Haverford Township Garden Tour--SATURDAY!


Last chance for tickets to the Garden Tour, Saturday, July 10 from 11 am-3 pm.

-$15 advance ticket sale at the library;

-$18 on sale Saturday at the Grange Estate in Havertown.

Pick up your map and information at the Grange on Saturday after 10:30 am and tour 10 gardens in Haverford Township.  

At 3 pm return to the Grange Estate for a light reception and tour and lecture of the Grange gardens. 



Our library is a natural partner in local economic development efforts. We are centrally located in this community and provide a variety of resources designed to foster human growth and development, promote early literacy and school readiness, and develop workforce capacity. We offer databases and materials, career development tools, and access to trained librarians. Our Book-a-Librarian service is in place to foster positive end results as well. Contact Librarian-Director Richard Thau for more information. E-mail:, telephone 610.446.3082 or drop by the library administrative office upon your next trip to the library facility.

The Delaware Valley Library Scene

[Courtesy of the Philadelphia Inquirer}

Lower funding follows last year's 20% cut. Libraries feel pain of 9% less from Pa.  {7.4.2010}

By Kathy Boccella and Nicole Lockley

Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writers


To save money, the Pennwood Library in Langhorne closes Fridays, has shortened its hours, and has curtailed book-buying, meaning a much longer wait for the latest James Patterson thriller.

And with less staff, the one part-timer at the circulation desk gets bombarded.

"It's been pretty crazy," Alice Spano said as she juggled four or five requests at once - checking out books, scanning cards, and describing the summer reading program to a mother with two kids.

Now, as Gov. Rendell prepares to sign a $28 billion state budget that cuts aid to libraries by 9 percent, or $5.4 million, things are likely to get worse.

To Pennsylvania's 624 public libraries - whose state funding was slashed 20 percent last year - the new budget reads like a book with the climactic ending ripped out.

"Slowly but surely, we've been crippled," said Martina Kominiarek, executive director of Bucks County Free Library system, which comprises Pennwood and six other branches.

In recent years, libraries have coped with repeated rollbacks in funding by reducing hours and staff, charging small fees for borrowing movies and CDs, and scaling back on book-buying and special programs, such as the popular children's story time.

Now, librarians say, they will have to pare even more while library use is higher than ever - thanks in large part to the economy.

In city and suburbs alike, people line up at library computers to job-hunt or apply for aid. Statewide, visits to libraries are up 11 percent this year, computer use up 19 percent, and circulation up 9 percent, said Glenn Miller, executive director of the Pennsylvania Library Association.

But thanks to reductions in state aid, Miller said, "we're hanging on by a thread."

A spokesman for Rendell defended the latest cuts as the necessary cost of the recession. "The state can't print money," Gary Tuma said Friday. "We have to balance the budget with what we have."

At the Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library, all 16 terminals in the computer lab are nearly always in use. The machines have become a lifeline for students and job seekers, lab support specialist Jim Boardway said.

"This is ridiculously indispensable to the people who come here," he said - "especially with the unemployed," who use the computers to look for job openings, print resumés, and apply for public assistance.

Despite a 22 percent increase in computer use last year, the Norristown library has eliminated several oft-used databases because of the loss of $484,000 in state funding, said Loretta Righter, head of reference services. One of the more popular databases, Learning Express, helps students prepare for standardized tests such as the SAT.

This year the legislature trimmed funding for another widely used online service, Pennsylvania Online World of Electronic Resources Library, which had been offered free to schools and libraries. The appropriation was cut by more than half.

The Free Library of Philadelphia, already reeling from the city's plan to decrease support by $2.5 million, will lose an additional $700,000 in state funding, director Siobhan Reardon said.

"I was expecting a 2 percent cut," Reardon said. "I never dreamed it would be this high."

Staffing, materials, and maintenance of the city's 54-branch library system will have to be trimmed, she said. That's on top of losing more than 125 employees and 40 percent of the book-buying budget in the last two years.

At the Central Library, departments that once offered evening hours have gone daytime-only because there's not enough staff.

Chuck Esser, 62, of West Philadelphia, who was picking up audio books there Friday, said libraries were the last thing that should be cut.

His oldest son, who was bullied in school, "would have gotten beat up every day if he didn't have a library to go to," Esser said. "Neighborhood libraries are a place of safety for kids."

So many young people line up to use the computers at her local library - the Lucien E. Blackwell branch, at 52d and Chestnut Streets - that Andrea Williams, 48, has to go to the main library.

"People depend on the library for access to jobs," she said.

