In celebration of National Library Week which is held this year April 3–9, Berks County Public Libraries encourages all community members to visit their library in person or online to explore and access services and programs. While everyone is encouraged to connect with their library year-round, National Library Week highlights the important role libraries and librarians play in transforming lives and strengthening communities.
This year, National Library Week is celebrated in conjunction with the Berks County Public Library System’s 35th anniversary celebration which aims to showcase the transformation of libraries over the decades from being known primarily as book depositories to becoming vital community staples.
“Our role at the system office has been to provide resources and support for member libraries,” said Amy Resh, Berks County Public Libraries’ system administrator. “Berks County’s libraries continue to go above and beyond to meet the needs of their communities by expanding resources, embracing inclusion, and making lasting impacts in people’s lives every day.”
Over the last year, library patrons have shared these transformative experiences through a community survey called Library Stories. Survey respondents were asked to share what the library means to them and how the library has helped them. For one patron, the library serves as a constant, familiar place spanning states and frequent moves. For another, it’s a place to turn when unexpected events arise. Library Stories serves to highlight these unique experiences of using the library.
To honor the library system during its 35th anniversary celebration and to show their appreciation and support of library services, the Berks County Commissioners issued a proclamation during their March 24 board meeting to Berks County Public Libraries in conjunction with National Library Week.
“The National Library [Week] celebration would not be possible without local libraries,” stated Commissioner Christian Leinbach. He acknowledged the library system’s efforts and presented the proclamation to Resh on behalf of all three commissioners.
Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt expressed similar sentiments of the library system, stating, “And it’s critically important for us to continue to tell stories about libraries—about how critically important they are to the community.”
In addition to the proclamation from the Berks County Commissioners, Pennsylvania Senators Judith Schwank, David Argall, Bob Mensch, and Katie Muth sponsored a delegation citation honoring the Berks County Public Libraries and its accomplishments over the last 35 years.
As community members connect with their library, they are encouraged to explore some of the library’s less well known resources including:
- Admission passes for free admittance to area museums
- Free access to Ancestry.com: Library Edition from within their local library
- 24/7 digital homework support resources for all grades
- Free global news coverage through the Associated Press
- Proctoring services (at select library locations)
Anyone who has lost or damaged their library card is eligible for a free replacement at any Berks County Public Libraries location and the Yocum Library at RACC. Visit www.berkslibraries.org for more information about resources and materials available to library cardholders.