National Library Week
York County Libraries Offer Learning Opportunities for All Ages
National Library Week is April 23 – 29
YORK, PA – York County Libraries are joining libraries across the United States to celebrate National Library Week from April 23 to April 29. This year’s theme, “There’s More to the Story,” illustrates how libraries unite communities for education, entertainment, and connection. Members gather for book discussions, story times, crafting sessions, and author visits. In addition to extensive print and digital library collections, libraries regularly connect community members with the internet and technology. ou
“Libraries foster lifelong learning. It is never too early or late to discover the joy of reading and learning,” says York County Libraries President Robert F. Lambert. “We are well-known for our preschool story times and programs for young children.” YCL’s 1000 Books Before Kindergarten prompts parents as their child’s first teachers to read 1000 books to their child before they start school. The value, according to Lambert, is twofold. “Children develop a love of reading and learning during this special bonding time with their parents. And the rich language they hear builds an expansive vocabulary that will serve them well in school and beyond,” says Lambert. Over 4,100 children and their families have registered for this popular program since its start in 2018.
Several York County Libraries offer a Library Tales for Tails program that helps reluctant readers build confidence in their reading. The child reads out loud to a trained therapy dog. The program’s dogs are non-judgmental listeners that help elementary school children practice and improve their reading skills.
In York City, a group of students took the initiative to develop an after-school program for tweens. The youth worked with Martin Library staff members to bring their program to fruition. The group meets regularly to plan and deliver activities, including book discussions, games, and crafts for their peers.
Library programs help community members of all ages build literacy skills that can help them succeed in school and the workplace. “Many residents are surprised by the scope of what our libraries offer. Many think about the traditional model of a quiet library with stacks of books,” says Lambert. “However, we are continually growing and evolving our services to meet residents’ ever-changing needs today. We provide diverse books, resources, and programs for all ages, from newborns to teens to older adults.”
According to Lambert, York County Libraries are busy. In March 2023 alone, 995 people signed up for a new library card, and over 44,400 visited the library. The borrowing rate is good, too, with over 94,500 checkouts of physical materials and more than 19,000 digital checkouts. “That’s just in one month,” says Lambert. “We currently have 159,400 library members and counting. By the end of the year, they will collectively borrow over 1.2 million items.”
York County Libraries include 13 libraries that provide the latest in print and digital information, bestsellers, Wi-Fi, story times, book discussions, and 80 databases. Their extensive collection includes over 642,000 items and one million digital library materials for loan. All are available for free with a York County Libraries card. Community members without a card can request one at yorklibraries.org at no cost.
Community Relations Director
York County Libraries