Check It Out: Share your love of libraries during the library’s annual fund campaign

Local families use the James V. Brown Library every day to meet their learning and leisure needs.

But in mid-March, the Office of Commonwealth Libraries mandated that we close. We closed our doors, but we didn’t abandon our mission, or our community. Library staff took to Facebook and YouTube to keep connected and engage our community with crafts, book reviews and story times.

Childcare facilities told us that children in their care needed access to a variety of books and stories, even though children could not get on the Storymobile. In June, we began book dropoffs to open child care facilities using the popular Storymobile.

Little Treasures childcare has been using the Storymobile service since it began, more than 20 years ago.

“It is very important to have access to a variety of books. Children are always learning even through stories,” said Beth Spega, an early childhood educator at Little Treasures. But when the COVID-19 lockdown happened, the library could not allow children onto the Storymobile.

Educators like Beth worked with us to identify the books that the kids wanted and resources teachers needed. And the library responded to the community need.

“I am very thankful that Miss Pam could bring books during these times. I am sad that we cannot board the Storymobile and see all the new stuff Miss Pam puts on there for everyone but glad we can still get books,” Spega said.

All of this is possible because of donors like you, who know that supporting the James V. Brown Library has an impact on the community in which we all live. The library is more than just a place for books.

Even in a time when our community had to be physically separate, it provided a place to connect, with virtual programs, online services, and downloadable books, audiobooks and movies. In fact, with your support we were able to reach thousands of people from March to June, and circulate 10,000 digital items.

And the library is here for them, free to everyone who comes through our doors or accesses us online.

The library relies on community support to help provide access to knowledge, books, computers and educational programs to all members of society.

The library is beginning its annual campaign, where it asks the community to help us continue to grow and support education. Please consider donating in person or online at www.jvbrown.edu.

We could not grow and respond to the changing needs of our community without the generosity of our community members.

“Every dollar raised is important because it serves as a catalyst for change in our community,” said Barbara McGary, executive director of the library. “When you support libraries and library services, you are supporting more than a place with books and technology. What you are really supporting are ideas and relationships.”

The Brown Library is part of a national “Libraries Transform” effort to increase awareness of the changing role of libraries and the ways in which libraries are transforming to meet the information needs of their users.

For your safety, all returned materials are quarantined for three days.

The James V. Brown Library is open for browsing and holds pick up from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. To place a hold, visit www.jvbrown.edu or call 570-326-0536 during the library’s operating hours.

The library also is open for public computer usage and for services such as passports, printing, faxing, copying and scanning.

The James V. Brown Library, 19 E. Fourth St., Williamsport, is the place to go to learn, connect and grow. Founded in June 1907, the library champions the love of reading, opens new doors to lifelong learning, provides a haven to those who seek and ensures the preservation of public library services for future generations. The library has more than 225,000 visitors in a year and circulates a half-million items annually. A member of the Lycoming County Library System, the James V. Brown Library participates in PA Forward, a statewide initiative to promote literacies in our communities to power a better future for everyone.


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