Library advocates prove outstanding at fundraising

By on January 4, 2017
Enjoying some good fund-raising news ate sitting (from left) are Joni Hoppel; Kathy Thren, library director; Margaret Harting, Friends president; Jane Webber, library board of president; and Joy Maier. Standing (left to right) are Arnetta Hoffman, Ronnie Heston, Carol Lewis, Pat Acebo, Barbara Mizdail, Jane Lesher, Ann Roseboro, and Darlene Pruzman.  Photo by Michele Walter Fry

Enjoying some good fund-raising news ate sitting (from left) are Joni Hoppel; Kathy Thren, library director; Margaret Harting, Friends president; Jane Webber, library board of president; and Joy Maier. Standing (left to right) are Arnetta Hoffman, Ronnie Heston, Carol Lewis, Pat Acebo, Barbara Mizdail, Jane Lesher, Ann Roseboro, and Darlene Pruzman.
Photo by Michele Walter Fry

While leaders of towns and boroughs in Lancaster County ponder how to make themselves a social and a tight-knit community, Adamstown doesn’t seem to have that problem.

Adamstown’s ‘problem’ is finding a bigger space to hold everyone that wants to come to gather in the library — for whatever reason. It’s become the social hub for the entire Cocalico area.

Every library has its personality; some are quiet, noisy, rarely visited, snooty. Adamstown is the “Cheers” library of Lancaster County and is known to be a friend to all, because as the song goes: “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came.”

“When people walk in the door, they know you by name, they ask about your kids, they know what movies you like or they say, ‘This book just came in, it sounds like you’,” said Margaret Harting, president of the Friends of the Adamstown Area Library. “We don’t have any social gathering place in town, and every time I go to the library, I almost always see someone I know.”

The workers and volunteers know what they are doing and most have worked at the library for a time.

“We offer service,” said Harting. “I hear that from around the community.”

And volunteers and employees are “chatty-good,” as in helpful and friendly, not “chatty-bad” as in annoying, to patrons.

“Gone is the day when you went in the library and everyone was, ‘Shhh’, it’s just not like that anymore,” said Pat Acebo.

The Friends presented the library with a check for $25,000 on Nov. 29.

“They are now donating $25,000 toward the Tranquility Garden area at the new library,” said Jane Webber, chair of the Room to Grow Campaign. “This outdoor space will offer a place to relax and enjoy a book, a picnic, or just quiet contemplation. It will feature greenery, benches and tables for enjoyment by all ages.”

The Room to Grow campaign has reached $650,000 with a goal of $1.5 million by the end of three years.

“We need to reach $1 million to cover renovation costs before we can authorize work to begin in 2017,” said Webber. “Please consider a donation.”

This library campaign is like a “go big or go home” kind of fundraising. This won’t be a “paint the walls” and bring in some chairs deal. This library will be state-of-the-art.

“There’s no point in not, we will be a big technology center,” said Kathy Thren, library director. “Plus, the building is in terrible condition and needs to be gutted and repurposed.”

But the start of renovation won’t happen until more donations come in, and the Friends’ group is the library’s best friend.

“The Adamstown Area Library and the community has been blessed to be supported by the Friends group of the Adamstown Area Library for 20 years,” said Webber.

“During that time, they raised over $700,000 to provide special programs, equipment, and additions to the collection beyond the scope of the library budget. In 2016, the Friends donated $100,000 toward the Room to Grow Capital Campaign to renovate the former VFW to become the new and expanded home for the library in 2017.”

“They are the most savvy group of fundraisers in Pennsylvania,” said Thren. “From what I hear about libraries across the state, the most they get, on average, from their Friends group is between $5,000 and $10,000 a year. We get $25,000 every single year. If we need extra things, they give us more if they have it.”

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