198 Overcrest Road, Marysville, PA 17053
Phone: 717.957.2851, Fax: 888-823-2616
Special Service Pages: Get a Passport!
Policies: By-laws and policies lists
Library Staff: Contact Library Director Wendy Holler
Library Board: List of Library Board members
The idea for a town library was introduced by the Marysville Civic Club, who met with the current director of library development from the Pennsylvania State Library in March of 1964. As a result of that meeting, a nineteen-member exploratory committee was formed, chaired by Margaret Frey. To determine local interest, the committee devised a questionnaire, which was distributed and then collected by the local Girl Scout troop and its leaders.
As residents began donating books, they were stored in temporary quarters at the old Fire House on Lincoln Street. The committee took a special interest in acquiring books for the children’s collection. Under the guidance of Mr. Wenrich, ten students of the Susquenita Industrial Management Club built a portable library until permanent quarters for the growing collection were found.
On December 13, 1966, a Decree of Incorporation was granted to the Marysville-Rye Library Association, making the Marysville-Rye Library the second library in Perry County. According to the Articles of Incorporation, the “amount of assets which the corporation has to start its corporate functions is approximately $200.00 in cash money and several hundred volumes of books of incalculable value.” Originally, the Library served “… the people of Marysville Borough, Rye Township, the village of Perdix and Penn Township….”
The original incorporators of the Library were: Mr. Andrew S. Houk, Mrs. June A. Davis, Mrs. Eleanor L. Mutch, Mrs. Lillian K. Keel, Mr. Lloyd N. Keller, Mrs. Vera N. Carmichael, Mr. Walter S. Roberts, Mr. Bernard Shalonis, Mrs. Phyllis D. Detz,# and Mrs. Margaret E. Frey. Except for Mrs. Frey, the incorporators also served as the first Board of Directors. Mrs. Russell Fry was the first acting librarian.
In December 1966, upon incorporation, the Library moved from its temporary location next door to larger headquarters in the Knights of Pythias Building at 126 Lincoln Street. By 1967, the collection had grown to 5,000 books. A Children’s Story Hour for pre-schoolers was begun in 1978 and the Summer Reading Program was also started in the 1970’s. Volunteers have directed these programs under the guidance of a series of part-time library directors.
During the late 1970’s, the growing collection made larger quarters a critical need. A generous offer by the Marysville Lions Club began the fund drive for a new building, which culminated in the dedication in March 1983 of the new brick Library at 198 Overcrest Road, opposite the Marysville Borough Building. Successive Boards of Directors engaged in the long struggle to pay off the mortgage, which was triumphantly retired in a mortgage-burning ceremony in 1994.
Library Board members, staff and supporters campaigned vigorously for the passage of the Library Tax Referendums of May 1997 and May 2002, which would have provided financial independence for the County’s libraries at the cost of a very small percentage increase in local taxation. Although both referendums failed passage countywide, the majority of residents of Marysville Borough and Rye Township did vote in favor for the passage of those referendums. These voters recognized that a “free” public library must be paid for by the community that enjoys its advantages.
Funding provided by the State and our local municipal governments imposes certain financial mandates (e.g., hours the Library must be open and the amount spent yearly on adding to the collection), but does not provide funds for repairs and improvements or for the rising costs of operation and payroll. Public libraries in Pennsylvania depend heavily on financial assistance provided by the Commonwealth. However, as of January 1, 2001, a substantial portion of that aid was withdrawn from the four libraries that constituted the Perry County Library System# when the system was dissolved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education in August 2000. The Perry County Commissioners ended its 17-year history of making a small annual contribution to the four county libraries in 1997.
The community has also stepped forward in times of crisis. In the wake of the cut in State funding, the community responded very generously to the Library’s Appeal Letters. When one of the old hemlocks beside the Library fell across its roof in the wake of Hurricane Ivan in September 2002, the volunteer response was immediate. The tree was removed and the roof repaired before any damage to the interior or the collections could occur.
Traditionally, the Library has relied upon fundraising–an ongoing series of book/flea/and bake sales, dinners, walk-a-thons, holiday chocolate sales, and special events throughout the year–to meet its operating costs. Community organizations (the Marysville Lions Club, Post 882 of the VFW, the Senior Citizens Club, the Rye Township Polling Place) have generously made their facilities available for all those fundraising events–such as basket bingo, the annual auction, numerous spaghetti dinners, and the kitchen concession on election day and baseball opening day–that the Library could not accommodate on site. On December 15, 1991, a number of Marysville and Rye Township residents opened their beautiful and historic homes for a Holiday House Tour benefiting the Library. In October 2001, Denise and Jim Glenn# personally organized a traditional Harvest Moon Barn Dance on behalf of the Library. Since 2002, the November Dinner and Auction, under the gavel of David Magee, has served as the premier fundraiser of the calendar year. Our local businesses—notably Specialty Bakers, The First National Bank of Marysville, West Shore Oil Company, Inc., and the Michael J. Shalonis Funeral Home—have generously underwritten the costs of many fundraisers.
On November 12, 2000, the Children’s Room was dedicated to the memory of Emily Elizabeth Gleixner. The remodeling of the Library basement into a multi-functional space was envisioned as early as 1991 and was accomplished through funds raised from foundation grants, from local businesses, and individual memorials. Monies donated in memory of Emily paid for the children’s tables and chairs used during Story Hour and Summer Reading Programs. The Children’s Room is also used for lectures, book sales, board meetings, the Fall Festival, and Jake Stoss’ ongoing Karate classes.#
The Library works to achieve special goals through strategic grant writing. The Library used money received in August 1997 from the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund to create a unisex handicapped-accessible rest room to bring the Library into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. In January 2005, the Library was notified that it had been awarded a Library Services and Technology Act grant for automation. For the next several months, staff and volunteers affixed a barcode to every item in the Library’s collection. By August 2005, the Library offered its patrons computer access to the collection and, shortly afterward, retired its card catalog. In August 2006, the Library received a grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development to upgrade its office equipment.#
With technological assistance provided by Commonwealth Libraries’ District Services Coordinator, our small-town library remains current with the technological advances in library services. The Marysville-Rye Library offers access to the Internet, downloadable e-Audiobooks, MP3 players, Power Library, and Inter-Library loans, as well as traditional library services. As did the original members of the Library Board, each successive Board has made a priority of providing the best in children’s literature.
The Library’s partnership with the Susquenita School District has provided the Library with a series of energetic and enthusiastic teenage volunteers. Since 2006, the Library has solicited the active input of our youthful patrons by holding Teen Advisory Board Meetings on the last Monday of each month.
For information on the Library’s current events, readers are invited to contact the Library at its Email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, or to consult its website: www.freewebs.com/marysvillerye/.