From the Director

August 2018

Simply the Best 2018...An Even Dozen!

by Bonnie Goble, Library Director

Fredricksen Library has won Simply the Best for 2018. That’s twelve years that the library has taken the top honors among all libraries! 

We are embarking on a time of wonderful expansion at the library. We are adding a Lower Level Entrance and a Business and Career Center on the Main Level. This summer, we opened theKunkel Creation Station, a Children’s MakerSpace, funded by grants from the Stabler and Kunkel Foundations. Fredricksen is definitely a “library on the move!”

Lots of projects, and lots of progress. 

Thank you if you voted for us for Simply the Best. We hope that you will help us to better serve the public by giving generously when you receive the Annual Appeal in your mailbox in October. Only with your financial help can we move forward.

We are grateful for all of it.

August 2017

Simply the Best 2017...   

by Bonnie Goble, Library Director

Harrisburg Magazine runs an annual poll, in which voters are asked to choose “the best” from numerous categories: restaurants, grocery stores, physicians, clothing shops…and, of course, libraries. Anyone may vote in this contest, but in order to have a vote count, at least 30 choices for “best in” a given category must be selected by the voter. Completing a ballot requires time and commitment!

Fredricksen has taken the top honors among all libraries for ELEVEN years. We are Simply the Best Library for 2017.

Although this is a great honor, a bigger accomplishment is that Fredricksen celebrates 60 years of continuous library service this year.  We are grateful to have been able to serve the 82,000 people in our service area for six decades.  We opened our new Branch in East Pennsboro Township in the beginning of 2017 and we will open a Children’s MakerSpace, funded by grants from the Stabler and Kunkel Foundations, by the end of 2017.  We built and dedicated the Fredricksen Serves Wall in our lower lobby in May to the six municipalities that we serve.  Candy’s Kitchen, dedicated to the memory of Children’s Librarian Candy Harm, will open in October.

Lots of projects, and lots of progress.   All of them free to the public, but not free to Fredricksen.

Thank you if you voted for us for Simply the Best.  We hope that you will help us to commemorate 60 years by giving generously when you receive the Annual Appeal in your mailbox in October.  Only with your financial help can we move forward. We are grateful for all of it.

June 2017

The Fredricksen Serves Wall

 An Idea Worth Waiting For    

by Bonnie Goble, Library Director

The culmination of five years of dreaming, designing, and donating came to fruition on Thursday, May 25 with the unveiling of the Fredricksen Serves Wall.

This beautiful permanent installation highlights the six municipalities which Fredricksen Library serves:

Camp Hill, East Pennsboro, Hampden, Lemoyne, Lower Allen, and Wormleysburg.  Paid for by equal donations from each of the municipalities, the wall features publications of interest from the individual towns, providing library patrons easy access to this information. The materials are attractively displayed below a faux-stained glass rendition of a popular place in each municipality.  The actual stained glass panels hang throughout the library, and their smaller facsimiles grace the new wall.

The concept for this installation began five years ago, when the library’s marketing coordinator, Cindy Smolinski, conceived of the idea. The area which the installation occupies is arguably Fredricksen’s most stared-at space.  Anyone who has had to wait for the elevator from the lower lobby to the main floor will remember what that (previously blank) wall looked like.  Other projects took precedence at the library, but in 2016, we presented an artist’s sketch of our idea to officials from each of the six municipalities in the library’s 82,000 person service area.  Construction began in the spring of 2017.

Last week, we invited officials from each of the municipalities to a thank you breakfast and to unveil the wall. Though not all could attend, every municipality shone beautifully under the new spotlights.  We are so grateful for the support which made this concept a reality, and for the continued cooperation of all of our towns which help Fredricksen to serve our patrons.  Come and see it for yourself!    


December 2016

Transforming Communities...    

by Bonnie Goble, Library Director

“It was a very good year,” as Frank Sinatra sang.  Your support for Fredricksen and the East Pennsboro Branch has been, well…simply extraordinary.  Donations, grants and gifts now make up almost a third of our budget and have enabled so much growth. As our Annual Appeal letter states, libraries transform communities. The following are some of the ways we have done that in 2016:

~ Daytime Academy features Language Immersion Groups, Cookbook Club, Great Stories, Book Discussions, and many other classes.

