Avid reader encourages others to visit Connellsville library

| Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

David Shroyer, an avid reader, has been a regular at Carnegie Free Library of Connellsville his entire life.

He got his library card when he was an elementary school student.

He is now a feeder driver for UPS out of New Stanton. He drives direct routes to meet other UPS truck drivers and spends many hours over the road day to day.

He has become an avid listener of books on tape or audio books to keep from becoming bored while on the job.

“I have wonderful memories of the Carnegie Free Library. The staff has worked very hard to keep up the high quality of the books available and the beauty of the building. Personally I am friends with a lot of the people that work there and they are always helpful. They bend over backwards to help anyone who comes in. They keep the books updated and modern. I drive a tractor-trailer nine to 10 hours a day for extended periods. Listening to audio books keeps me alert and keeps my mind active. An example of my job is that I might drive to and from Wilkes-Barre each day of the week to meet another truck and drive from Massachusetts. It is 578 miles round trip. So I have listened to hundreds of books on tape, from Stephen King to Tom Clancy, Robert Jordan to Brandon Sanderson, every genre, detective stories, war, philosophy, fantasy, science fiction, anything, including author series. I can listen to the characters and the plot develop, I don't listen to abridged versions, they take too much of the color out of the book. They don't give you as much background to the characters and the heart of the story may be lost, in my opinion,” said Shroyer.

It is very convenient for Shroyer to visit the Carnegie Free Library.

“It is a comfortable place to spend time but often I am in and out. There is a good selection here and I am able to use the inter-library loan to get any book I want. In the case of a series, I may need a book that is not here in order to complete the series. It is not economically feasible for this library to have every book I might want, but it is somewhere in the Access Pennsylvania database system. The staff here gets it in without delay. It works great,” said Shroyer.

The Access Pennsylvania database is a project of the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Office of Commonwealth Libraries. It was started in 1985 as a way to provide a union catalog that includes the holdings of all different types of libraries across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It was the first, and remains the largest, statewide union catalog in North America, containing approximately 22.2 million titles, including books, eBooks, periodicals, DVDs, and more, with over 73.3 million holdings.

Visit http://www.accesspa.state.pa.us for more information.

The project today represents a coordinated effort to facilitate resource sharing among libraries throughout the Commonwealth via the Web. Since April of 2002, more than one million items have been loaned throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As of April 2013, 2,648 school, public, academic and special libraries participate in the Access Pennsylvania database project.

“Those who would like to know more can stop in the library at 299 S. Pittsburgh St. to learn about the program,” said Casey Sirochman, Carnegie Free Library director.

Shroyer has been reading all of his life and enjoys being able to sit and read a book also. As a youngster he was constantly borrowing books from the Connellsville library and could read a 500-page book in less than a week.

“My 9-year-old nephew, Nolan, loves to read too and is in the gifted program in the Uniontown School District. I recommend reading to everyone, I always encourage it. Just a basic story might give you information about science or other cultures just by following the story line. So you are always learning. I have a huge library of my own but also sometimes donate a book that I have enjoyed for the library book sale so that someone else will have the opportunity to enjoy it,” said Shroyer, who often re-reads or listens again to a book because the characters have come alive. He also believes the book is always better than the movie.

Nancy Henry is a contributing writer.

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