Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Pottstown Library Gears Up for Grand Re-Opening

Access to the front of the library was improved under the renovation project.

Blogger's Note: The following was provided by the Pottstown Regional Public Library.

Just in time for the holiday season, the greater Pottstown area is receiving a gift of a renovated library.

To celebrate the renovation, a ribbon cutting ceremony will occur on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 11 a.m.

A public open house will be held on Saturday, December 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the library will return to full public access on Monday, Dec. 5.

This renovation was made possible by a $300,000 matching grant from The Keystone Recreation Park, and Conservation Fund.

Portions of this project were funded by Pottstown Health and Wellness Foundation, the Arcadia Foundation and private donations.

In January 2015 the Borough of Pottstown was awarded a $300,000 matching grant through the Keystone Fund to complete the following renovations at the Pottstown Regional Public Library:

The project provides:
  1. Redesigned and repaired front entrance to address accessibility issues and resolve water issues and structural deterioration.
  2. Reconfiguration of existing space for better management of programs, increased accessibility, and improved services to the children, families, adults, and disabled in our community
    Much of the library's interior was gutted.
  3. Upgrading of library engineering systems (lighting, electric, cabling, phone, security) to meet current standards and provide a safe environment for staff and patrons.
The Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund was established by an act of the General Assembly in 1993. The Department of Education, through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Bureau of Library Development, administers the public library portion of this program which is funded from a portion of the realty transfer tax.

A competitive grant application process is used to award matching facilities grants to municipalities that sponsor state-aided public libraries. To be eligible, the sponsoring municipality and the board of the state-aided library must jointly submit an application developed cooperatively by both entities and signed by their governing bodies. The Keystone grant requires a dollar-for-dollar match.

The completion of this project will have the following impacts on the library and the community that it serves:
  • Improved access, both outside and inside the building
  • Improved energy efficiency and the cost savings that result
  • Expanded, multipurpose, attractive and comfortable public spaces.
  • Improved customer service.
  • Improved safety for patrons and staff.
  • Improved security of the buildings and grounds.
The Library is a 501(c)(3) non-profit receiving public funds from Pennsylvania, Pottstown, Lower Pottsgrove Township, Upper Pottsgrove Township and West Pottsgrove Township.

he Pottstown Regional Public Library serves a population of 43,625 from four municipalities in Montgomery County. A sizeable number of patrons are from Berks and Chester Counties.

The building houses a collection of more than 70,000 cataloged items.

In 2015 the library offered 748 programs with an attendance of over 20,000. The library offers many online resources including homework help, online job search resources, e-books, e-magazines, streaming music, and is a Funding Information Network Partner of the Foundation Center of New York.

The Pottstown Regional Public Library owns and occupies a former post office built in 1915 and converted to a library in 1961.

It consists of a main floor, mezzanine, basement and upper floor, each roughly 6,000 square feet in size.

The upper floor has not been used since the post office occupied the building.

In the early 1980s a set of major renovations made the basement level public space, replaced the south facing windows, added a wheelchair ramp, added an external stair tower, and replaced the existing elevator.

To celebrate the renewal, the Library will offer new services and programs starting in December 2016 including ROKU streaming devices and wireless hotspots for loan.

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