At Pennwood, that was true for Michael Moncel, 48. He was applying online for warehouse work at Kmart. He said many companies wanted online applications only - and since he doesn't own a computer, he needs the library to look for work. "They already cut back their hours," Moncel said. If more cuts came, "it would be a hardship."

Next to him, Kendra Oliver-Derry, 17, was searching for grants to help pay her tuition at Bucks County Community College in September. Without Internet service at home, she uses the library's computers to do her homework.

Between work, school, and Pennwood's reduced hours, it's already hard to get a terminal at peak times, Oliver-Derry said. If the library starts closing earlier, "I don't know what I'll do," she said. "I plan to be here all the time next year."

Chester County libraries have already eliminated half their subscription databases and will probably cut more, executive director John Venditta said. They'll also buy fewer books, so readers will have to wait longer to get popular titles.

"Libraries are very, very good at just kind of sucking it up and not making a big stink about it," he said. "Customer service is where we want to maintain as much as we can. But we're going to end up having to do things people are going to notice."

Perhaps no library has struggled as much as Darby Borough's, a little redbrick building that claims to be America's oldest public library, in continuous service since 1743.

In December, it looked as if the economic realities of 2009 would do what wars, depressions, and other misfortunes couldn't: Put Darby's library out of business.

The library was set to close when the borough ponied up an additional $20,000 to keep it in business, director Susan Borders said.

Now, open for the state-mandated minimum of 45 hours a week and with only two part-time librarians, the staff already cleans the building, takes out the trash, and shovels snow. And there's a two-hour wait for the five computers, which aren't even broadband.

So when Borders was asked how the library will make up the state budget shortfall, all she could say was, "Good question. If anybody has any ideas they can call me."


Attention: HTFL Library Customers: Please contact Library Director Richard Thau with your questions and insights.



The State of the Budget

Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Library Association and the Haverford Township Free Library
Governor Rendell and legislative leaders announced on Tuesday, June 29th that a budget agreement has been reached
The short version is the following:
• The Public Library Subsidy is cut 9% to $54.5 million;
• Library Access increases by just 1% to $3 million;
• The State Library is cut by 6% to $2.2 million; and
• Library Services for the Visually Impaired and Disabled is cut by 6% to $2.7 million.

All in all, total library funding is reduced by $5.7 million to $62.5 million for all four programs. This represents a cut of 8.4% in total state funding. On the Pennsylvania Library Association {PaLA} website ( is posted a spreadsheet that compares this new budget with recent budgets (including funds that had been set aside in “reserve” over the last two years due to the recession.)

Some facts surrounding the process:
• the economy shows some early signs of emerging from the recession;
• June tax collections in Pennsylvania are higher than expected;
• budget cuts this year—while still bad—are not as severe as last year; and
• the budget process will conclude in June not October.

In his press conference on Tuesday, Governor Rendell announced that the entire budget would total $28.05 billion compared with this year’s budget of $27.87, an increase of just 0.6%. He scaled back his top priority—a request for a $354 million increase for basic education—and instead settled for a basic education increase of $250 million. The Governor spelled out how hard the recession hit Pennsylvania causing the loss of $1.3 billion in revenue. At the same time, he noted that “mandated increases in programs” totaled over $1 billion in additional spending (this includes increased Medicaid entitlements, mandated prison costs, and mandated pension payment increases.) Then the Governor ran through a laundry list of departmental cuts:
• Agriculture cut 11.7%;
• Environmental Protection cut 9.2%;
• Conservation and Natural Resources cut 11%;
• State Parks cut 7.3%;
• State Health Clinics cut 6.9%;
• Labor and Industry cut 10%;
• Libraries cut 9.1%; and
• other cuts within the Department of Education totaled $120 million over and above the library cuts (aside from the basic education increase of $250 million.)

For more information, please contact Richard Thau, Library Director:


The Modern Age:Reading

Yes, People Still Read, but Now It’s Social

“THE point of books is to combat loneliness,” David Foster Wallace observes near the beginning of “Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself,” David Lipsky’s recently published, book-length interview with him.

If you happen to be reading the book on the Kindle from Amazon, Mr. Wallace’s observation has an extra emphasis: a dotted underline running below the phrase. Not because Mr. Wallace or Mr. Lipsky felt that the point was worth stressing, but because a dozen or so other readers have highlighted the passage on their Kindles, making it one of the more “popular” passages in the book.

Amazon calls this new feature “popular highlights.” It may sound innocuous enough, but it augurs even bigger changes to come.

Though the feature can be disabled by the user, “popular highlights” will no doubt alarm Nicholas Carr, whose new book, “The Shallows,” argues that the compulsive skimming, linking and multitasking of our screen reading is undermining the deep, immersive focus that has defined book culture for centuries.

Full article in the NYT