DREHER TWP—The Newfoundland Area Public Library celebrated its 50th anniversary two weeks ago on Saturday, August 12 with an afternoon of feasting, merriment and community activities.

Incepted within the local arts center in 1967 with 21 members, the Newfoundland Area Public Library blossomed to over 200 members within a year of opening its doors.

The library relocated to the A. M. Skier real estate building in 1970, purchasing it before the end of the decade.

Since then, several improvements have been made including remodeling, the purchase of adjacent property and the addition of their children's wing in 2006.

According to a press release, the library operated for over 30 years purely through volunteer efforts.

In 2000, it joined with the Wayne Library Authority, today known as the Wayne Library Alliance (WLA), opening the door to Tech Endowment Funds and state grants to keep all seven libraries in the alliance up and running.

In 2014, Newfoundland Area Public Library combined the catalog systems of Wayne and Pike Counties, promoting inter-library loans between the two systems.

Today, the the Newfoundland Area Public Library services over 3,500 members with its collection of more than 12,000 books.

The library contains rooms for fiction, non-fiction, reference and young adult books, as well as a reading room, computer area, biography and Life Time Reading Plan sections, a revolving top shelf and children's section.

“It's exciting that it's been here 50 years,” said Newfoundland's new Library Director, Teall Schoch, hired earlier this year.

To celebrate, the library held an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Schoch explained.

The event featured refreshments and all sorts of activities including Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) projects for children, demonstrations presented by local boy and girl scout troops, and a reading by local author Lindsay Barrett George.

Additionally, Senator Lisa Baker (R-20) and Representative Mike Peifer (R-139) sent delegates Andrew Seder and Gina Ehrhardt respectively to present the library with government citations for its quality work over the years.

When asked for comment, Baker responded “Libraries offer limitless opportunities for residents of all ages to read and explore the world around them.

“Thanks to strong community support and active volunteers, the Newfoundland Area Public Library has prospered for 50 years.

“We are lucky to have such a strong commitment to promoting literacy and learning and to ensuring this resource is available for future generations.”

Peifer responded, “It was my pleasure to recognize the Newfoundland Area Public Library on its 50th anniversary.

“The library and its volunteers provide such an important service to our community and I commend their efforts.”

Schoch was delighted to celebrate the library's anniversary, stating that she hopes to bring another half-century of the library's book lending and community-oriented programming to Newfoundland and the surrounding areas.

She received lots of positive feedback from the community and the Library was awarded over $400 in private donations.

“I just want to thank everybody who came and donated,” she said.

The Newfoundland Area Public Library hosts a number of events in which the community may partake.

There are STEM story time events on various weekends and a summer reading program to keep students fresh for school while on vacation.

Coming up on September 1, the library will host an end of summer reading party.

On September 9, the library will hold Grandparents' Day crafting activities for children and other members of the community to come and honor their forebears with hand-made gifts.

Also next month will be the regular meeting of Newfoundland Area's book club.

More information about the library and the many opportunities it offers members of the southern Wayne and northern Pike communities can be found online by selecting the Newfoundland location from the WLA website: www.waynelibraries.org.