Manheim library welcomes new director

By on April 4, 2018

There’s a new face at Manheim Community Library: director Jonathan “Jon” Dunkle, who started on March 6.

“I believe the library should be a hub for the community,” said Dunkle. “It’s so much more than books. There are programs for kids and adults as well as public access computers. One of the newest programs on our computer is a drivers’ education program, which is pretty neat.”

Manheim library board president Ken Hameloth said Dunkle will be an asset to the library.

“We welcome Jon as he joins us at this exciting time, and we look forward to learning more about him and from him over the coming years. The board feels he will be a great addition to the already awesome staff we have, and knows the community will welcome him warmly.”

“I would like to congratulate Jon on his new position. We look forward to working together to continue to grow the library,” said Stacey Gibble-Barrick, president of the Friends of the Manheim Community Library.

Manheim Community Library’s new director Jon Dunkle (center) joins library assistants Lillian Podlesny (right) and Kim Walsh (left) behind the main desk.

Working with libraries is a second career for Dunkle. He spent a good part of his career as a statistician. When he moved to Strasburg, he began volunteering at Strasburg’s Heisler Library. He even taught statistics and computer classes there. The experience at Strasburg’s library led him to shift gears and pursue a career as a librarian when he was downsized from his job in the mid-2000s.

“As a volunteer, I found that I enjoyed being involved in the library, and I love teaching,” he explained. “I was fortunate that the Heisler Library had a staff opening, and I began working there while I was pursuing my master’s degree.”

Dunkle obtained a master’s of library and information science from Drexel University. While pursuing his master’s degree, Dunkle interned at Franklin and Marshall’s Shadek-Fackenthal Library, working with their special collections, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a research librarian. He has a passion for baseball history, and his personal library consists of over 3,300 baseball books. He has also written extensively for print and online outlets, and has given talks and presentations on baseball throughout the country.

“I’ve always been involved in baseball, so working at the Baseball Hall of Fame’s library was a great way to combine my interest in the sport with a career in libraries,” Dunkle said. “I had an opportunity there to work with baseball writers, players, and fans. Plus, Cooperstown is a great small town; it becomes a very busy place in the summer.”

Dunkle also served as director of a medical library for the State of Delaware’s Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health.

“I wanted to get a feel for the different aspects of libraries. But I found that I really liked the community feel of public libraries. Being part of the Manheim Community Library allows me to get back to that,” he said.

For further information about Manheim Community Library, visit manheimlibrary.org or follow Manheim Community Library on Facebook at facebook.com/ManheimCommunityLibrary.

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at RAASHENK@aol.com.


Town Hall  Meeting April 12

Manheim Community Library invites the community to share ideas about the role of the library in Manheim. A Town Hall Meeting will be held on April 12 at 7 p.m. in the community room of the Manheim Municipal Building.

“The library is a place where the community can come for information and a place where they can come to learn,” said Jonathan Dunkle, library director. “We want to make sure, given our resources, that we meet the needs of the community as best as we can. We are hoping that people will come out to the meeting and express what they want to know or want to learn that would make their lives better.”

This is the first of a series of events intended to give the community a greater voice in shaping Manheim Community Library’s programs, collections, and services. To stay informed, visit manheimlibrary.org.

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