One for the books: Manheim Community Library receives $470K donation

By on February 27, 2017

Manheim Community Library made several key announcements during a Feb. 17 Library Lovers Celebration.

“There’s a lot going on here,” said library director Melissa Foltz.

Ken Hameloth, library board president, announced that the library has received a $470,000 donation from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

“That’s allowed us to start looking for a new facility in Manheim,” he said.

Criteria for the new facility include a location within Manheim Borough that’s at least 10,000-square-feet, having the structural integrity to hold the weight of book stacks and plenty of parking. Since 1974, the library has been located on the second floor of the Borough building, 15 E. High St.

Foltz said that circulating over 118,000 items per year and organizing 33,000 items within its 2,500 square foot is certainly a challenge. The library also holds over 150 programs per year with 6,000 people attending and over 800 children sign up for the summer reading program, which 62 percent complete. Foltz said that most of the programs are held in the community room on the lower level of the borough building.

The search for a new building has been ongoing for several years. In June 2011, the library unveiled plans to purchase a lot at Ferdinand and Oak streets and construct a nearly 18,000-square-foot building. Estimated cost at that time was $3 million. Those plans fell through due to lack of funding. More recently the library had investigated possibly relocating to Stiegel Elementary School when it is vacated or utilizing the entire municipal building if the municipal office were to relocate.

Foltz said that parking has been an issue at the current location, but it’s been somewhat alleviated. She said that in addition to parking in the municipal parking lot along North Wolf Street, patrons now have access to eight new dedicated parking spots. Two are behind the building and are accessed from South Wolf Street, while six parking spots are across South Wolf Street in the parking lot by Teen Central. All of the dedicated spaces are marked by a sign.

The library will also have new hours. Beginning March 1 hours will be Monday and Tuesday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

(Left to right) Ken Hameloth, president of the Manheim Community Library board of trustees; Stacey Gibble Barrick, president of the Friends of the Manheim Community Library; and library director Melissa Foltz at the library’s Library Lovers celebration. (Photo by Rochelle Shenk)

(Left to right) Ken Hameloth, president of the Manheim Community Library board of trustees; Stacey Gibble Barrick, president of the Friends of the Manheim Community Library; and library director Melissa Foltz at the library’s Library Lovers celebration. (Photo by Rochelle Shenk)

The library is supported in its efforts by not only the board of trustees, but also by the Friends of the Manheim Community Library.

“This library is more than a library — it’s a community resource,” said Stacey Gibble Barrick, president of the Friends of the Manheim Community Library. “People visit for Internet access or for help in completing online job applications.”

She pointed out that the organization raises funds to support the library through its semi-annual book sales, special events and Friends memberships. Currently there are 155 Friends, and this year’s goal is to increase that number to 200.

The Friends group will host a benefit performance of “Murder at Mount Hope Mansion” at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 26. Tickets are $34.95; deadline for purchase is Friday, Feb. 24.

To purchase tickets, to become a Friend of the Manheim Community Library, or to suggest a possible new location for the library, call 665-6700. Library information is also available at manheimlibrary.org or the library’s Facebook page.

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

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