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York County Libraries bolster programs with $2 million grant

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
Ellie Hertig of York City choses a book while on a field trip with her class from Lincoln Intermediate Unit at Martin Library in York City Thursday, October 18, 2018. The library was named "Library of the Year" at the Pennsylvania Library Association Annual Conference. Statewide nominations were considered with Martin chosen as the first library in Pennsylvania to earn the award. Bill Kalina photo

York County Libraries will be able to further enhance programming with the help of a $2 million state grant.

State Rep. Stan Saylor, R-Windsor Township, announced Aug. 1 that the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant was awarded to York County Libraries. 

Libraries that will benefit from the grant are Kaltreider-Benfer Library in Red Lion, Martin Library in York City and Kreutz Creek Library in Hellam Township.

Robert Lambert, president of York County Libraries, said the common thread for the needs of the county libraries was more space, additional programs for teenagers and an increase in technology.

"It's way overdue," Lambert said. "We're excited, and we're looking forward to the future."

Funds for Kaltreider-Benfer Library will go to create an expansion space for the children's section and to establish a teen center and area for private studying and reading. 

With help from the grant, the library will expand 14,000 square feet.

Positive Energy Arts Dance Camp dancers give a final performance following the five week session at Martin Library in York City, Friday, July 26, 2019. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Donald Dellinger, the director of the library, said he is most excited about being able to double the space for the children's section to make it more lively and engaging.

"Children's services is really a hallmark of what we do here in Red Lion," Dellinger said. "By doubling that space and making it more child friendly, it's really going to be transformative — we couldn't do it without the grant."

Similarly, the grant will be helping Martin Library with renovations to expand a teen area with digital media labs, an open community space and a place for hands-on learning for children, according to the release.

Additionally, Kreutz Creek Library will be moving out of an emergency trailer and into the old Hellam Township building. 

The library is located in a former Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer that was used during Hurricane Agnes in 1972. With construction for a new Hellam Township building taking place, officials donated the old building as a place to house the library.

The grant will also help the library's new facility bring in more computers and provide a new space to accommodate children, teenagers, adults and senior citizens.

"Outside of schools, brick-and-mortar libraries serve as the educational system,” Saylor said in a release. “They are not just a place to read but also to find a job or fill out a resume. The libraries are the foundation of our communities."

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.