by Robert F. Lambert, President of York County Libraries
York County Libraries are grateful for so much in 2022 as we look forward to a busy, productive, and fulfilling 2023.
We are grateful for all library professionals throughout our county who serve all our visitors and members with professionalism, civility, kindness, and knowledge each week.
We are grateful for all members of our dedicated and gracious Boards of Directors who have served with distinction and forged a promising future.
At York County Libraries, we are mission-driven to strengthen the York County community and to enrich individual lives by supplying information, providing recreation, promoting literacy, encouraging life-long learning, and serving as the hub of our communities.
Together, we have stayed true to that mission like a lighthouse shining its loyal beams: providing lifelines, spreading knowledge and wisdom, connecting good people of all ages to each other with valuable resources, bridging the digital divide, inspiring imaginations, nurturing the creative spirit and the arts, and building communities.
York County Libraries consists of 13 full-service libraries, and additional pick-up and drop-off locations in our county of 911 square miles of over 450,000 people. From Red Lion to Red Land, Hellam to Hanover, Dillsburg to Delta, York City to Stewartstown, Dover to Spring Grove to Brogue, we proudly serve all folks from all walks of life.
From toddlers to children and youth, from Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) scholars to latchkey kids, from musicians and budding artists to college and graduate students, from young professionals to job seekers to seniors, from lifelong learners to tourists, we proudly serve everyone from all walks of life throughout all of York County.
York County Libraries is grateful for the successful completion of our $10 million capital campaign, launched in 2019, for major renovations at three of our libraries (Martin Library, Hellam’s Kreutz Creek Library and Red Lion’s Kaltreider-Benfer Library). So far, and to positive and rave reviews, we have completed renovations at Kreutz Creek and Martin.
The New Kreutz Creek Library
Since the late 1970s, Hellam’s Kreutz Creek Library was housed in a former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) trailer that the library and community had outgrown. After 42 years, the dream of a bigger library now is reality with the opening of the new Kreutz Creek Library.
It is now seven times larger than the previous trailer, featuring many more bookshelves and books and more seating and computers, as well as ample windows to let in natural light. The entrance now guides visitors to a huge, inviting circulation and welcome desk. Visitors now can enjoy comfortable lounge seating and new quiet rooms, with monitors and whiteboards, for studying, brainstorming, and creating.
A new, dedicated teen space provides comfortable seating, Wi-Fi access and device chargers, space for events, and a mini makerspace cart with creative supplies. The children’s area now features play space, window seats, and access to outdoor space with a fenced-in patio and garden.
Library staff now enjoy new offices, a work break room and climate-controlled space for donated item storage and event preparation. We warmly welcome you to visit the new Kreutz Creek Library, located right off Route 462 in the former Hellam Township Municipal Building.
We are grateful for one of York County’s oldest libraries, the venerable Martin Library, the 2018 Pennsylvania Library of the Year, still proudly in the heart of our county seat at 159 East Market Street, still proudly serving her mission.
The 68,482 square foot Martin facility brims with literacy programs and learning opportunities that engage all ages, from babies to school children, teens to job seekers, adults, and seniors. Martin is a hub for learning, entertainment, and connectivity.
Customers of all walks of life visit the library over 33,550 times per year. During their visits, they log into 17,850 wi-fi uses. They also borrow more than 125,275 items per year.
We are grateful that capital improvements will allow Martin to serve even more visitors and borrowers. Renovations to 63,682 square feet of space have created an inviting community gathering space, an expanded teen learning lab with digital media nooks, and places for hands-on learning.
From after-school programs to bridging the digital divide by bringing innovative technology to those who need learning and lifelines for survival, self-improvement and jobs, Martin impacts lives every hour its doors are open.
Red Lion’s Kaltreider-Benfer Library
Next up to be renovated is Red Lion’s Kaltreider-Benfer Library, which will grow from 9,682 to 13,358 square feet for additional resources and programming.
The expanded library will feature dedicated children and teen program spaces and a relocated open service desk area to kindly assist members and visitors.
Launched in 2019, our $10 million capital campaign was made possible via a $5 million state capital grant and $5 million in local match private donations.
To secure the state grant, we are so grateful that Governor Wolf and wife Frances have been life-long champions of Martin and public libraries throughout the county and Commonwealth.
We also are so grateful to our York County Commissioners, President Commissioner Julie Wheeler, Vice President Commissioner Doug Hoke, and Commissioner Ron Smith, for restoring the traditional level of funding so all our libraries are open and bustling with visitors and activities each week.
We are so grateful for all our customers, our cardholders and the more than one million annual borrowings of resources. More than 35% of York County residents hold library cards. We thank you all.
Libraries bring us together, and they serve all.
They unite us.
If I dare be so bold, our libraries are us.
They are the healthy heartbeats of our town and county seat.
They personify the best of us and the best of York County.
They represent a grand quest for building educated curious workforces, strong circular economies, and beloved communities.