Reading, PA – Reading Public Library has announced that a private donation has been received to fund the construction of a series of high tech meeting rooms on the first floor of the main library, 100 S. Fifth Street. The Reading Public Library “Learning and Meeting Commons” will consist of glass enclosed meeting spaces of various sizes that will each include technology and furnishings designed to meet the flexible needs of our community’s diverse citizenry. According to the library’s Executive Director, Bronwen Gamble, “This generous gift from Jerome I. Marcus will transform the Main Library into the 21st Century workforce development and collaborative learning center our residents want. Andrew Carnegie’s library was designed to impress with its soaring spaces. More than 100 years later, we can thank Dr. Marcus for helping to create a vibrant community-centered library of today.”
Nancy Campbell, President of Reading Public Library’s Board of Trustees, characterized the gift as the largest designated donation ever received by the Library for a capital project. Regarding the importance of the project, Campbell said, “The amount and kind of activities that take place at RPL cannot be replicated in any other single structure. Reading Public Library offers services, programs and resources to patrons across the ages and stages of life. This very generous donation will help transform our building into a modern, technologically equipped, multi-use facility. A great library is a necessity for our citizens. In the words of Andrew Carnegie (whose donation in 1910 built our current structure), ‘A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.’ We are most fortunate to receive this gift.”
Donor Jerome Marcus when asked about his desire to fund this project stated, “The beauty of our society is that we value the genius of the individual as well as the genius of the group. This project facilitates that spirit of collaboration.”
The project is expected to begin in the first half of 2019.