Cumberland County Commissioners apply for Pennsylvania state county library aid and create a county library system board.


Cumberland County Library System (CCLS) Board meets irregularly with State Library consultants to consider plans for extending and improving public library services.

State Library threatens loss of state aid if the CCLS Board does not assume a broader developmental role. CCLS responds by appointing a committee of librarians to address planning needs. The library board adopts the plan.


Plan adoption results in hiring the system’s first part-time library system Coordinator, Connie Hey.

System hires its first full-time coordinator, Dr. George A. Papacostas, in 1982. His major responsibility was to finalize a long-range plan. Dr. Papacostas resigns in 1984 and Elaine Clark takes his place as director.

Decision to discontinue federal revenue sharing programs threatens local municipal library funding. (At that time, local municipalities provide 28 % of the system's income and the county provides 22%.)


Library community convenes in January 1986 to discuss the feasibility of a countywide dedicated library tax. CCLS Board authorizes a formal request to the County Commissioners to place a library tax question on the May 1986 primary ballot. A 1.5 mill tax referendum passes by 52% of voters.

CCLS Board upgrades County Coordinator’s position to Library System Director and hires Margaret Dewey in 1987. STAR outreach services for the homebound and nursing homes begin with the receipt of $41,099 LSCA grant. A part-time STAR Services Coordinator is hired.

Taxpayer citizen’s group challenges the library tax. Tax question placed on ballot in November 1987. Library tax is reaffirmed by 56% of the voters.


Library funding responsibility shifts to the county level and library service grows. Initiatives include: Dial-A-Story telephone services for children; conversion of card catalog information to computer format; statewide union catalog participation; receipt of an LSCA grant to improve reference service; establishment of annual legislative breakfasts for elected officials.


CCLS Board hires Jonelle Prether (later Jonelle Prether Darr) as Library System Director and a new five-year planning process begins.

To develop the plan, CCLS conducts an automation needs assessment and a countywide telephone survey of adult residents to determine service priorities and needs.


CCLS Board approves a long-range plan that establishes goals for library services, information technology, finance, advocacy, and system cooperation.

Implementation begins with the receipt of $200,000 in LSCA funds to install an automated library system. CCLS hires an Automation Services Coordinator and Computer Technician. The countywide networked system is in place by 1998.

CCLS launches Internet services at libraries in 1995 through a cooperative partnership with the Carlisle Sentinel.

The library system installs 25 public access Internet stations at its libraries and shares its high-speed telecommunications line and Internet server with county government.

CCLS launches web services with the development of Cumberland County government's first web site, www.cumberlandcountylibraries.org. CCLS’s catalog and its suite of reference databases are available to the public in-house and remotely.


CCLS receives an $86,038 LSTA grant to test centralized technical services (acquisitions, cataloging, and processing). As a result, CCLS Board approves technical services centralization in 2001.

A Technical Services Coordinator is hired and 4.6 full time equivalent staff support the unit.

CCLS Board approves new five-year plan in 2001. Implementation begins with the receipt of a $96,365 LSTA grant to develop a systemwide staff training program. CCLS hires a full-time Training Services Coordinator.


CCLS completes long-range service and facility study which recommended, new and expanded library buildings, the establishment of a CCLS Foundation and intensified marketing and public information efforts.

CCLS launches Launching One Book, One Community in collaboration with the Dauphin County Library System. It has now expanded to include eight south central Pennsylvania counties.

CCLS creates a tax-exempt charitable Library System Foundation and purchases development software for use by member libraries.

CCLS works with the Cumberland County Commissioners to leverage additional state funding through the increase of the Cumberland County Library Tax in December 2003.

CCLS improves its collection services by implementing centralized email and automated telephone notification services and begins using a collection agency to resolve debts $25 or greater.

CCLS expands its wide area computer network by 66% from 150 computers in 2002 to 250 in early 2007.

CCLS Board approves new five-year plan in 2007. Implementation begins with the receipt of a $90,000 LSTA grant to re-design its library website.


Using grant funds, began experimenting with self-service checkout, installing 5 self-service checkout stations at Bosler (1), Fredricksen (3) and Simpson (1) libraries.

Collaborated with Dauphin County library system to develop a shared eBook and eAudio collection.

Received national recognition for STAR services with a National Association of Counties Act of Caring Award.

Member libraries received statewide recognition by earning seven Best Practices in Early Learning awards from the Pennsylvania Library Association for outstanding children’s programs.

System offices were relocated to a county-owned facility in August 2012 that was designed with the library system’s functional program needs in mind.


July 2013 CCLS migrates catalog to new software “Innovative Interfaces” (Horizon to Sierra).

April 1, 2014 Fredricksen Library launches new Hampden Township drop-off, pick-up location.

In 2015, CCLS and Cumberland County undertake a “Consensus Building Process” to find common ground on library priorities and funding. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is signed by both parties.

July 10, 2015 Shippensburg Library breaks ground for renovation and expansion.

December 5, 2016 Cumberland County approves a .023 mill increase to the library tax. Total millage becomes .166. Increase is projected to yield $536,490 in additional library tax support.

A revised Memorandum of Understanding is signed in December 2016 to reflect library system requirements for the tax increase.

January 2017, 160 mobile wi-fi devices distributed to libraries for circulation to patrons. Funded by an LSTA grant.

On March 21, 2017, Carolyn Blatchley is hired as Executive Director.

January 2018, remote printing services introduced to the libraries (SmartALEC)

August 2018, first Kindle eReaders purchased for the STAR program under a grant from Dermody Properties.

On October 9, 2018 the first meeting of the Futures Task Group was held.


May 2019, system headquarters’ office moved to 400 Bent Creek Blvd, Mechanicsburg PA.

July 2019, in response to a generous donation, the Shippensburg Public Library was renamed The Jeffery W. and Jo Anne R. Coy Public Library of Shippensburg.

Page Updated

February 14, 2023