keeping libraries on the cutting edges as essential community resources. About his generosity to public libraries, he states, “I want to experience the impact of my giving now, while I’m young and while I can see the results.”

In 2013, Rutter’s funds were used to develop the Lancaster County Libraries Mobile App — another popular resource for library users to access the online catalog and other electronic resources from their iPhones and other mobile devices. During the past several years (2014 – 2017), he generously funded the Public Libraries e-Book collection that is accessible online to all Lancaster County residents who have a library card.

Lancaster County Community Foundation Logo

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National Summer Learning Day…help prevent Summer Slide!

National Summer Learning Assn. Smarter summers...brighter futures

Nation’s Libraries and Children’s Museums Unite to
Celebrate National Summer Learning Day on July 12!

Celebration Kicks off by Ringing the Closing Bell at the NYSE and Includes
National Read Aloud of Award-Winning Book, Trombone Shorty

Goodbye homework, pop quizzes and science projects!
Hellooo summer – a time when millions of students kick back, chill out and ‘check out.’ The summer months of June, July and August, however, present a classic case of the “summer slide,” when most kids can lose academic skills they worked hard to learn during the school  year.

There’s nothing fun about this kind of slide. It’s a well-documented phenomenon where
students can lose up to three months of progress in reading and math, and these losses add up… [Read More]

Listen to this fantastic radio interview by Milanof-Schock Director, Barbara Basile and Jan Betty, Youth Librarian!  Listen to the interview that is posted on our Facebook page!

Tips to Keep Tweens and Teens learning this summer

Summer Learning PSA (June 2018)

Hear John Urschel, former guard and center of the NFL Baltimore Ravens, message about guarding against the summer slide. John is currently a doctoral student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)!

U.S. News & World Report Is Summer Breaking America’s Schools?  by Seth Cline (June 7, 2018)

Why Summers Matter

For more information about The National Summer Learning Day, visit:

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Public Libraries receive Music for Everyone Grant to enhance library programs for youth!

Music For Everyone

The Library System on behalf of public libraries throughout Lancaster County was awarded a grant from Music for Everyone Foundation in the amount of $1,216.00 that will be used to support the acquisition of percussion instruments to enhance library programs.  The musical instrument collection is available to all public youth librarians, Be Ready Rover program coordinator and the Bookmobile staff.  Libraries are hosting “Together We Are Music” events, and other music-oriented programming for youth and families this summer and in the future.

Library programs and library outreach supports children’s learning and creative needs by giving them access to materials (instruments) and opportunities. Using their imagination, children will learn about tempo and volume, creatively express themselves and perform in a non-judgmental atmosphere.

Music for Everyone Fun logoPercussion instruments made available through this grant funding include xylophones, egg shakers, rhythm sticks, log drums, hand drums, and band bongos.

Percussion InstrumentsThe instruments are a resource for year round programs and a welcome addition to supporting the role that a library has in the community–being accessible and fulfilling the needs and interests of residents of the county. In these library settings, coming together socially, a child will delight in making music with others.

Research shows there are many benefits to playing percussion instruments. For the youngest, music builds emergent literacy skills (i.e. phonological). Children develop better verbal memory and reading ability, along with better motor coordination, motor development (exercising hands, fingers, and arms), mood improvement, listening skills, taking turns, happiness in being creative, social skills, and more.

Renee Christiansen, youth services manager, acknowledges the value of the partnership that has been established with MFE over the years, “I applaud the success of Music for Everyone for bringing musical opportunities to many, so that in turn, organizations such as libraries can promote the creative development of our local youth.”

The Music for Everyone Foundation is committed to supporting music as a positive impact in the community by awarding grants to schools and community groups to support music programs. The foundation, through their grant program, is committed to easing the financial difficulties that music programs face due to funding cuts.  The MFE Foundation raises money through live music events, merchandising efforts and donations.  Since April 2006, MFE has awarded over $1.5 Million in grants, scholarships and direct program support to schools and community arts groups in Lancaster County.

For more information about the Music for Everyone program, go to:

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Columbia Public Library to showcase local craftsman’s custom work at Dedication Ceremony!

Columbia Public Library New LogoWhen officials of the Columbia Public Library launched the renovation and new addition of the library, they anticipated that the completed project would be a real treasure for the community. With the upcoming grand opening of the new library, their anticipation will be met with a great source of community pride. The grand opening of the new library will be Wednesday, August 1, while a special Dedication Ceremony is slated for Sunday, August 12, at 2:00 p.m. at the library location on 24 South Sixth Street, Columbia, PA 17512.

In today’s ever-changing world, a lot is happening in libraries. Libraries are no longer only the repositories of books, but rather act as gateways to information, education, and opportunity — and the Columbia Public Library is no exception.   Not only is the library undergoing a major expansion and renovation, but the Columbia Public Library as a whole is transforming 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.  Libraries are continually expanding to include information in a variety of formats that meet community requests and needs. Libraries are not just about books; they also provide access to information beyond items that are checked out on a library card.   Library resources in the form of online access to databases and programming now define and expand what is available to the public.   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.

A local craftsman enhances the new library…

Just as librarians continue to master their trade, a local craftsman working on the renovated library hones his skills to provide the library with beautiful hand-crafted furniture.   During the upcoming events, the public will notice customized furniture made by local craftsman Greg Pilotti throughout the library.

