Libraries are a great deal.

You walk in with just a library card, and you walk out with an armful of books and DVDs. You can use the computer, take classes, and look at a variety of exhibits and artwork.

And if they don't have what you're looking for, they'll get it for you. Librarians can find nearly any book, either in the local system or somewhere in the state, and in a few days it shows up through the interlibrary loan system and you can take it home with you, at least for a little while.

For bibliophiles, a library is a magical oasis to go and get lost for hours, days, in a world where you can learn anything.

We can definitely see how people living in eastern Adams County would want to cross the border to use the Guthrie Memorial Library in Hanover. It's one of the jewels of the York County Libraries system. There are some genres and subjects where readers would be better looking at the catalog for Guthrie than even the impressive holdings of York City's Martin Library.

And McSherrystown and Hanover are so close, it's hard to tell when you've left one and entered the other. In contrast, the closest Adams County library is six miles away in New Oxford.

But York County taxpayers shell out the money that keep the lights on and the new books flowing into 2 Library Place.

Yes, the library does receive an additional $51,745 from the state for filling the needs of about 10,000 Adams County residents hungry for knowledge or just the next page-turner.

But that isn't really enough to sustain the library.

So the management at Guthrie has a plan: Ask for $20 from each card holder who lives in Adams County.

It's not that much. A dinner out, a week's worth of that expensive coffee. Two books or four magazines or one DVD.

And in exchange, a year's worth of, well, anything. Juicy novels, philosophy, murder mysteries, explanations of time and space, even the cookbook that will turn you into the next Rachael Ray.

It seems like a real bargain.

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