St. Marys Public Library continues to flourish

Photo by Amy Cherry - St. Marys Public Library Director Leslie Swope updates members of City Council on the happenings at the library.
By: 
Amy Cherry
Staff Writer

The St. Marys Public Library is a busy place as staff are gearing up for its summer programming and preparing to add a new section to the library.
Throughout the years, the library, located along Center Street in downtown St. Marys, has acted as a resource center, technology center and community hub for area residents.
Leslie Swope, library director, recently presented an update of the library’s activities, programs, and more to members of St. Marys City Council during their Monday meeting.
“We’re always busy,” Swope said, noting their peak time is during the summer months with children and family activities.
This is evident as the library averages about 160 visitors each day for a total of 41,013 visits last year. Among those patrons, 6,178 are members, 47 percent of which are from St. Marys.
In total, last year the library circulated 75,605 materials.
The library receives 54 percent or $127,100 of its funding from the city. The state kicks in 20 percent or $46,722 with 14 percent, equal to $32,977, obtained through donations. Fees for copies, faxes and lost books result in 4 percent or $10,244. An additional 4 percent – equal to $9,272 – is earned from interest and dividends, with 3 percent – or $6,308 – coming from a work study program and $1,890 – or 1 percent – of funding from non-resident member fees from those residing outside the city.
The St. Marys Public Library last year was one of the first 30 libraries in the state to earn gold star status through the Pennsylvania Library Association.
“There are 650 libraries in the state so we’re pretty proud of that accomplishment,” Swope said.
Library staff are currently creating a new teen space in the front of the building.
Within the past few months they have moved almost every book in the building to make room for the new area. One stack area will be removed to accommodate the teen space which will feature the library’s collection of teen books as well. Swope anticipates the teen space to be ready within the next few weeks.
“We’re hoping to see a little more of them (teens) coming in,” she noted.

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