Carnegie Free Library of Connellsville plans improvements for new year

| Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

As we finish our 110th year of existence in 2013, the Carnegie Free Library of Connellsville remains alive and viable in the Fayette County community.

The library has close to 9,400 patrons. Of those, 4,122 are from the city of Connellsville checking out this year close to 17,400 items of the 35,000 total materials in the library. Of these 35,000 items, the highest circulation includes 4,461 adult fiction titles, 1,736 nonfiction titles, 1,389 young adult titles and 1,572 DVD and videos. The largest area of circulation for the children's area includes 2,422 juvenile easy-reading titles and 563 board books. The top three books checked out the most this year include “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn, “The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling and “Low Pressure” by Sandra Brown.

Library-specific improvements include updated video and audio book collections, added access to ebook and audio book downloads from our website and online card catalog, and a completely bar-coded collection. For next year we plan to catalog and better organize the collection in the Connell/PA historical book room and purchase some archival storage to better preserve Fayette County history.

New and existing patrons will get to purchase a card to attach to their key chain for only 50 cents.

Building or capital improvements primarily supported by grants include: completion of the children's room, including new carpeting, a finished teen area, a fresh coat of paint on the walls in the staff area and the men's restroom, a completely remodeled bathroom in our basement, creation and opening of the Connellsville Area Historical Museum and website, restoration of the main entrance doors, side lights, and a half-moon window.

Items for next year include the addition of a professional sound system in the auditorium for showing movies to the public. The Connell/PA historical book room will also be remodeled to include archival grade lighting and improved flooring to better preserve our historical Fayette County collection.

Hopefully you got a chance to visit one of the library's close to 75 adult and youth programs this year ranging from preschool story time to adult wellness retreats. Many of the programs were free or at reduced cost, and less than a half dozen were canceled for lack of interest.

Please be sure to take advantage of our many unique programs next year, such as our Children's Bedtime Stories, Teen Anime club, and Adult Job Club/Searching Support Group and much more.

If you would like the opportunity to give us some feedback on the types of programs we offer here in the future, please email Casey at We are always looking for new program ideas to bring to the community. Come and share your talents at your local library.

In January, we will offer two Career Club meetings from 1 to 3 p.m. Jan. 10 and 24. Guest speakers will be Gina Roman, career management director for the Pennsylvania Institute of Health and Technology, and Gina Jones, instructor coordinator for the Career Services and Internship Center, from Penn State Fayette, the Eberly Campus. Expect informal and informative idea sharing, and bring your resumé for an optional peer exchange and resumé rehab tips.

In addition to the Friends of the Carnegie Free Library, tireless volunteer hours spent organizing and creating the Cafe Carnegie, they also managed to hold a few fundraising efforts this year, such as Bike for Books, book sales, cookie and soup jar sales, a Vintage Fashion Show, and a Wellness Retreat. The library had about two dozen volunteers working during library hours in the past year. Some of the volunteer titles and possibilities include adopt-a-section, book doctor, book sale assistant, cataloging assistant, friendly desk helper, library ambassador, program planner, price checker, story time helper, and volunteer manager. If you are interested, call Casey for more information.

The board of directors of the Carnegie Free Library expresses its heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the numerous community individuals and businesses over the past year that gave their time and resources. Start your new year's resolutions today, give back to your community, and volunteer to help save our free libraries in Fayette County. Volunteer or donate your time and resources today. 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 Carnegie Free Library. She can be reached at 299 S. Pittsburgh St., Connellsville, or by calling 724-628-1380.

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