~ Craumer Writers Group published their second anthology of stories; this  group has produced professional writers. 

~ Teens celebrated the publication of the newest Harry Potter book by turning Fredricksen into Hogworts for a night and hosted the first teen authors’ fair. 

Volunteer Fair brought in 600 folks, all eager to find out where they can put their talents to use in the community.  

~ Second annual Employment Opportunities Expo highlighted everything a person needs to obtain the job of their dreams. 

~ We said goodbye to beloved Mary Alice Spiegel, who retired after 31 years, and welcomed Leigha Lamont, as the Public Services Manager.  

~ Hired a roving librarian, who wends her way through the stacks, bringing our catalog to you on her mobile device. 

~ Coffee Corner continues to provide the ambience for which we are famous. 

It was a very good year, but we can’t do it without you. 2017 is our 60th Anniversary.  On March 25 we will have a celebration at West Shore Country Club. The brand new East Pennsboro Branch is now open, with a grand opening celebration on January 4th.  It’s a beautiful space, and director Jackie Barton is transforming it into a perfect library. 

Thank you for supporting us as we continue to transform our communities.  Our Annual Appeal is underway, please think about helping us to do this good work.

September 2016

Lifelong Learning with Daytime Academy at Fredricksen

by Bonnie Goble, Library Director

   Lifelong learning, the ongoing pursuit of knowledge for personal or professional enrichment, is a concept well-supported by library collections and programs.  As we like to say at Fredricksen:  Join in!  Engage your mind! Learn something new!  The Daytime Academy offers opportunities to do it all…

   Thanks to a generous donation from the Harsco Corporation, honoring the memory of Derek. C. Hathaway, the dream of a Daytime Academy has become a reality.

   Mr. Hathaway served as Harsco’s Chairman and CEO from 1994 to 2007, having come to the United States from the United Kingdom.   Under his leadership, Harsco grew its operations to more than 45 countries worldwide.  As current Harsco President and CEO, Nick Grasberger says, “Derek Hathaway’s contributions to Harsco and to society speak to an extraordinary man who fully dedicated his immense talents, energy and wisdom to the greater good.”

   Mr. Hathaway was also a lifelong learner.  We are so pleased to be able to honor his enthusiastic pursuit of knowledge with our newly created Daytime Academy.

   The Academy brings together a wide variety of classes which have the following in common:  you’ll learn something, you’ll have fun, and they all take place while the sun is still up! 

   Enjoy reading and talking about books with others?  Daytime Academy offers Great Stories and Curl Up With the Classics.  Enjoy making the most of life, at whatever age you find yourself?  Enroll in Prime Time.  Want to practice speaking in a foreign language with others?  Join one of the Language at the Library full-immersion conversational groups. Want to learn about complex current events and engage in discussions with experts?  Great Decisions offers the opportunity.  Enjoy cooking and cook books?  How about combining them?  Cookbook Club offers both.  Finally, for those who enjoy learning about and appreciating music, Notable Notes begins in winter 2017. 

   The Daytime Academy is guaranteed to expand your vision and develop your curiosity.  We are honored to have the support of Harsco in this new, and exciting venture.

November 2015

An Important Piece...

by Bonnie Goble, Library Director

As 2015 comes to a close and 2016 launches, we want to take a moment to thank all of our patrons, volunteers and donors for the overwhelming support we have received throughout the year. Fredricksen Library and East Pennsboro Branch move forward each time you show your support by checking out a book, attending a program, giving of your time or making a donation. Fredricksen received Harrisburg Magazine’s Simply the Best Award, for the tenth year. East Pennsboro Branch Library will open a new facility this upcoming spring. We continue to be the busiest library in the entire County. Although we are free to you, our activities and expanded services are not free. Funding for public libraries is sometimes a puzzle. Our Annual Appeal shows how the various pieces fit together to make this dynamic library…with you being the most important piece. Please take time to consider a contribution to further the wonderful activities offered in this publication, and all of the things that we do to enrich the lives of the six municipalities that we serve. Thank you for completing our puzzle with your generosity.

