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.

Meet Mary Alice Munroe from The Islanders’ Series at Wellington Square Bookshop

Join us for this ticketed event! We will host Mary Alice Monroe at the bookshop to celebrate the release of her new book (a sequel to The Islanders) Search For Treasure. Both books are listed on this page and can be purchased separately if desired. Note: We will have copies of the books in the store during the event.

Tickets are required to attend the event on June 20th. Register here for event tickets – $10 per ticket (without the book) and $25 per ticket (with book). Email angella@wellingtonsquarebooks.com with questions. 
Monday, June 20, 2022 – 11:00am to 1:30pm
549 Wellington Square
Exton, PA 19341

Rags to Riches: the compelling life story of Julie Henning

Chester Springs at Henrietta Hankin Branch Library — This spring marks 90 years since author Pearl S. Buck was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her moving story of the joys and hardships of the Chinese peasant farmer Wang Lung and his family in her classic novel The Good Earth.  The celebrated author and humanitarian spent the last 40 years of her life living in Perkasie, PA.  During this time, she used her fame to shed light on the rights of marginalized communities including people of color, people with disabilities, women, biracial children, and immigrants.  Through her establishment of Pearl S. Buck International, many actions have, and continue to be made to help those affected by these issues.

On May 23rd from 6:30-7:30, the Henrietta Hankin Library will welcome the adopted daughter of Pearl S. Buck, Julie Henning, to give a talk on her life’s journey from an existence of hardship and poverty in the streets of Busan, South Korea, to a world of plenty, both spiritually and materially, in a house with a white picket fence in Souderton, Pennsylvania.  Ms. Henning gives her own unique perspective on Pearl Buck as a mother and guiding light.  As the daughter of an American G.I., whom she never knew, and her South Korean mother, Ms. Henning has also addressed issues faced by Amerasians through newspaper articles, radio interviews, national television, and U.S. Congressional hearings. 

At the urging of friends and family, Ms. Henning has documented her life story in a book, A Rose in a Ditch, which was published in 2019.  This book, which is now being made into a movie, will be available for purchase and signing at the event!  Come to hear the compelling story of Julie Henning’s life.  This program will be accessible virtually as well as in person in the Annex of the library.

We hope you will join us for this special event.  Register here. This event supports PA Forward Civic and Social Literacy.

Library Volunteers Celebrated During National Volunteer Week!

(EXTON, PA) April 17th – 23rd is National Volunteer Week.  Here at Chester County Library and Henrietta Hankin Branch Library, we are honoring all of our volunteers who so generously shared their time and talent with us during the last year.

This community of volunteers contributes daily to the efficient and smooth running of both libraries. Many volunteers have over twenty years of service, a tribute to library volunteerism. They are, indeed, the backbone of the libraries. This year we are celebrating 26 volunteers who have achieved 500, 1,000, and 2,500 hours of volunteer service for 2019 and 2021.  Many of them worked alongside staff throughout the pandemic – a testament to their dedication and service.

500-hour recipients have selected a book that is special to each of them and we have inserted a bookplate in their names; 1,000-hour recipients have received the much-coveted ‘Share the Gift of Reading’ pin; and last but certainly not least, those who have served 2,500 hours will receive a brass plate on the 2,500 Hour Plaque of Fame that can be found at new Reference/Multimedia Desk on the first floor of the library.  We have also created a special wall display in the Lobby Area at Chester County Library in Exton honoring these volunteers which will be up until April 30th.

We are fortunate to have such a strong service-oriented community and the Library Staff and the Board of Trustees are grateful for the enduring service of all its volunteers. For more information about the Chester County Library & Henrietta Hankin Branch Library volunteer program, email the Volunteer Coordinator at volunteerprgm@ccls.org.

A Celebration of Pearl S. Buck at Henrietta Hankin Branch Library

CHESTER SPRINGSThis spring marks 90 years since author Pearl S. Buck was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her moving story of the joys and hardships of the Chinese peasant farmer Wang Lung and his family in her classic novel The Good Earth.  The Henrietta Hankin Branch Library has two programs planned to celebrate the author and humanitarian, who spent the last 40 years of her life living in Perkasie, PA.  During this time, she used her fame to shed light on the rights of marginalized communities including people of color, people with disabilities, women, biracial children, and immigrants.  Through her establishment of Pearl S. Buck International, many actions have, and continue to be made to help those affected by these issues.

On Thursday, April 14th, from 7:00-8:30 p.m., the Page Turners will have a very special discussion of The Good Earth hosted by members of the Pearl S. Buck Book Discussion Group.  This group has been meeting since the 1970s at the Pearl S. Buck House museum in Perkasie. Cindy Louden serves as the Discussion Facilitator as well as Chair of the Pearl S. Buck Writing Center.  Most of its members are House Docents and Volunteers who serve in many roles assisting Pearl S. Buck International to further the legacy of the organization’s founder, improve the lives of children, and promote international and cross-cultural understanding. Whether you’ve read the book recently, fifty years ago, or never quite got the chance, join us to learn more about Pearl S. Buck and the book that earned her both the Pulitzer and the Nobel prizes.

On May 23rd from 6:30-7:30 p.m., the Henrietta Hankin Library will welcome the adopted daughter of Pearl S. Buck, Julie Henning, to give a talk on her life’s journey from an existence of hardship and poverty in the streets of Busan, South Korea, to a world of plenty, both spiritually and materially, in a house with a white picket fence in Souderton, Pennsylvania.  Ms. Henning gives her own unique perspective on Pearl Buck as a mother and guiding light.  As the daughter of an American G.I., whom she never knew, and her South Korean mother, Ms. Henning has also addressed issues faced by Amerasians through newspaper articles, radio interviews, national television, and U.S. Congressional hearings.  At the urging of friends and family, Ms. Henning has documented her life story in a book, A Rose in a Ditch, which was published in 2019.  This book, which is now being made into a movie, will be available for purchase and signing at the event!  Come to hear the compelling story of Julie Henning’s life.  This program will be accessible virtually as well as in-person in the Annex of the library.

We hope you will join us at one or both of these events.  Register here.

This event supports PA Forward Civic and Social Literacy.