The FRIENDS of Chester County Library Fall Book Sale is Back for 2022!

(EXTON, PA) – THE FRIENDS OF CHESTER COUNTY LIBRARY Fall Book Sale is scheduled for next weekend, October 7th – 9th, 2022. A variety of books, music and movie CDs and DVDs will be sold at bargain prices. A huge selection of children’s books will be available in a separate room.

  • Friday, October 7, 6 to 8:30 p.m. — The sale starts for members of the Friends of the Chester County Library only (Memberships can be purchased on Friday night beginning at 5 p.m. at the membership table or in advance by mailing in the membership form available here.
  • Saturday, October 8, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. — The sale will be open to the public.
  • Sunday, October 9, 1 to 4 p.m. — During ‘Bag Sale Day’ we will supply the bag; you fill it and pay $10 (only $7 per bag with your FRIENDS membership). For less than a whole bag, the books will be sold at half-price.

We accept cash, checks, or PayPal. All proceeds from the Book Sale benefit the Chester County Library.

Chester County Library Housing Fair this Weekend

Chester County Library will host several social service organizations that offer assistance with various housing needs. Stop by the Reference Department between 9:30am-12:30pm to gather information, discover available services, build contacts, and improve your situation. The following organizations will be in attendance:

  • 211/United Way of Chester County
  • Chester County Department of Aging
  • Chester County Department of Community Development
  • Chester County Food Bank
  • CHOP Homeless Health Initiative
  • Domestic Violence Center of Chester County
  • Friends Association for Care & Protection of Children
  • Good Samaritan Services
  • Home of the Sparrow
  • Housing Authority of Chester County
  • Housing Equality Center of Pennsylvania
  • Housing Partnership of Chester County
  • North Star of Chester County
  • Open Hearth
  • PECO Outreach
  • Veterans Multi-Service Center

Check back for updates. The event takes place on Saturday, September 17, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Sheri Houpt, a Housing Counselor from the Housing Partnership of Chester County, will also be holding Credit Workshops in the Story Time Room at 10:00, 11:00, and 12:00. Without good credit, it is nearly impossible to secure proper/stable housing, whether renting or purchasing. It can hinder you from securing a job and can impact the amount you pay for loans and insurance. During the workshop, HPCC will cover the basic principles everyone should understand including how credit is reported, the credit bureaus, FICO scores, and how to improve your credit situation.

The mission of the Chester County and Henrietta Hankin Branch Libraries is to provide informational, educational, and cultural services to the residents of Chester County so that they may be lifelong learners. Chester County Library & District Center is located at 450 Exton Square Parkway, Exton, PA. For hours or more information, visit our website at www.chescolibraries.org.

Celebrate Library Card Sign Up Month with Idina and Cara Menzel

September is Library Card Sign-up Month when libraries nationwide join the American Library Association (ALA) to remind parents, caregivers, and students that signing up for a library card is the first step on the path to academic achievement and lifelong learning.

Libraries play a crucial role in the education and development of children, offering a variety of programs to spark creativity and stimulate an interest in reading and learning. Through access to technology, media resources, and educational programs, a library card gives students the tools to succeed in the classroom and provides people of all ages opportunities to pursue their dreams, explore new passions and interests, and find their voice.

Throughout the school year, public librarians and library staff will assist parents and caregivers with saving hundreds of dollars on educational resources and services for students of all ages. A library card is one of the most cost-effective back-to-school supplies available! For younger children, we offer early literacy resources to help them learn to read and encourage school readiness.

For older children and teens as well as our adult patrons, we provide access to technology and digital tools such as 3D printers, crafting and sewing equipment, STEM kits, laser-cutting, computer programming, self-publishing resources, welding, virtual reality programs, collaborative workspaces, and GED resources. With a library card, families can also borrow one-day passes for free to visit various educational and cultural museums and historic sites in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware with our Museum Pass Program.

Don’t know what to read next? Let our librarians help you with personal reading suggestions. Perhaps you want to learn a new language or research your family tree.  With the wide knowledge of our Reference librarians and free access to numerous databases such as Mango Languages, Ancestry Library Edition, and The New York Times we have you covered. Apart from our extensive multimedia and book collections and Reference databases, we also offer 24/7 online access to eBooks, eAudiobooks, and magazines with services such as Libby by Overdrive and Flipster. Our Business and Career Center offers job, career, and personal finance resources and workshops as well as free wireless Internet access to the public for use with personal laptops and other mobile devices.

