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Bridgeville, Carnegie library directors take differing approaches to plotting programs

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

Sometimes, a simple idea can spark a whole series of successful events.

At Bridgeville Public Library and Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall in Carnegie, suggestions from staff and patrons have created popular activities. So have exchanges with colleagues.

Paul Antoline, the Bridgeville library manager, also makes certain his programs match the five languages of literacy as framed by PA-Forward, an initiative of the Pennsylvania Library Association. Those languages — basic, civic and social, health, financial and information — set a standard for the design of any of the library's activities.

“We can package the way we meet the needs of the public and craft how we focus the program,” said Antoline, who works with director Rebecca Long.

In August, the library will host seminars on retirement, personal and career enrichment, and first-time homebuying. Those businesses approached the library because of its community room space. There, they can present information as part of community outreach, but it's a win-win approach for the enterprise and the library itself.

“They come and show what they know,” he said.

The upcoming homebuyers' program is a first for Bridgeville.

“Reaching out to libraries to do programming is one way to demonstrate our role in the community,” said Antoline.

Nate Wyrick, interim director in Carnegie, is now planning a “Frozen” party for early August. He got the idea from similar programs in Coraopolis and Shaler.

“There will be a party, a craft and activities,” he said. “We just want them to come and see the library and have fun on a Saturday.”

Programming can be as casual as that, but his main concern is matching the programs with his patrons. He and the other dozen directors of the western region of libraries stay in touch via email and at their monthly meeting.

“If one succeeds, we all succeed,” he said. “After all, we're in the information business.”

Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or ddreeland@tribweb.com.

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