Teen Artist in Residence Call for Artists

At Chester County Library

Chester County Library is pleased to announce a call for teen artists for our inaugural Teen Artist-in-Residence Summer Program. The residency program provides an opportunity for teen artists to create inspiring work, advocate for the arts, and share their amazing talents with the community. The selected teen artist will hold regular studio hours at the library allowing the artist to create on-site sharing their creative process with library patrons as well as lead a workshop for youth in the community. The residency will culminate with a show of the teen artist’s work.

The Teen Artist-in-Residence program is open to Chester County teens currently in grades 9-12. Our ideal candidate is passionate about creating and wants to connect and share their passion with others. The teen artist does not need to have any formal art training or coursework.

This program is supported by the generosity of the Friends of the Chester County Library. For more information about the CCL Friends please visit https://chescolibraries.org/about/ and click on “Friends of the Chester County Library.”

All interested potential Teen Artist-in-Residence should apply online at https://bit.ly/TeenArtist23 by Thursday, June 1st. For additional information, please contact the Teen Artist-in-Residence team at cclmakerinresidence@ccls.org.

Volunteer Fair Coming to Chester County Library on May 6th

(EXTON, PA) — Non-profits from a variety of service sectors will be at the Chester County Library in Exton to promote their open volunteer positions. Stop by on Saturday, May 6 between 9:30 am-1:00 pm to learn about 17 different organizations’ missions and opportunities to give back. Adoptable dogs from Main Line Animal Rescue will also be on site.

The fair will take place in the Reference Department and the Struble Room of the Chester County Library. Represented service sectors include animals, arts, civics, environmental, ESL, health, human services, youth, and more. Positions for teens are also available. No matter your schedule or skillset, there’s an organization that could use your help! 

Attendees will include:

• All 4 Paws Rescue

• American Red Cross, Delaware Valley Chapter

• Boy Scouts of America

• Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Delaware and Chester Counties

• Chester County Compeer

• Community Volunteers in Medicine

• Crime Victims’ Center

• French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust

• Good Samaritan Services

• Habitat for Humanity

• League of Women Voters

• LGBT Equality Alliance of Chester County

• Main Line Animal Rescue 

• Meals on Wheels

• Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) Adult Tutoring Program

• PA MEDI/Chester County Department of Aging

• RSVP Volunteers

• Wharton Esherick Museum

For additional information regarding the event, please call Community Engagement Librarian, Kelly Quigg, at 610-344-5957

NostalgiaRama – An 80s, 90s, and Aughts Celebration!

(EXTON, PA) – Join us at the Chester County Library & District Center on April 29th from 10 AM to 4 PM, for a celebration of 80s, 90s, and early-aughts nostalgia, sponsored by the library’s XYZ Connect Committee!

The XYZ Connect Committee was formed to develop programming for library patrons from generations X, Y, and Z. With programs such as Nerd Con, Crime Spree, Paint Night, and Murder Mysteries, we provide young adults a space to connect with peers and experience the library’s many resources in a way that is entertaining, accessible, and affordable.

NostalgiaRama is a fun, free way to connect with peers and reminisce about all the things—shows, games, food, and fashion—that made the decades we grew up in great. Whether you’re a kid from the eighties, nineties, or early aughts, there’s bound to be something you’ll love. Attendees can play vintage video games on a number of different consoles, from the N64 to the Wii. Guests can also compete for cool prizes in our trivia contest, or try to catch ‘em all in our Pokémon card game tournament—bring your own deck, or use one of ours!

If you aren’t feeling competitive, kick back with some of your favorite childhood snacks and watch old cartoons like Ed, Edd, and Eddy and Courage the Cowardly Dog, which will be showing all day. All guests are encouraged to dress up in their best retro clothes and take a picture in our photo booth to be entered for a raffle prize. You can even take a little of the fun home with you, as nostalgic goodie bags will be available to attendees while supplies last.

Registration is not required for this event, and admission is totally free. For more information, please visit www.chescolibraries.org and click on “Events.”

The FRIENDS of Chester County Library Book taking place next weekend, April 14th – 16th

FRIENDS OF CHESTER COUNTY LIBRARY SPRING BOOK SALE is scheduled for April 14-16, 2023. Various 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, April 14, 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 starting at 5 p.m. at the membership table or in advance by mailing in the membership form available at the Library or on our website.
  • Saturday, April 15, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. — The sale will be open to the public.
  • Sunday, April 16, 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). The books will be sold at half-price for less than a whole bag.

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

Our Fall Book Sale dates are October 6 – 8, 2023.

Maker-in-Residence Selected

Megan Raab Greenholt selected for the inaugural program at the Chester County Library Center

The Chester County Library Center is pleased to announce Megan Raab Greenholt for the inaugural Maker-in-Residence program this spring. Selected through an open call conducted earlier this year, Ms. Raab Greenholt is a multi-disciplinary artist that explores printmaking, textiles, collage, painting, and sculpture. As a practicing artist and educator, discovery is integral to her practice as she uses a process-oriented approach to facilitate an intuitive response to materials as a means to encourage community engagement and wonder. Megan currently maintains an active studio practice in Elverson, PA.