This year, Tony Award-winning performer, actress, singer-songwriter, and philanthropist Idina Menzel (Frozen, Wicked) and her sister, author, and educator Cara Mentzel, will serve as honorary chairs of Library Card Sign-Up Month. Idina and Cara are excited to remind everyone that one of the best places to find your voice is at the library. During Library Card Sign-Up Month, they want us to explore all the library has to offer, like-new children’s books, access to technology, and educational programming. “It’s a little card that goes a loud way. Let your imagination sing at the library,” said Mentzel.

Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. During the month, Chester County Library and its Henrietta Hankin Branch, along with libraries everywhere, continues to adapt and expand services to meet the evolving community needs. To sign up for a library card or to learn more about the library’s resources and programs, please visit https://bit.ly/3RtxepK.

The mission of the Chester County Library System is to ensure that every resident has access to exceptional opportunities to read, learn, create, connect and contribute to a better quality of life. For hours or more information regarding our 18 library locations, please visit our website at www.ccls.org.

Mental Health Fair at Chester County Library

(EXTON, PA) – Recognizing the frustrations in access to mental health care and the lack of information about what resources were available, Pennsylvania State Representative Kristine Howard began holding the Mental Health Fair in 2021. She noticed the urgent need for mental health resources and education, which had only been exacerbated by the pandemic. Many people were turning to her office for help finding care for their loved ones, and it was a natural decision to hold a Mental Health Fair to help inform the public about what resources were available.

This year, Representative Howard and the Chester County Library will co-host a Mental Health Fair on Thursday, September 8 from 3 -5 p.m. in the library’s Struble Room. Visitors can connect with resources from several local agencies and listen to local experts talk about the current condition of mental health in Chester County. Registration is not required.

 Speakers at the fair will include:

  • Kristen de Marco, Executive Director of Gateway Horseworks
  • Colleen Drake, Assistant Director of Business Development at Belmont Behavioral Hospital
  • Gerry Gonzalez, Community Relations Representative at Child Guidance Resource Centers
  • Leslie Holt, Co-Founder, and CEO of A Child’s Light
  • Michael Ivers, EMS Operations Chief for Chester County Emergency Response
  • Kate Lannan, Community Services Director at A Haven
  • Katie McGrath, Director of Outreach, and Olivia Kennedy, Outreach Liaison, at Sanare Today
  • Deborah Willett, Program Coordinator of GRANDFamily Connections of Chester County at Coatesville Center for Community Health

As an accessible community hub and advocate of circulating health literacy within the community, the Chester County Library is committed to helping connect the community with local mental health resources available to them. The Chester County Library is hoping to extend a lifeline to its neighbors and also demonstrate that they are an inclusive resource for all community needs. This event will give the community at large an opportunity to have open conversations without judgment and thereby also help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. For more information please visit https://bit.ly/3zSgl0A or contact the Chester County Library Reference Desk at 610-344-5957. 

Chalk the Walk at Chester County Library’s New Parking Lot!

Chalk our Walk! We’re calling all artists to help decorate the sidewalk around the Library to celebrate the reopening of our parking lot. Decorate a block yourself, or share one with family, friends, or your organization. We’ll provide the supplies, you just bring your imagination!

Come by any time between 6:00 and 7:30, but please register first so we can guarantee everyone a spot. Register here.

All drawings must be family-friendly–no offensive, graphic, or political illustrations and no foul language, please.

Rain date: Friday, September 1

Virtual: Save Barnegat Bay’s Screening & Discussion of DRIFT, a documentary film

CHESTER SPRINGS Join us via the Henrietta Hankin Branch Library on Thursday, August 11, at 1 p.m. for a virtual discussion of DRIFT, a documentary film about New Jersey’s Barnegat Bay. Prior to the discussion, registrants will have special access to the film beginning August 4. The discussion will be led by Avery Lentini, Executive Assistant and Policy Advocate with Save Barnegat Bay. The organization, whose mission is to restore and protect the Bay and its ecosystem, has become a strong and independent voice for the Bay throughout the watershed, including all of Ocean and part of Monmouth Counties.

DRIFT, produced in collaboration with Monmouth University Production Services and directed by Erin Fleming, tells the story of Barnegat Bay through the voices and eyes of people who cherish the Bay as a natural, recreational, and economic resource for the local community and all of New Jersey. The film allows the viewer to DRIFT through 50 years of complex issues through a series of short vignettes, using a variety of perspectives, viewpoints, and experiences. Located on the east coast of New Jersey in Ocean County, the Barnegat Bay runs from the town of Bay Head all the way down to Little Egg Harbor. It is 42 miles long and has an area of 64 square miles.

Register here for this special event. For additional information, please contact Barbara Vitelli, Reference Librarian at bvitelli@ccls.org.

Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness Screener & Discussion at Hankin Library

CHESTER SPRINGS, PA — On Thursday, August 4th, from 5:30-7:30 pm, Henrietta Hankin Branch Library is honored to continue its partnership with PBS Books and WETA in presenting a screener and discussion of the recently aired Ken Burns documentary Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness.

This documentary focuses on the mental health crisis among youth in America.  It features first-person accounts from more than 20 young people, ranging in age from 11 to 27, who live with mental health conditions, as well as their parents, teachers, friends, healthcare providers, and independent mental health experts.  The film presents an unvarnished window into daily life with mental health challenges, from seemingly insurmountable obstacles to stories of hope and resilience. Through the experiences of these young people, the film confronts the issues of stigma, discrimination, awareness, and silence, and, in doing so, helps advance a shift in the public perception of mental health issues today.

A panel consisting of local mental health specialists and representatives from groups that provide mental health services in the area will lead a discussion after the 30-minute screener. The panel will include:

  • Janet Edgette – Psychologist in private practice specializing in child and adolescent mental health and parenting support/coaching;
  • Lindsay Meehan Mayo, CPS – Certified Peer Support Specialist for Peer Support and Teen Talk Lines for Chester and Montgomery Counties;
  • Amanda Blue, MPH – Outreach Manager and Director of Mental Health First Aid Program for the College of Health Sciences at West Chester University, and Chair of the Chester County Suicide Prevention Task Force;
  • Carol Rothera, MS, LPC – Intervention counselor for 17 years and Supervisor for Student Services in the West Chester Area School District.

Panelists will answer questions on local community resources as well as offer their own takes on issues confronted in the film.

We warmly invite teens, parents, and community members to come in to participate in this important conversation.  Anyone who would like to view the full documentary in advance of the event may stream it for free on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org through July 25th.

The program will take place in person in the Annex of the library.  Pizza and light refreshments will be provided.  To register, please visit here. This event supports PA Forward Health and Civic and Social Literacies.

The mission of the Chester County and Henrietta Hankin Branch Libraries is to provide informational, educational, and cultural services to the residents of Chester County so that they may be lifelong learners.   The Henrietta Hankin Branch Library is located at 215 Windgate Drive, Chester Springs, PA.  For hours or more information, visit our website at www.chescolibraries.org.

Lions Club Donation Increases Accessibility For the Visually Impaired at Chester County Library

(EXTON, PA) We are so grateful to the West Goshen Lions Club, West Chester Lions Club, and the Lions of Pennsylvania Foundation who presented us with a check today for $3500 after they approved a grant application from our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee aimed to increase accessibility at the library.

These funds will be used to purchase Orcam MyEye equipment, wearable assistive technology made for the visually impaired. This voice-activated device attaches to any glasses. It can instantly read text from a book, smartphone screen, or any other surface, recognize faces and help patrons browse information on their own, and work more efficiently and independently when they visit the library. With the ability to convey visual information audibly, in real-time, and offline this equipment will significantly improve the services we can provide to our visually impaired community. It will be stored at the Reference Desk for patrons to sign out and use in the building.

Representatives from the Lions Club presented Chester County Library Director, Mary Gazdik and Reference Librarian, Jamie Claxton, with a check to fund the Orcam MyEye equipment on Tuesday, June 28th.

Benjamin Franklin, a film by Ken Burns

Screener & Discussion at Henrietta Hankin Branch

CHESTER SPRINGS—Starting this June, Henrietta Hankin Branch Library is partnering with PBS Books to offer free screenings and discussions of recent and forth-coming PBS documentaries.  The community is welcome to participate in the events either virtually or in-person in the Henrietta Hankin Library’s Annex where we will view various clips from the documentaries on our large screen and discuss the content with local experts.

On Wednesday, June 29th, from 6:00-7:30 pm, join us along with local historian and living history interpreter, Mike Kochan, for a screening of Benjamin Franklin: a film by Ken Burns.   The two-part documentary originally aired on PBS stations on April 4-5, 2022, bringing to life this iconic historical figure whose work and words helped shape our nation. Mike has been portraying and studying the life of Benjamin Franklin for years and will bring incredible knowledge to our discussion.  He will be dressed as Ben and also plans to bring in some reproductions of Mr. Franklin’s machines used in his experiments in the documentary.  This interactive event should prove enlightening and entertaining for all!

In August, Henrietta Hankin Branch Library is planning to present a Screener & Discussion on the Ken Burns documentary Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness, which airs on PBS on June 27-28.  There will be a panel of experts from local agencies at the library to direct the discussion of this very important topic.  Other documentaries that have been approved for screeners and discussions later in the year include America and the Holocaust, and Making Black America. Stay tuned for more details!

We hope you will join us at one or more of these events.  Register here. This event supports PA Forward Civic and Social Literacy.