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Climb Aboard the MPL Express!

Updated: Mar 6

I wonder what the founders of our library, back in 1939, would think if they saw it today? There have certainly been many changes. Some things remain constant -- the desire to serve our community by providing information resources and promoting literacy. The library remains focused on staying on-track and moving forward. However, the setting and the tools and resources certainly have changed!

Every step forward comes with some new challenges -- and new expenses. Library workers are adept at squeezing the most out of every dollar, but new demands and inflation take a toll on what we can do. Cash flow is always an issue. Money comes in blocks -- the state subsidy, the Annual Appeal, and the county appropriation. Grants fund special projects. However, operating expenses are ongoing. Therefore, we are launching an appeal for monthly donors to be crew members of the MPL Express -- helping to keep us on track and moving forward!

Our library has moved steadily forward over the years:

Library room with shelves, desk, and bookcart
  • BUILDINGS: From its earliest days above the offices of The Meyersdale Republican at the corner of Center & North, down Center street to the old Lucente Market building, then to the former High School/Borough Building (now the Di & Di Apartments), and finally to our current building at the corner of Center & Main Streets, the library has continued to move forward with every move.

Four women gathered around a library computer station

  • TECHNOLOGY: From the time of typewriters and card catalogs, we've moved to a computerized catalog, to a catalog that you can view online, and more. There's a computerized Inter-Library Loan system to request books from all over the state. Public computers were added and then Wi-Fi was added. We've added circuitry sets and other STEM kits that may be checked out. All are forms of forward progress.

Cloud Library logo: letters CL in a cloud

  • BOOKS AND MEDIA: I imagine it all started with just paper books and magazines, but then books on tape arrived, to be replaced by books on CD, and now downloadable audiobooks and e-books are also available through cloudLibrary. Paper magazines, now supplemented by thousands of available online magazines. VHS video was eventually replaced by DVDs, which are now also supplemented by streaming video. Format additions include Large Print editions, so helpful to those of us facing vision challenges. Graphic novels -- books in comic form -- have visual appeal and often tell old stories in a fresh new way. It's sometimes a struggle to keep up with all the changes, but we keep moving forward.

Three women, two receiving certificates from the third.
Staff given certificate of appreciation by Registrar of Wills Sharon Ackerman for research that helped settle an estate.

  • GENEALOGY/LOCAL HISTORY: Our Pennsylvania Room, home to our oldest materials, has also seen plenty of change. We sometimes wonder how earlier generations got so much genealogical research done. Now there is a whole online element to the work that wasn't there in the early days. We are proud of the genealogical mysteries we've helped solve, and of the historical materials we have digitized and shared with the world through PA Photos and Documents -- and from there, to the Digital Public Library of America. What would our "founding mothers" think if they could see it all? I think they'd be proud. We've come a long way!

Librarian and children at a table doing a STEM project

  • PROGRAMS: We have photos of early story hours in the library, but programming has grown to include everything from programs about finding accurate medical information to creating videogames and programming robots!

  • Finally, there's our latest innovation: our "Got News??" community events newsletter. We saw a new need in the community and did our best to fill part of it. The result seems to be very popular!

We invite you to help keep us on track and moving forward by becoming a monthly donor and joining the crew of the MPL Express, here:

Thank you for all your support!

The Library Lady


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