Where your Story Begins…
York County Libraries is comprised of 13 full-service libraries, two pick-up/drop-off locations, and a Neighborhood library in York City’s Salem Square Neighborhood. We have locations all over York County, from Dillsburg to Stewartstown, Hanover to Hellam, and we are proud to be active, present forces in the communities that surround our buildings.
We strive to strengthen the York County community, and enrich individual lives by supplying information, providing recreation, promoting literacy, and encouraging life-long learning. We offer programming for children, teens, adults, and seniors, and provide over 600,000 print and digital items for loan and use. Accessing and using our materials is easy- all you need is a library card, available at any of the full-service libraries (including Salem Square), and accepted at all locations throughout York County.
The mission of the York County Libraries is 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 their communities.
The York County Library System was created in 1974 “to provide public library service to the residents and taxpayers of the county.” YCLS was established as an independent, private non-profit corporation with an appointed board of seven directors. At that time, system membership consisted of all the county’s existing libraries, namely, Dillsburg Area Public Library, Glen Rock Library, Hanover Public Library, Kaltreider Memorial Library, Martin Memorial Library, Mason-Dixon Public Library, New Freedom Library Center, Spring Gove Library, and York Haven Public Library.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s, the System created new libraries in areas of the county previously unserved. These included Collinsville Community Library, Dover Area Library, Kreutz Creek Valley Library Center, and Village Library. By 1987 the original member libraries and the small branch libraries together, comprised the system of libraries known today, as York County Libraries.
Understanding who we are, and who we serve, has led us to make the following brand promise to ourselves, to each other, and to our community:
- We will never be status quo; we always be relevant. YCL understands that the community we serve is constantly changing and as a result, YCL must too. We strive to continually innovate and evolve to best serve the communities around us.
- We inspire enthusiasm for creativity and learning. At our core, we nurture creativity and learning through all that we do. Whether we are planning a book club, an educational workshop, or a social event; or merely interacting with each other and our community, we find ways to inspire curiosity and knowledge.
- We are a safe gathering place. YCL strives to create spaces that feel like home where all are welcome. Our libraries are safe spaces for our community to gather to learn, connect and inspire. We open our doors to all who need our services.
- We connect and engage our members and communities. Through open dialogue and a continuous feedback loop, we engage our members and our communities. We offer services and programs that are engaging and thought-provoking to better meet the needs of our ever-changing population. Through intention and careful planning, YCL serves as an organization that helps build connections and relationships.
- We respect all opinions and ideas. We understand that our colleagues and our community are a diverse group with varying opinions and ideas. We listen to understand, and respect each other’s opinions, even though we may not agree. Respect and trust are core values that we live by.
- We transform lives. Based on our mission statement, we transform and enrich individual lives by supplying information, providing recreation, promoting literacy, encouraging life-long learning, and serving as the hub of our communities.
Because we are invested in all aspects of our communities.
York County Libraries cares…
York County Libraries has developed a unique connection to many educational facilities and groups in both our local and regional community. Libraries offer expertise in ways that can benefit members of our local area.
Libraries seek opportunities to move outside their buildings and into the community to develop partnerships that will benefit members who may not come to the library regularly.
We understand the distinct importance of small, local businesses while also recognizing the role that larger, corporate organizations can play in a community.
Individual York County libraries have also established partnerships between themselves and the businesses in their immediate communities. Check with your local library for more information about what kinds of business partnerships exist in your community!
York County Libraries cares...
York County Libraries partner with all 16 school districts in York County to provide library cards to all first-grade students through our GOAL (Grade One At the Library) program. PeoplesBank generously supports this initiative annually so that students get incentives and can meet an author, and teachers can promote reading to their students in a fun way. We also partner with the schools to connect children with the summer reading program that encourages kids to stay involved with learning so they do not lose skills over the summer.
Our libraries participate in a statewide program offered by the Pennsylvania Library Association called PA Forward. This program is designed to help libraries bring programs to their members based on five literacy areas that everyone needs to be successful- Basic Literacy, Information Literacy, Civic and Social Literacy, and Health and Financial literacy. These programs are free and engage local presenters as well as regional partners in providing programs to people in the library.
Many of our libraries work with their local schools to provide author visits to students and every library offers building tours to school groups so that students can come to the library and see what is available to them. These tours cover both physical materials available to them through the library collections, as well as the digital and electronic resources that they can access with their library card, via our website.
Martin Library has gone a step further and set up long term partnerships with the School District of the City of York. For thirty years, library staff have provided support to the school libraries in all the district’s buildings. We make sure students and teachers have access to materials both in the school library and through Martin via interlibrary loan.
In addition, we provide behavior specialists to the district in each building to support children who need help with their social, emotional and academic development. This program is entering its fourth year in the schools. Martin also provides an after-school program to the district. This serves students in grades K-8. This program serves 85-120 students per school building during the school year. Tutoring, enrichment programs, a snack and dinner are all part of this essential program in the district.
Martin Library also partners with York Academy Regional Charter School to provide a certified school librarian and an aide for the school. Students from both the Lower and Upper Schools can borrow directly from Martin via our automated system, SPARK, or access the collection of items held at the school. Both the City Schools and York Academy participate in on-site summer reading programs for students in their buildings.
Some of our libraries also have very successful partnerships with local child care facilities. Staff go to the centers to provide story time and Martin has contractual partnerships with the YWCA and Crispus Attucks to provide trainings for staff and parents as well as story programs and other added value components.
A cooperative partnership has been developed with Manchester and Springettsbury Townships. Both offices offer township residents the opportunity to pick up and drop off materials at the municipality offices- giving members a chance to get library materials close to their homes. This is a benefit to township residents who may not have the opportunity to go to a local library and it gives the library new outlets in the community to get materials to those who might otherwise not use the library.
York County Libraries has partnered with Wellspan since 1997 for the healthy summer program, GO (Get Outdoors) York. This walking initiative offers parents, caregivers and children the option to visit 30 parks across the county through the summer program and find rubbing posts by following mapping directions. This program, in conjunction with the summer library program, brings healthy activity and reading to kids for the entire summer.
The Salem Square organization has partnered with Martin Library to provide a mini library in the western part of the city. This concept is designed to get little portions of the library into a neighborhood with no library service. Children’s story time, after school programs, ELL classes and job search help are all things that are being offered in this location. York City is a partner for this project as well.
The York County Prison is also partnering with York County Libraries to provide the “Beyond Our Walls” program for male and female incarcerated people to help them reach out to their children and connect through story reading and literacy technology-taping their reading to share with their children while they are in prison. This has had amazing results since the inception of the program in April.
Support from Corporate Partners ensures vital library services will be available throughout our communities.