Staff Pick Favorite Library Moments of 2018

Providing a welcoming place for community members to gather, connect and learn is important to our library staff members.  When asked about their Favorite Library Moments of 2018, they came back with so many favorites, we had to split the blog in two.  Here are a few more of YCL’s top memories of the year:    

Our Hearts Grew at Least Three Sizes

You never know who you might meet at your library.  Sometimes there are some very interesting characters who visit.  A few days before Christmas, Village Library’s Branch Manager Krystal Fry told us, “Today is our best day ever at Village!  The Grinch has been hanging out here and all of our hearts have grown at least 3 sizes!” 

Families Started a New Reading Journey

The October 1st launch of the new countywide program 1000 Books Before Kindergarten is one of Paula Gilbert’s top picks for the year. According to Paula, it is never too early to start reading to your child, and reaching 1,000 books is achievable.  It can be done in as little as one year by simply reading 3 books a day.  Parents who want to take longer can do so.  The key is developing a routine of reading together.  Paula, who is YCL’s Director of Youth Services, is amazed and delighted with the incredible response this program has received.  Her goal for the first year was 1000 participants.  By the beginning of December – just 2 months after the launch – nearly 800 children were already signed up for the program!  

Children – from birth to the day they start kindergarten – can participate in YCL’s 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, it is free, and parents can sign their children up anytime during the year at their library!

Learning from the Ground Up

potatosThey are planting seeds of learning at Kreutz Creek Library!  Branch Manager Susan Nenstiel’s favorite experience of the year was working with children and their families to grow potatoes in the library’s garden.  Susan tells us they experienced potato story time,  potato planting, potato harvest and potato fun!  


Library Robotics Team 

robotics team

One of the year’s highlights at Guthrie Memorial Library is its new Robotics Team the Optic Nerds.   The team had the unique opportunity to speak with Dr. Serena Auñon-Chancellor who is currently living on the International Space Station.   Learn more about their experience in this FIRST® LEGO® League blog.  



Homegrown Learners

Arthur Hufnagel Public Library of Glen Rock started Homegrown Learners, a homeschool group, this fall.  According to Library Director Angela Orwig, it started off with only one child and has grown to over 25 attending the program on Wednesdays from 1-3 pm.   “The parents are appreciative for the time to mingle and the children are having a blast with Miss Allison,” says Angela.

A Third Place 

Visit Glatfelter Memorial Library in Spring Grove or Collinsville Community Library in Brogue, and you may spot folks gathered intently around puzzles.  Ellen Helfrick, Collinsville’s Branch Manager says that many of her members say that pets or space or kids prevent them from puzzling at home.  So piecing puzzles together at the library works well.  Glatfelter’s Library Director Kate Sweeney notes that since they started making jigsaw puzzles available, she’s noticed a small group who meet up and work on a puzzle together. She doesn’t believe they knew each other  previously. There is also a father and daughter who stop by too.  “It’s gone a long way to making the library more of a third place in the community,” says Kate. 

A Place for Teens

Martin Library had many great moments this year including garnering the PA Forward Gold Star and being named PALA Library of the Year.    Library Director Mina Edmondson also points to the library’s outstanding teen program series.  The Teen Leadership Committee hosted the Youth Empowerment Summit, Your Voice advocacy program, Pride Dance, and a Teen Welcoming Week program.  They are honing leadership skills while creating programs that resonate with their peers.  Across the City at Salem Square Library*, students created and shared videos telling the stories of community members and life in their neighborhood.

2018 was a Fantastic Year for YCL

Read about our award-winning libraries and other YCL staff favorite moments here

*Location ceased operations as a library in 2020