MILFORD - Rose Chiochi, Executive Director of the Pike County Public Library the the county commissioners, February 28, that 19,000 people use the services of the library system out of a total population in the county of 56,000 people. (That is just over one third of the population.)
The library had about 65,000 visits last year between the two branches which is about average over the past several years. The library gets funding each year from the county, but state funding has been drastically cut.
Two new partnerships have been solidified during the past year. The first of which is with Delaware Valley School District, this being important as the library had lost funding from them about six years ago. This allowed the library to enter into a contract with Tutor.com which allows library card holders to seek out tutoring services for free, on line.
This partnership also allowed the library to purchase 20 laptops which are on order and will be divided between the two branches. When they are installed, students will have priority usage.
Funds were also received from the school enabling the library to obtain educational materials for the curriculum of English as a Second Language. The Wayne-Pike Adult Literacy group will be working with the library on obtaining GED materials.
Commissioner Matthew Osterberg is woking with the library and the Spectrum Group for after school services for children with special needs.
The second partnership just finalized last week with the Sustainable Energy Fund will assess both library buildings’ energy efficiencies and make upgrades to existing features to make the buildings energy usage more cost-effective and more sustainable. This $30,000 project is expected to be completed by the end of this year, with the final projected savings to be determined at a later date.
Other activities offered at the library are the Tick Borne Disease Support Network, a meditation workshop held once a week, a cookbook club. Anyone is welcome to attended these additional activities at the library, and those who do attend are encouraged to procure their own library card, available to all with an official Pennsylvania identification.
The “Little Free Library” located in Ann Street Park in Milford is being well received by the public and is monitored by Ms. Chiochi. An Eagle Scout is completing a project in Matamoras by erecting two of the free libraries and Library Board member Centa Quinn has donated two more to be located in Dingman Township. The book houses costs around $300 and if an individual decides to donate one the library would be glad to accept it and get it set up.
Commissioner Steve Guccini said he is aware that there is legislation on the state level that requires the state to match any local grants made to the library. The state librarian has taken a position that the legislation included mandates for the operation of libraries to be eligible for the funding, but since there is no funding in the budget, those regulations are also not being upheld. Chiochi stated that the library is in compliance with the the state’s rules and is missing out on $130,000 of state funding.
Guccini urged residents to contact their state legislators and urge them to restore this funding.