From the Director at Fredricksen 2011
Expanding Our Role as an Information Hub
Bonnie Goble, Director
Fredricksen Library has needed television capability for quite a while. As an information center, the library needs to be able to provide up-to-the-minute news on events that are happening in the community and in the nation. In the event of a national emergency, or even a local emergency, Fredricksen should be able to provide immediate coverage. The library is used as a gathering center for people who need information. Until now, Fredricksen had no viable way to provide that for current events.
During the last presidential inauguration, we wanted to broadcast the event to our patrons. We set up our computers to project onto our large white board. It worked for about five minutes. Because of the high demand on computer services nationwide during that event, the entire broadcast froze and then pixilated into a blank screen. It was disappointing to our patrons, and emphasized to us the necessity of obtaining television as part of our mission to become a complete information hub.
Assistant Director Jackie Barton wrote a grant to the Ida W. Browning Trust to fund the first TV, in the downstairs lobby. This screen also has DVR capabilities. We will be able to record television shows, such as Nature or cultural events, and play them back with low sound as a supplement to our library programs. With closed captioning (no sound) we intend to show sporting events such as FIFA World Cup Soccer, the Olympics, Superbowl, NCAA March Madness. We have comfortable chairs in that lobby, and we may eventually provide refreshments as a fundraising sidelight.
The library needs to be able to broadcast upstairs as well as downstairs. We bought the second big screen on sale and installed it behind the circulation desk. This screen will be used primarily to advertise our library programming, and to focus on various fund-raising opportunities at the library. When there is an event of national importance on television, we will broadcast it from that screen as well as the one downstairs. Most of the time, the upstairs screen will be used for in-house activity, without sound. The downstairs screen will experience more varied use.
Comcast has agreed to supply cable service for free. An employee is donating the money for high definition capability. We are very fortunate to be able to have the screens, which will greatly enhance our position as an information hub.
Temporary Inconvenience…Permanent Improvement
For the next three months, Fredricksen Library will be under construction. Most of the time, our patrons will be unaware of this. You may hear an errant drill, a far-away tapping, or notice that the air in one corner of the library seems chilly for a brief period. Please join us in welcoming this work. It is absolutely a temporary inconvenience, permanent improvement.
The beautiful Fredricksen Library opened in 2001. From the start, problems were evident with the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Every year, library utility costs exceeded $100,000. For a building the size of Fredricksen (37,000 sq. feet), the utility bills should be about $60,000. In addition, repair costs to the relatively new HVAC equipment have been extremely high. All of these expenditures have greatly reduced the money that the library has to spend on books and programs.
With the help of a consulting company called Envinity, the library submitted two grant applications for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for green energy improvements. The library won both of these grants. The first, the County Energy and Efficiency Grant, went to install solar hot water for domestic hot water use and to fund repairs to the air conditioning system. The second grant was called Pennsylvania Conservation Works (PCW). Current construction is now underway for PCW.
PCW provided $250,000 of government funding for new controls for the library’s HVAC system, and provided for the addition of some new pieces of highly efficient equipment. Construction will be finished by May 15. At that point, the library’s energy bills will reduce by 35%. Repair bills should dwindle correspondingly.
The story would not be complete without mention of Beatrice Kelley. Ms. Kelley loved the library. When she passed away, Fredricksen received a bequest, to be used for the betterment of the library. Ms. Kelley’s bequest formed the bulk of the library’s match for the two energy grants. Because of her donation, Fredricksen will be able to save energy costs for decades to come. Her generous donation has made possible the continuation and expansion of our real mission: to improve the quality of the life in our six communities by responding to their changing needs for information, education and entertainment.
If you hear hammering in the next few months? Just give the workman a smile and think to yourself, “Temporary inconvenience, permanent improvement.”
See more photos of the project
Page updated February 28, 2011
Leap the Line Large Print (LP)!
Fredricksen / East Pennsboro Branch’s new program Leap the Line has proven to be a favorite. In this program, a patron donates $10 (tax-deductible) to the library. In return, the library purchases an additional copy of any item which is on hold. The donor is the first to borrow the item, which goes out for twice the normal borrowing period. If it’s a book, it goes out for 4 weeks. If it’s a DVD, it goes out for 2 weeks.
When the item is returned, it goes into the regular collection and is used for other borrowers’ holds. The Leap the Line donor has thereby provided an additional copy for other borrowers, which shortens the holds line for all other borrowers.
Due to the thoughtful questions of a Leap the Line donor, Leap the Line Large Print (LP) has launched! (Please note, in honor of the add-on program, our Froggie mascot is now sporting sophisticated reading glasses.) This is how the new program works. A donor for Leap the Line LP makes a donation of $20. Large print books are more expensive, by far, than regular print books. The large print book is purchased, and the donor borrows it first. When the book is returned to the library, it goes into the regular large print collection, thus benefitting many other borrowers who prefer large print materials. The donation again benefits others who have the large print item on reserve, by making available an additional copy of the book.
