Join the Winter Family Read Aloud This February!

According to the U.S. Dept. of Education, “the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.” Here are just a few of the many benefits associated with reading aloud to your child:

  • reading aloud instills a positive attitude toward reading and books.-reading aloud exposes children to complex language which expands vocabulary and understanding of grammar.
  • reading aloud encourages good listening skills and a longer attention span.
  • reading aloud enhances reading fluency and comprehension-reading aloud inspires thinking and imagination.

During the month of February, families at the Chester County Library and Henrietta Hankin Branch can once again participate in the Winter Read-Aloud Program. Read aloud to your child (birth through 6th grade) to earn a free book and raffle ticket for the Grand Prize. Stop by the Youth Services desk at either library starting January 23rd to pick up your reading log and get started!

So, get cozy with your kids this winter and have fun reading aloud!

Open Call for Creatives to Apply for The Libraries’ New Maker-In-Residence Program

We are thrilled to announce the inaugural call for Makers launching the Chester County Library & Hankin Branch Makers-in-Residence program!

What is a Maker? A maker can be an artist, musician, songwriter, crafter, techno-wizard, dancer, and lots more! A maker is a creative who loves the process – not just the end product and wants to share that process with others.

Our ideal Maker is passionate about creating and wants to connect and share their passion with the community. Specifically, we seek creators who:

  • possess skills to teach and share their work and creative process
  • love to interact with people from a wide variety of backgrounds
  • enjoy collaborating with others
  • are passionate about their craft

The Maker-in-Residence will share activities through open studio hours and workshops that will allow visitors to try a new skill, experience a new craft, and/or participate in a collaborative project.

All interested potential Makers-in-Residence should apply online at by Tuesday, January 31st, 2023. We will be interviewing and selecting candidates from February 13th – February 24th, with the residency to begin in mid-March 2023.

For a complete description of the Residency or questions email us at or visit our website at The Maker-in-Residence program is made possible through a generous donation from the Friends of the Chester County Library. For more information about becoming a member of the Friends, visit

Chester County Library’s 11th Annual Holiday Craft Fair Coming Up This Weekend!

Make it a homemade holiday!

The holiday season is a busy time of year. Family gatherings and finding the perfect gift for loved ones can be frustrating and stressful. With time being a precious commodity, remember that the library can be your best destination to find all of your family entertainment, holiday de-stressors, and party planning ideas, as well as unique, one-of-a-kind holiday gifts for everyone on your list!

The Chester County Library will be hosting its 11th annual Holiday Craft Show on Saturday, December 10th, from 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Vendors will be set up throughout the library (both upstairs and downstairs) to display and sell their crafts just in time for the holidays. We have a great selection of 47 vendors this year! Save some holiday shopping and enjoy browsing local crafter’s tables including makers of personalized ornaments, toys, pottery, jewelry, paper crafts, photography, knit and fabric crafts, home décor, baked goods, woodworking, and more! The Craft Show is free to attend. We look forward to seeing you there!

DEAFinitely Magic: The Hilarious Magic of Sam Sandler at Henrietta Hankin Library

Join us for a magical evening with Sam Sandler, America’s Premier Deaf Illusionist. This program is for everyone who loves magic and is recommended for ages 4 and above.

If a child under eleven (11) attends a program independently, a parent or caregiver must remain in the building as per library policy.

Please register for this program on Tuesday, November 22, 6 – 7 pm

Registration is required for EACH PERSON attending (child, teen, or adult). Registration will close two hours before the event’s scheduled start time. Funding is provided by the Friends of the Henrietta Hankin Branch Library.

The U.S. and the Holocaust

Screener & Discussion at Henrietta Hankin Branch Library

(CHESTER SPRINGS, PA)—On Monday, November 14th, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., 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 PBS documentary The U.S. and the Holocaust, a film by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick & Sarah Botstein. This 3-part documentary explores America’s response to one of the greatest humanitarian crises in history.  Americans consider themselves a “nation of immigrants,” but as the catastrophe of the Holocaust unfolded in Europe, the United States proved unwilling to open its doors to more than a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of desperate people seeking refuge. Through riveting firsthand testimony of witnesses and survivors who as children endured persecution, violence, and flight as their families tried to escape Hitler, this series delves deeply into the tragic human consequences of public indifference, bureaucratic red tape, and restrictive quota laws in America. Did the nation fail to live up to its ideals? This is a history to be reckoned with.