August 2015

We Scored a 10!

by Bonnie Goble, Library Director

• Question:  Why is this the year of the “10” for Fredricksen?

• Expected Answer:  We just finished our 10th annual Library Loop 5K race.

• Bonus Answer:  We are Simply the Best library, for the 10th time!

Harrisburg Magazine runs an annual poll, in which voters are asked to choose “the best” from numerous categories: restaurants, grocery stores, physicians, clothing shops…and, of course, libraries. Anyone may vote in this contest, but in order to have a vote count, at least 30 choices for “best in” a given category must be selected by the voter. Completing a ballot requires time and commitment!

Fredricksen has taken the top honors among all libraries for ten years. 

This year, three separate panel discussion nights, beginning in February, combined the Cumberland County Commissioners with the library and public folks, to address the importance of what we do...and how to fund it.   Fredricksen was chosen as one of only two libraries to appear at the panel table at the final July 22 consensus panel night.

Cumberland County is the fastest growing County in the state.  Fredricksen, and all libraries, must keep pace.  To do this, we need financial support from all who enjoy us.

We are beginning our Annual Appeal in October, look for yours in the mail.  Thank you in advance for your generosity.  Through your efforts, we can continue to be Simply the Best…for the next 10 years!

Bonnie Goble, Library Director


November 2014

In the Words of Others 

by Bonnie Goble, Library Director

All libraries and most non-profits send out what is known as an “Annual Appeal.”  This is usually a letter, explaining what the organization does, and asking for support.  Fredricksen Library & East Pennsboro Branch recently sent out the 2014 Annual Appeal.  Perhaps you received it in the mail.

This year, we did something different.  This year, we decided to ask folks why they think Fredricksen is simply the best…for them personally. The library had just received Harrisburg Magazine’s Simply the Best Award, for the ninth year.  But we wanted to know what individual patrons thought.  The results were spectacular.

Ralph E. Ashwell, a gifted wood carver who spent days in the library hosting a display of his art, wrote this:

First, I was amazed at the constant flow of people: men, women and children who seemed to pass through the lobby. Everyone in the area must possess a library card! I was also impressed by the ability of the library staff to service all of these people with efficiency.

As the days passed I realized how many people use the Fredricksen Library and I was getting to know some of them. I began to understand that the library was part of their daily lives. To these people, the library was not simply a service organization; it provided a special kind of fulfillment in their lives.

As one man put it, “I have never been involved with an institution where I have received so much for so little.”

I began to understand the true essence of the Fredricksen Library and its value to the community. It fulfills a need beyond historical archives, reading material and other services.  And while future technology will certainly affect changes in the library system, the system itself is part of our culture. As long as it retains such a valuable relationship with the community, we will never lose.

In conclusion, I believe that the Fredricksen Library is a great example of how a civic organization can provide not only service, but also a sense of community.

And from personal observation, I believe most people know it.

Other beautiful testimonies to how much the library means to individuals, and why Fredricksen Library is chosen as Simply the Best, are included in the appeal letter, and viewable online at  Each account is unique.  We are grateful for all of those who took the time to set their thoughts down, and to those who may still hold those thoughts in their hearts. 

Like schools, libraries are educational institutions which are free to the users, but far from free to operate.  Please take the time to read the written appreciations of those who love Fredricksen.  Please consider helping us with financial support to continue to do what we do… be Simply the Best …for you.     

August 2014

Simply the Best

Bonnie Goble, Library Director

For a ninth year, Fredricksen Library has been chosen as “Simply the Best” in Central Pennsylvania. What exactly does this mean?

Harrisburg Magazine runs an annual poll, in which voters are asked to choose “the best” from numerous categories: restaurants, grocery stores, physicians, clothing shops…and, of course, libraries. Anyone may vote in this contest, but in order to have a vote count, at least 30 choices for “best in” a given category must be selected by the voter. Completing a ballot requires time and commitment!

