Recent shocking statistics show that library visitors have increased by 11%, but the public library subsidy was cut by 21% in 2009. Your local libraries need your help now more than ever before, especially with families having lower incomes and higher dependencies on library services. The famous saying goes, “You do not know what you have until it is gone,” and we can only hope our libraries will not disappear before we realize how fortunate we are to have them. Please take the following opportunities to help your local libraries remain open for generations to come.
The next time you are cleaning out your attic or helping a family member move, collect used books, music or movies for your local library. Please keep in mind that most libraries do not accept encyclopedias or old magazines but you can recycle these items to help the environment. The Bethlehem Area Public Library accepts donations all year during normal business hours at the circulation desk and you can visit their book donation web site for more information.
The Allentown Public Library also accepts donations from the community. Please call ahead (610-820-2400 x141) and check their book donation page for a list of needed items. If you donate books to the Easton Area Public Library, like-new books are added into circulation to allow others in the community to borrow them. Please drop off your donations in the barrel at the front desk, call ahead if you need help, or check out their book donations page for more information.
After community members donate books and other items, the libraries sell the books to earn money. The book sales that are held at the Bethlehem Area Public Library are famous locally and bring supporters from far and wide. They even have a separate BAPL Book Sales Web Site that gives a detailed description of the events and rules that patrons need to follow to be courteous to others who are shopping. They boast 10,000 books, CDs and movies with 90% of their materials donated by the public. The next event is their Back to School Sale on September 9th from 12PM until 8PM and September 11th from 10AM until 4PM.
The Allentown Public Library is hosting their very own book sales every Saturday through August 21st from 12PM until 4PM on the first floor of their location at 1210 Hamilton Street. The Easton Area Public Library hosts semi-annual book sales but no official dates have been set for the remainder of this year. Check their official web sites for more information.
Contact Local Legislators
If you would like to inspire the increase or at least stabilization of library funding, contact your local legislator. Every one has a voice; please use yours to change the world, one letter or e-mail at a time. For a list of state representatives and their addresses, visit the Allentown Public Library’s web site and click the “Contact Your Legislator” link on the right-hand side. The Easton Area Public Library’s web site has a link to the Pennsylvania Library Association’s Legislative Active Center, which has resources such as mailing addresses, e-mail addresses and templates for your communications to your legislators. Enter your zip code at the bottom of the Legislative Action Center page to see how you can help your city’s library.