Frequently Asked Questions:
For more information or to make a gift, please contact Library Director Roberta Greene at 570-523-1172 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In the past five years, the Public Library for Union County has experienced increased use of its physical building in three significant areas:
- Increased library use and program attendance (up 35%) by families with young children
- Increased demand and competition for space for library programs and community meetings (for all ages)
- Increased use of technology by both library users and staff
The current physical space of the library limits and challenges the Public Library for Union County’s ability to adapt to the needs of library users today and into the future.
County demographics continue to demonstrate growth in young families; the Library continues to serve as a community hub and anchor for activity; and digital services and technology use continue to grow.
Through research, surveys, and committees the Library has determined the way to address these needs is to:
- relocate and expand the children’s space
- enhance the physical space for adult library users
Built in 1989, the current library building has been expanded twice to reflect the growth and changing needs of the community. The current needs were not addressed in prior projects.
In the fall of 2019, the Public Library for Union County was awarded a Keystone Recreation, Park, and Conservation Fund Grant of $750,000 to fund the building expansion and enhancements. In addition, the Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation has offered a grant for $100,000. Together, these provide nearly half of the total project cost. Both grants have time restrictions, and both grants require a dollar-for-dollar match.
With such a significant part of the project already funded, and with the anticipation that the identified needs will remain valid for years to come, the Library Board has unanimously agreed to move forward with the project.
The current physical space of the Library limits and challenges the Public Library for Union County’s ability to adapt to the needs of library users today and into the future.
- Meeting rooms and programming space – The addition will alleviate the scheduling demand of the large meeting rooms which are used to offer regular and special library programs for children, teens and adults as well as the programs offered by over 40 community partners.
- Flexible gathering spaces –Table seating and individual chairs will be found throughout the library and provide flexible use of library space. In the Children’s Library, new spaces for adults and children to sit and work together will foster reading together and collaboration on homework and projects.
- Quiet, comfort and convenience – Adults seeking a quiet space to read will find comfortable seating and collections located conveniently close to the main Library entrance and away from the hustle and bustle of young families.
- Space to be loud – Children and families can explore and express themselves in an area devoted to fostering creativity, play and interaction. Sound absorbing features and movable walls will keep the activity and the noise contained.
- Safety and security – The new Children’s Library is separated from adult collections and the Library lobby and main entrance. The layout and structures provide parents and caregivers with visibility of their children and teens and keep wandering toddlers contained.
- Additional restroom – A new ADA compliant family restroom in the Children’s area eliminates the rush to a far-off restroom for families, and provides a second ADA compliant family restroom for the Library.
New Children’s Library – The project includes a 1,150 sq. ft. addition to the south front of the building and renovations of existing space to create a new Children’s Library, which will include children’s collections, programming space, a family restroom, storage, a service desk, and seating areas where adults and children can sit and work together.
- 1,150 square foot room dedicated to programming for preschool through elementary-aged children
- a family restroom that is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act
- storage for program materials
- a service point for circulation functions and general assistance
- glass wall and other architectural features to contain both activity and noise
- a reading nook
Enhanced Adult and Service Areas – Adult materials, including magazines and newspapers, large print books, DVD and books on CD will be placed in the area previously occupied by the Children’s Library. Throughout the library, new seating, tables, outlets and counters will facilitate work, technology use and collaboration. A reconfigured check-out desk will maximize space and adapt to changing methods of providing services.
- adult collections conveniently located near the main entrance
- counters and additional outlets for drop-in laptop use
- gathering spaces with movable tables and chairs throughout the library
- check-out desk reconfigured for better use of space and access
- fireplace for added reading comfort
- upgrades in the heating, ventilation and cooling system and lighting to reduce ongoing operational costs
- furnishings and space configurations that provide flexibility and adaptability for future needs and in consideration of social distancing guidelines
The project will begin in the Summer of 2020 with completion anticipated for Spring 2021. To remain eligible to receive the Keystone Grant funds, the grant funds must be fully expended by March 31, 2021.
The total project cost to make these improvements is projected to be $1.75 million dollars.
The Library was awarded a $750,000 Keystone Recreation, Park, and Conservation Fund Grant for this project. Union County acts as the fiscal agent for the Keystone Grant. The Keystone Grant requires a local dollar-for-dollar match. The Library has also received a $100,000 matching grant from the Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation. The Library will seek community support of $900,000 through local foundations, businesses and individuals to secure the local match and the additional funding needed to complete the project. Library board members have already pledged more than $150,000 to the campaign.
Your gift, combined with those of many others throughout the community, will be instrumental in allowing us to secure the matching grant funds. Without that match, the full grant funding may not be available and the Library would have to take on debt, which would negatively impact our ongoing operational budget. Your investment will contribute to our Library’s ability to serve our community well into the future.
Yes. A gift pledge can be made for a period of 3 years. Given the current circumstances, we can be flexible on beginning and ending dates for your pledge.
Recognition is planned for donors at all giving levels through a combination of printed and digital means. Donors may opt to remain anonymous.
The Library is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. Gifts to support the project are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. The CARES Act of 2020 provides substantial changes to the tax benefits to donors — both individuals and corporations, whether you take the standard deduction or itemize. Donors with specific questions regarding tax deductibility should contact their financial advisor. The Library will send receipts to all donors, which can be used for tax purposes.
Yes. You may always give to our Annual Fund, which sustains our operations, including the collections, services, technology and staff.
Yes, the Library has an endowment fund. The Library Board does not plan to use these funds for capital improvements at this time. The endowment is made up of funds that are restricted for specific uses and those that are unrestricted. The endowment fund is invested, and the income from the investment is available for library use. The income generated from the restricted funds is used for the specific area of the Library designated by the restriction. The income generated from the unrestricted funds is used to support annual operating expenditures wherever the need is greatest. Use of the unrestricted funds is at the discretion of the Board. Given recent drops in investment income and unavoidable changes to the Library’s regular fundraising activities, the Library Board wishes to apply current endowment income toward operational expenses.
Yes! The Board of Trustees and staff are committed to maintaining access to library materials and programs throughout the construction period.
The Herr Memorial Library in Mifflinburg and the West End Library in Laurelton will continue to offer services to their communities during this project. Each library is governed by its own board of trustees and is responsible for its own budget, building, collection, programs, staffing and fundraising efforts.