Library to pay it forward by thanking benefactor

| Saturday, March 9, 2013, 12:46 a.m.

With the season of spring peeking around the corner, it is difficult not to think about cleaning and giving. In the spirit of paying it forward, we would like to thank one man who wanted to pay homage to the Carnegie Free Library of Connellsville every year for the past 35.

In 1977, Louis Simons opened a trust in memory of his sister Devora Leah Simons, a graduate of Connellsville High School, to use the interest of the monies each year to purchase New York Times bestsellers in her name. At the end of 35 years, Simons wanted the trust to dissolve and the remaining balance to be used to purchase reference materials; however, he could not have foreseen the way in which his intended charitable purpose for the library would need to be fulfilled today.

According to Marilyn McDaniel, chief executive officer of the Community Foundation: “This grant is made possible from an original gift to the library in 1977. We have been making annual payments to the library since the Community Foundation began managing the funds in 2007. Now, to comply with Mr. Simons' original instructions, we are granting the remaining balance of approximately $12,000 to the library for this exciting purchase.”

On Simons' behalf, we will honor his sister's memory on our website through the purchase of the premier genealogical database, Every patron will have free access to this resource on site at the library at the computer stations and through the wireless Internet IP address. In addition to purchasing the library edition of this resource, we also purchased a copy for the staff to use in-house to search the local Connellsville Daily Courier newspaper archives for a nominal fee to complete research on family lineage. Finally, we also plan to purchase print and media reference materials to add to the collection to be used in the library and for circulation as well.

Thinking about springing ahead an hour and your schedule, be sure to mark yours with these upcoming events: Out with the old and in with the almost new, used books, entire bag full for only $5 at the FRIENDS of the Library book sale on March 9, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Save the date — May 5 from noon to 6 p.m. The Carnegie Free Library of Connellsville Board of Trustees extends to every current and future patron a cordial invitation to be present at the open house exercises for the library's 110th Birthday Celebration. The festivities will include live music, children story hours, refreshments, birthday cake, 110 minutes of reading the written word, etiquette of the day, and more! Ongoing events to join and attend include: Scrapbooking club on Saturdays, March 16 and 23, from noon to 3 p.m. For registration and more information, call 724-323-4567 or email

Come and relax at yoga three days a week on Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays or learn about pediatric first aid on March 23, and keep an eye out for additional child care trainings offered for a nominal fee through Keystone STARS.

For children, the library is offering another round of Bedtime Stories, sponsored by Pinky Toes of Connellsville, to be held every Monday from 6 to 7 p.m. They began March 4. Preschool story time is every Wednesday at 11 a.m.

March into the library and check out our awesome resources or give back to the many different public libraries across Fayette County. Help save our free libraries in Fayette County by volunteering or donating your time and resources. Like us on Facebook, check out our websites, and utilize our free or low-cost services and programs.

Casey Sirochman is the director/head librarian at the Carnegie Free Library. She can be reached at 299 S. Pittsburgh St., Connellsville, or by calling 724-628-1380.

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