Leap the Line has already made possible the addition of many copies of high-demand books and DVDs. Now the library’s large print collections will also benefit. Please consider participating in this unique program. Your donation initiates purchase of an additional copy of a high-demand item, and your donation in turn helps to shorten that holds line for others. Win-win, and now large print is included.
Simply the Best 2011... Thank You!
For a seventh year, Fredricksen Library has been chosen as “Simply the Best” in Central Pennsylvania. Fredricksen has taken the top honors among all libraries in the past seven elections. We are so grateful to those of you who take the time to complete the lengthy ballot in Harrisburg Magazine. We are grateful to all of our patrons. Daily we hear from you of appreciation for our programs, our collection, and our responsiveness to patron needs. Sometimes, we hear suggestions for how to be better: “Be open more hours!” and “Order more books!”
We appreciate it all. If you have an idea, please go to our website @
and click: Tell Us What You Think. Some of our best ideas have come to us this way.
Fredricksen aims to become one of the premier public libraries in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Public support, in the way of donations, helps the library to achieve this goal. Our recent first annual blueberry sale to the public raised $3000; our legendary 5K Run/Walk Library Loop helps us to raise more. Be sure to save the date September 17 for our Bee Local Festival. We are deeply grateful for your usage, and your support. Through your efforts, we can continue to be Simply the Best.
Green Energy Initiatives @ Fredricksen
A festival to celebrate all things green and local would not be complete without a celebration of the successful end of our green energy grants here at Fredricksen.
Over the course of the past two years, the library has been the grateful recipient of over $300,000 in Federal stimulus funds. With that money, the library funded a solar installation (Envinity, Inc.), new equipment (Spangler & Boyer), new controls (Conexus) and cutting edge engineering (Paragon). In addition to the stimulus funds, the library was able to “match” for the grants with a generous contribution from Beatrice Kelley, who remembered the library in her will. Miss Kelley’s contribution has enabled the library to reduce its energy costs by 30%. By so doing, she ensured that library operations, not utility bills, will be the focus for the next twenty years.
Stop into the mechanical room (lower level) to view our shiny new heat wheel, gleaming duct work and cutting edge solar. At Bee Local, we’ll be running tours of the new equipment. We’ve learned a lot, and it’s all helped to carry the library forward. Come and see!
Once again, because of you, Fredricksen Library was voted Simply the Best Library of 2011. This marks the 7th time we have received this honor. We continue to be Cumberland County’s largest and busiest library. Our year-round programming has increased and draws patrons of all ages. Our summer reading programs offer something for everyone. This year, over 300,000 people visited Fredricksen Library and checked out almost a million items. Use of our computer stations has increased, and more than 31,000 questions were answered by our Reference staff. Our website has received more than 85,000 visits, and 12,000+ community members receive our monthly E-News. We offered more than 1,000 programs which were attended by more than 33,000 adults, teens and children.
We also want to thank you for all your support of Fredricksen. Even as state funding has decreased each of the past four years, the total amount of giving from generous individuals like yourself has more than made up for these cuts. In fact, we are anticipating that community support from patrons and businesses will match state funding sometime in 2013!
We recently mailed our Annual Cardholder Appeal. If you have borrowed within the past year, you may have received an envelope in the mail. Donation envelopes are also available at our front desks. Please consider helping Fredricksen and East Pennsboro Branch to continue our wonderful programs and services by donating to the Appeal. Thank you for all your continuing support of the Fredricksen Library!
It’s worth remembering that gratitude characterizes not just November, but the entire holiday season. Just a few of the reasons we at the library are grateful:
We are grateful for your support of Fredricksen Library and East Pennsboro Branch.
Even as state funding has decreased each of the past four years, the total amount of giving from generous individuals like yourself has increased to help make up for these cuts. We will be able to re-instate, and in some cases, expand our services in 2012.
• We are grateful that community support from patrons and businesses now equals our state funding.
• Because of this support, we hope to be able to open on Wednesdays again at the East Pennsboro Branch.
• We’ll be able to buy more books and DVDs this year. Leap the Line is helping with that…ask our front desk about it!
• We’ll be adding an eReader Help Corner sometime next year, stocked with a laptop, an iPad, a Kindle and a Nook. The “e-universe” is out there, and we want to help you intersect with it.
We recently mailed our Annual Cardholder Appeal. If you have borrowed within the past year, you may have received an envelope in the mail. Donation envelopes are also available at our front desks, or use our convenient and secure ONLINE DONATION
process. Please consider helping Fredricksen and East Pennsboro Branch to continue our wonderful programs and services by donating to the Appeal. Thank you for all your continuing support of the Fredricksen Library! We are grateful for you. Have a joyous holiday, and visit us often at the library.