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December 06, 2016
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New building done, library takes on networking

The new Milford branch of the Pike County Public Library is located on East Harford Street.
TRR photos by David Hulse

With a new building finally finished and ready for occupancy, the Pike County Public Library (PCLP) will be moving into a new phase of expansion, according to its director.

Ellen Schaffner last Wednesday reported to the county commissioners, saying outreach will be the new mission. At the top of list is a library effort to see that Delaware Valley students have library cards that will allow them to use online services. A similar program will follow for Pike students attending schools in Wallenpaupack and Bushkill. “It’s an important part of what we do,” Schaffner said.

Schaffner detailed the system’s virtual library, its collection of e-books and magazines. One hundred and thirty online magazines are already available, and some 200 e-audio books.

“Next are the e-books themselves, which will be downloadable to computers and hand-held devices,” she said.

Schaffner said that the library also will be setting up small revolving collections at a variety of locations around the county. Like many institutions, the library had cut back services in recent years, notably closing its Lackawaxen branch. Initial new locations might include Palmyra, Blooming Grove and/or Greene townships at public buildings, day care centers and senior centers.

Collaboration with other groups will also be in the works. An example was a joint appearance with the Hawley library at last weekend’s Wally Lake Fest.

The PCLP also will again attempt to incorporate the independent Delaware Township Library into the system. “PCLP has approached Delaware Township and the Delaware Township Library at times in the past, but it has never worked out,” but there are new hopes that the township may be ready to talk.

Generally, PCLP wants to develop the library as a community center. While the building still has no opening date scheduled, outreach began earlier this month with an invitation to host the Delaware Valley School Board’s September 12 work session meeting.

The library is also planning to co-sponsor the Black Bear Film Festival’s “Salon” for short films later in the fall.

As she spoke to the commissioners Wednesday, Schaffner said furniture was being moved from PCLP’s long-time Community House home to the new building. Schaffner said all the work involved with the move doesn’t allow much time for parting sadness for the Community House. “The Community House served for many years, but it was never ours. We’re going home now,” she said.

In other business, the commissioners approved resolutions:

• To make the final $450,000 payment, recommended by the Scenic Rural Preservation Board, to the Department of Natural Resources on the former Rock Hill Boy Scout property, completing the county’s $2.25 million purchase of the 486-acre tract.

• Recognizing the 25th anniversary of the Scranton-based Center for Independent Living, which aids people with disabilities, providing training and consultation, assists in accessing public and community based services, and advocates for change to eliminate architectural, attitudinal and communication barriers.