Martin Library to honor York couple who promote literacy, education

Maria Yohn
York Dispatch
Stephen Baker and Jean Treuthart

Jean Treuthart and Stephen Baker have carried on their families' respective legacies of promoting libraries, literacy and education in York County, and Martin Library is honoring them for that.

The Martin Library Honors Committee selected the couple as its spring honorees and is holding an event in their honor at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 6. The public is invited to attend the event, which will be at Martin Library, 159 E. Market St.

According to Deb Sullivan, York County Libraries community relations director, the honors committee selects an individual to honor every spring and fall, and a perpetual fund is traditionally named in honor of that person.

This year, it made sense to honor Treuthart and Baker together, as the married couple have made substantial contributions to the library and the entire community, according to the release.

"Jean and Steve embody the spirit of what library has been from its beginnings — a place where everyone has equal access to information and education,” York County Libraries President Robert Lambert said in a news release.

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Treuthart is the CEO of the YWCA of York and previously served as vice president of HACC's York campus. She currently serves on the boards of Better York, York Counts and WellSpan and was the 2017 recipient of the Central Penn Business Journal's lifetime achievement Women of Influence award.

Treuthart said her love of reading was instilled in her by her mother, Elaine Treuthart, who spent many hours volunteering for and reading in the library.

"She logged in more hours at the library than anyone," she said.

For Treuthart, literacy is the foundation of education, and education is vital to individual success. That's why she champions education that is equally accessible to all people, regardless of their circumstances.

"Education is the way out of poverty," she said.

As a lifelong, avid reader, Treuthart took it for granted that, when given the opportunity, learning to read was a relatively easy task. Then she met her husband, Baker, and was surprised to learn that he suffered from dyslexia. That impediment didn't derail his love of research and writing, and he continues to give back to the library in the tradition of his family, Treuthart said. 

Baker represents the fourth generation of his family involved in York County libraries and has maintained their deep roots the library, according to the release.

Baker is a freelance graphic designer and has taught at Bradley Academy, Penn State York and York College. He currently serves on the board of Creative York and is assisting the York Friends Meeting to expand its historic 1766 meeting house, located on West Philadelphia Street.

The couple were surprised and grateful to be recognized by the library, Treuthart said.

"We thought it was really sweet. I have to say, we were touched by it," she said.

Anyone interested in attending the event should call 717-849-6966 or email

Contributions to the Martin Library Honors Fund are welcome by donating securely online at or by mail to the Martin Library Honors Fund, 159 E. Market St., York, PA 17401.