 Join us as we view selected clips from the documentary and then take part in a conversation with a panel of local experts. We are delighted to have panelists Rabbi Lance J. Sussman, Ph.D., and Jonathan C. Friedman, Ph.D., to lead us in an insightful conversation on core themes raised in the film, such as immigration policy, racism, isolationism, discrimination, and more.

Rabbi Sussman currently serves as the Rabbi Emeritus of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel of Elkins Park, PA after serving as senior rabbi from 2001-2022.  Rabbi Sussman, a specialist in American Jewish history, has written several books and numerous articles on the American Jewish experience.  Currently, he is working on a television documentary on the history of the Philadelphia Jewish community with History Making Productions.  He is also editing a collection of his sermons and essays, “Portrait of an America Rabbi,” and serving as Scholar in Residence at Philadelphia’s Holocaust Awareness Museum (HAMEC).

Jonathan C. Friedman, Ph.D., currently serves as a Professor of History, and Director of Graduate Holocaust and Genocide Studies at West Chester University.  Dr. Friedman’s main areas of specialization are modern European, modern German, and modern Jewish history, although since finishing his Ph.D. he has broadened his areas of specialization to include LGBT history and the history of music and film.  Dr. Friedman has published numerous books on subjects ranging from the Holocaust to gay and Jewish performances. He is currently working on a monograph entitled Haunted Laughter: Comedic Representations of Adolf Hitler, The Third Reich, and the Holocaust in Film and Television.

Anyone who would like to view the full documentary in advance of the event may stream it for free on WHYY PBS platforms, including and the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsun Smart TV, Chromecast, and VIZIO.  PBS station members can view the documentary via PBS Passport as part of a full collection of Ken Burns films.  You can also borrow a DVD of the movie through the Chester County Library System.

This Screener and Discussion program will take place virtually via Zoom.  To register, please visit 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

Adult Mental Health Forum at Chester County Library

Representative Kristine Howard and the Chester County Library will co-host a second Adult Mental Health Forum this year on Wednesday, November 16 from 5-7 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.

 Speaker presentations at the fair will include:

  • a representative from the Chester County Department of Mental Health
  • a representative from the Chester County Department of Intellectual Disabilities
  • a representative from the West Chester University Community Mental Health Clinic
  • Nikki Weigand, NAMI Keystone’s Advocacy Director

The mental health fairs grew out of a need to connect constituents with existing resources. With growing mental health crises, it has become more important than ever to ensure no one goes without the care they need.

While much of Representative Howard’s legislative work has focused on preventing mental and behavioral health care worker shortages – the SWEET Program (HB 1926) and the BWELL Program (HB 2091), for example – she has heard from many constituents who were simply unaware of the resources already available. In particular, many parents are looking for assistance with their adult children.

As an accessible community hub and advocate of circulating health literacy within the community, the Chester County Library is also 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. Find more information here or contact the Chester County Library Reference Desk at 610-344-5957. 

Job Support Fair at Chester County Library

Join us for an afternoon dedicated to helping you get a job! Representatives from local organizations will be in attendance to share their expertise. In addition, you can register for workshops, wardrobe services, and customized help for your job search. All services are completely free.

To REGISTER for ONE-ON-ONE HELP, please email Sam Bardarik with your available times (between 12 and 4pm on 11/12) and what area(s) you’d like help with (resume, cover letter, interviewing, computer assistance, and/or general job/career)



Get Creative at Paint Night this November at Chester County Library

On Friday, November 4th, from 6-8 pm, Chester County Library will partner with Paint the Town to host an enjoyable Paint Night. The program will take place in person in the Struble Room of the library, and is free to attend, although there is a limit of 25 spots available. Spots will go fast so please register here or on our website as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. 

During the event, there will be two hours of guided painting time with an entertaining artist who will guide the group through the painting experience. Paint the Town will also provide all the supplies—all you need to bring is yourself! They have hosted team-building events for large companies such as Google, Amazon, Visa, and Comcast in addition to doing events for smaller groups and have more than 500 5-star ratings on Google and Yelp.

This program is sponsored by Chester County Library’s XYZ Committee which was formed to help develop programming for generations X, Y, and Z that is not only fun and informative, but also connects patrons of this age group with the many services that the Chester County Library has to offer (such as our wide collection of books, movies, and videogames, our makerspace and technology center, etc.)  Our programs provide young adult patrons a space to connect and socialize with peers in a way that is fun, accessible, and often completely free of charge. In the past, the XYZ Committee has held trivia nights, escape rooms, murder mystery events, and other large events in the spring such as NerdCon and Crime Spree.

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