Fredricksen has taken the top honors among all libraries for nine years. We are so grateful to those of you who take the time to complete a lengthy ballot. But more than this, we are grateful to all of our patrons. Daily we hear from you of appreciation for our programs and our “extreme customer service” attitude. Sometimes, we hear suggestions for how to be better (“be open Saturday morning!”) We appreciate it all.

Public support, in the way of donations, has become even more important than in past years. This year, Cumberland County commissioners voted down a modest increase in the County library tax which would have meant that each citizen contributed the value of a single postage stamp ($.43) The state just passed a budget which reflects level funding for libraries and a cut in another proposed $500,000 appropriation. Support from our public is crucial.

Using our LIBRARY CALCULATOR, you can calculate the real money value of the services we provide to you. You will find it under: Support Fredricksen. Then Click: Library Calculator.

Please consider donating just a part of what we are worth to you. Through your efforts, we can continue to be Simply the Best.


March 2014

Books (and Everything Else) To Go!

Bonnie Goble, Library Director

During the month of April, a longtime dream of library service in Hampden Township will be realized.  Fredricksen Library will begin daily delivery and pick up of library materials to and from the Hampden Township Recreation Building, 5001 Hampden Park Dr., Mechanicsburg. The Recreation Building is open from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Here’s how it will work.  Folks will place holds on library materials, either by phone, in person or online, designating Hampden Township as the pick-up destination. When the materials arrive at Fredricksen, they will be checked out to the cardholder, who need not be present, and delivered to the Recreation Center.  By presenting his or her library card at the Recreation Center, the borrower can retrieve the materials.

In addition, library materials can be returned by the borrower to the Hampden Township Recreation Center. A small book and media drop will be installed at the Center for borrowers’ convenience.  Library materials placed in that book drop will be returned from the Hampden Recreation Center to Fredricksen daily.

We are excited to begin this groundbreaking pilot program.  Watch the Fredricksen website for exact start dates!

February 2014

Watch This Space!

“This space” is the lower level of the East PennsboroTownship municipal building, 98 S. Enola Drive, Enola, PA. It used to be a gymnasium.“This space” is being turned into a new Branch library, complete with Kiner’s Korner Children’s Room, a separate programming room, and two new offices. Details are still unfolding, but we are so excited by the thought that the two rooms which have served as the East Pennsboro Branch of the Fredricksen Library for 28 years are about to become: a beautiful new facility! Grateful to the East Pennsboro Township for this, and grateful to the Friends of the East Pennsboro Township Branch for their support. Stay tuned as this project unfolds.


December 2013

Unwrap Your Gifts from Fredricksen!

It’s that time again—time to be grateful, time to be excited about gifts meant just for you and time to be giving.

We are incredibly grateful for the non-stop stream of great activity this year…let’s look back for half a second.  We opened the toy train in Kiner’s Korner at our East Pennsboro Branch to honor longtime volunteers and founders of the Branch.  We held a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater fundraiser at the highest point on the West Shore! Foreign films continue and Library Loop 5K topped out at over 450 participants this year.  We expanded eDevice classes to monthly, now staffed by three trained librarians.  We hosted the Master Gardeners.

We began Off the Shelf, a newsletter suggesting great books to read.  Our children’s department had attendance of over 14,000 at our programs…by July! Grateful.

How about unwrapping gifts meant especially for you?  Mobile device classes continue, one a month, for whatever device is currently your target…register at Fredricksen or the Branch!  Gingerbread houses for teens in December, followed by holiday week activity…hang out with us. Pirates and Princesses storytimes, Bingo, and the return of Parent-Child Workshops AND our award-winning Mission Transition. More for adults? How about the Beatles in February and Chess Tournaments? Book groups and crafts. Oscars offerings, even before the judges decide!  Lots to unwrap this winter.

Time to be giving?  Fredricksen continues as the busiest and most high-volume library in Cumberland County.  Our pace is fast, our programs are daily, and none of it is free…except to you!  If you have enjoyed something we offer, from books and DVDs to programs, perhaps you will consider a year-end gift back to Fredricksen.  We promise we will turn it around, and use it to expand all of the good things we do.  It’s a never-ending story, in all the best ways! 

Page Updated: 

August 20, 2018

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