We invite you to learn about natural dyes and observe Megan’s current work in progress using naturally dyed materials during open studio hours at the Exton and Henrietta Hankin Library branches that include 2 hours of hands-on maker experience (ages 6+) to create your own embroidered textile collage. Open studio hours will be held weekly beginning March 28th and run through June 28th.

In addition to her open studio hours, Megan will be conducting four (4) workshops for people ages 16+ at the Chester County Library Center and two (2) workshops designed for a parent/guardian and child (age 8+) experience. The workshops will celebrate Chester County’s Juneteenth theme, “Journeying Towards Freedom” by learning about the history of indigo in our country and its use in the creative practices of contemporary African American artists.

This program is supported by the generosity of the Friends of the Chester County Library. For more information about the CCL Friends please visit https://chescolibraries.org/about/ and click on “Friends of the Chester County Library:

To find out more or to register for the workshops, please visit www.chescolibraries.org and click on “Events”.  For additional information, please contact Mary Gazdik, Library Director at mgazdik@ccls.org.

The U.S. and the Holocaust

A Film by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick & Sara Botstein Virtual Screener & Community Conversation

On Thursday, March 9th, from 7:15-9:15 p.m., Henrietta Hankin Branch Library in partnership with PBS Books and WETA will present a reprise of the Screener and Discussion event held in November of the 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 to view selected clips from the documentary and then take part in a conversation with a panel of local experts. We are delighted to once again 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.  Plus, for this event, we have a third panelist, Sharon Sorokin.  At the end of 2022, Sharon retired from the practice of law and founded Bikabow Books, a small press publishing company. Bikabow Books’ first publication is Ziggy’s Potato, A Holocaust Story, written by Sharon Sorokin and illustrated by Helen Cann. Ziggy’s Potato is intended for ages 8 and up.

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., is 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 working on a monograph, 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 borrow a DVD of the movie through the Chester County Library System. PBS station members can view the documentary via PBS Passport as part of a full collection of Ken Burns films. 

To register for this special virtual event, please visit https://ccls.libcal.com/event/9947294.  For additional information, please contact Claire Michelle Viola, Reference Librarian at cviola@ccls.org. This event supports PA Forward Health and Civic and Social Literacies.

Job Support Fair at Chester County Library on March 14th

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

To register for a 30-minute one-on-one help session, please email Sam Bardarik at sbardarik@ccls.org with your contact information, availability, and what kind of help you seek. Service can include resume or cover letter reviews, interviewing tips, and other job/career assistance.

Workshops include:

  • Resume Writing and the Job Search
  • Criminal Record Management for Job Seekers
  • Navigating Education and Financial Aid Decisions 
  • How to Find a Job without Relying on a Resume
  • LinkedIn for Job Seekers
  • Introduction to Excel
  • Intermediate Excel

To register for a workshop, please click here.

This event will give any job-seeker in the community an opportunity to access career information resources that will help them find positions, and also assist with career and industry descriptions, salary information, interviewing and resume tips. For additional information and research help, our Business and Career Librarian, Sam Bardarik, is available at sbardarik@ccls.org or 610-344-5947.

Chester County Library’s 5th Fit Fair is on February 25th!

The Fit Fair is back at Chester County Library on Saturday, February 25, 2023, from 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

At the start of a new year, so many of us are making resolutions to get in shape, eat better, and take care of our bodies. If you are trying to make this year a healthier one but aren’t sure how to start, or even if you’re trying to maintain your fitness goals from last year, we have the event for you! We will be offering free health and wellness programs, as well as information booths for local gyms, businesses, and health organizations from around Chester County. Vendor booths will include:

  • Chester County Immunization Coalition
  • Chester County Parks + Preservation
  • Freshour Chiropractic
  • Friends of the Chester Valley Trail
  • Full Range Physical Therapy
  • Paoli Hospital, Main Line Health
  • Orangetheory Fitness
  • Renaissance Home Health
  • Rothman Orthopedics
  • YMCA of Greater Brandywine
  • Zia Yoga & Wellness

If exercise is your top priority this year, you will want to check out the exercise class presentations taking place in the Struble Room. Spots are limited, so please register for these classes at https://bit.ly/3YAZR7Z. There will also be free onsite health screenings available from the Paoli Hospital. Not to mention, many other local organizations will be providing information about their own programs and services, the hottest health and fitness trends, and so much more! So, if you are looking for a good first step on your path to a healthier year, mark your calendar, because the Fit Fair is an event you won’t want to miss!

Please Take Our Customer Satisfaction Survey

We need your input! On January 30th, we will launch our Customer Satisfaction Survey, which will be available until March 1st.  With your feedback, you can help us improve your library experience. By taking this brief customer satisfaction survey, your responses can help us advocate for and convey the value of libraries to the State, County, and municipalities that support us. The survey will also be available in Spanish if needed. Please take the survey here.

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!