Library system discusses Hampden Township option

HAMPDEN TWP. — A possible pick-up and drop-off point for Cumberland County Library System materials is in the works in Hampden Township, although the plan is in the preliminary stages.


The township board of supervisors authorized its staff on Jan. 7 to enter into discussions on a proposal that had been submitted in November by the Cleve J. Fredricksen Library in Camp Hill.


Township residents have long asked for a branch library in the township, but library system officials have said it would be too expensive given the system’s current level of funding. The township made the more modest request of a library pick-up and drop-off point last year.


“We’re the largest municipality in the county, and Hampden residents are by far the biggest users of the system, but there’s been no library in the township,” township board of supervisors President Al Bienstock said. “We said, ‘look, we know it’s a tough financial few years we’ve just gone through, so we’re going to hold off on asking for a new library, but we’d like to at least have a drop-off point.’”


Cleve J. Fredricksen Library director Bonnie Goble sees Hampden Township’s significant usage of the library as evidence that residents don’t find it inconvenient. In contrast, there’s no statistical evidence regarding the demand for a pick-up and drop-off point, Goble said.


Still, some township residents were asking for it, so the library submitted a proposal to the township in November detailing how such a system could work, she said.


“We’re always happy to serve all the patrons in our service area,” she said. “We’re happy to explore this, and we’ll see what happens.”


Bienstock indicated that the township was in agreement with the general idea of the library’s proposal.


“The basic concept of the plan has been agreed upon, it’s just the nuts and bolts of the plan that need to be finalized,” he said.


Still, details about the drop box remain fuzzy as negotiations between the library and township commence.


“There’s a number of matters that need to be addressed before the arrangement is finalized,” said Keith Metts, the township manager.



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