Greg Pilotti, President
Greg Pilotti, President
GP Furniture Makers

Pilotti is president and owner of GP Furniture Makers and a graduate of Thaddeus Stevens School of Technology. Pilotti has been collaborating with Thaddeus Stevens by hiring skilled craftsmen since the opening of his business in 2013. He employs nine highly-skilled craftsmen — all graduates of Stevens Trade, which is an educational institution that specializes in trade education and apprenticeship. He is dedicated to preserving the art of furniture making as he applauds the tradesmen that he has employed.  He states that he “doesn’t hire — he recruits,” and he relies on Stevens Trade to help him recruit and fill positions.  In the process, he develops relationships that lead to keeping skilled craftsmen. He reflects, We are in a trade that’s a lost art…it’s often hard to find employees.  I rely on Stevens Trade to help me recruit and fill positions.  I continued to grow the business and develop skills to serve clients.  Today we operate in a large, well-equipped modern shop full of young energetic makers.  I believe that we are here to serve our clients to the fullest of our abilities and create a high-quality product.  By using modern technology and traditional techniques we are able to serve our clients and designers with both custom furniture and cabinetry.”

Columbia Public Library’s Executive Director, Lisa Greybill, is excited about the opportunities the new library offers to the community. “Many residents already visit the library on a regular basis and I hope that our expansion will draw in even more. Our new meeting room and terrace are an excellent venue for programming and community gatherings. Our new furnishings, including those made by Mr. Pilotti and his craftsmen, provide practicality, beauty and comfort to an inviting interior.”

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

GP Furniture Makers: 

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Visiting Author to share Italian Culture!


David James Connors, author of Romancing Through Italy

Visiting Author to share Italian Culture!
Must-see program if you have a romance with Italy or are planning a trip there!

The Lancaster Italian Cultural Society is pleased to host writer and avid traveler, Robert James Connors, author of Romancing Through Italy at the Manheim Township Public Library, 595 Granite Run Road, Lancaster, PA 17601 on Tuesday, July 3 at 5:30 pm.  The event, which is part of the author’s national speaking tour, is free and open to the public.

The pervasive effect of Italian culture on our modern world, as well as the attractions Italy offers to visitors, will be highlighted during this program.  Millions of Italian immigrants helped to shape American culture, and today more than 17 million self-identify as Italian-Americans.

Connors is a frequent public speaker and the author of Romancing Through Italy, an Romancing Through Italy by David James Connorsintimate account of his twenty years spent exploring that Mediterranean nation. His Italian visits over the years have certainly created a romance with Italy, he states “Italy is both the cradle and nursemaid of Western civilization. That small nation contributed the lion’s share of our culture.”  How could that happen?  Connors delights in sharing these clues with his audiences, “I enjoy meeting my readers, and sharing these remarkable stories—Italy is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations, partly because of its enormous impact on our modern culture. The travel tips are free, too!”




5:30 pm ~ Pre-Social (light snacks)
6:00 —7:00 pm ~ Author Presentation and Q&A
Author presentation will be followed by a Post-Social Time & Book Signing

 About the Author…
Robert James Connors is an award-winning writer and journalist, experienced public speaker, and author of more than 1,000 human-interest, feature, and news stories during a career spanning 40 years.    Now a dedicated traveler, he is a contributor to publications covering topics ranging from environment to classical music and history. Connors is a former Florida County Commissioner, and has served as an invited guest speaker (in both English and Italian) at military commemorative events in Italy, recognizing the service of American veterans of World War II in the Liberation of Italy from the Nazi/Fascists.  In addition to his travels and writing, he serves as President of the Lake Wales Museum Association.  For more information, visit:

Lancaster Italian Culture Society Logo

Registration requested, but not required.  To register, go to:

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Newcomers and Neighbors of Lancaster Club raises $1,250.00 for Public Libraries!

The Newcomers and Neighbors of Lancaster Club check presentation for Public Libraries of Lancaster County

Members of the Board of Newcomers and Neighbors of Lancaster County present, as part of their community service project, a check for $1,250 to Renee Christiansen, the Youth Services Manager of the Library Service of Lancaster County, for the Local Public Libraries of Lancaster County to purchase new children’s books.  Pictured from left to right are: Josie Smith, Co-chairperson of Community Service, Elaine Long, President of the organization, Christiansen, and Cheryl Waack, Co-chairperson of Community Services.


The Library System of Lancaster County is pleased to announce that The Newcomers and Neighbors of Lancaster Club raised $1,250 to benefit the Public Libraries of Lancaster County. The community group chooses two groups or organizations each year to support. This year they chose the Public Libraries of Lancaster County as recipient of their fundraising efforts. Funds are to be used for the purchase of children’s books, as specified by the Club. All books purchased with the funds will be recognized with a bookplate honoring The Newcomers and Neighbors of Lancaster for their support.

Renee Christiansen, Youth Services Manager for the Library System, acknowledges the generosity of the group on behalf of the public libraries, “It’s wonderful that they selected the Local Public Libraries this year!”

About the Club

Newcomers and Neighbors Club of Lancaster was originally founded as Welcome Wagon of Lancaster East in June 1968. It was reorganized as Newcomers and Neighbors Club of Lancaster in June 1998. The club is a nonprofit social organization of women whose purpose is to extend a friendly and neighborly hand to new and longer term residents of Lancaster County by introducing them to others and starting them on a new social life in their communities and to promote an interest in our towns. The club offers the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of special interest groups, such as a book club, card groups, and knitting and to visit area attractions in the company of other club members. Additionally, the club offers local community service and volunteer opportunities as needs arise during the year. Membership, established by payment of annual dues, is open to all women residents of Lancaster County regardless of their length of residency. General meetings of the member (dinners or luncheons in area restaurants) are held monthly, September through June.


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