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Memberships and Programs thrive at Ridley Park Library

In her annual report to Ridley Park Council Feb. 19, library director Mary Alice Walsh said 27,000 items were circulated by the library in 2012, including 1,700 new materials added throughout the course of the year. There are more than 3,700 members with more than 200 new members added last year.

Continuing on with statistics, Walsh said more than 3,300 internet sessions were recorded and 17,000 people visited the library, showing an increase over 2011.

“The library is a busy facility with tutors meeting with students in elementary and secondary school and adult learners of the English as a second language (program),” the director noted.

Walsh reported that 2012 began with a major interior painting project planned and financed by the Friends of Ridley Park Library. Last spring a major landscaping project beautified the grounds of the library, and was organized and completed under the direction of the Friends.

Two new programs were added in 2012, a drawing class under the direction of Mary Ellen Keeney, and bedtime stories where children can come to the library in their pajamas. The 143 children who participated in the summer reading club read more than 4000 books. There were 100 programs with about 1,200 children participating. And once again, the library lent picture and early chapter books to the Ridley Park summer playground program for the  children's use.

An open house on July 5 celebrated the 100th anniversary of the library's Carnegie Building. A Tai Chi program for older adults was funded through a grant from the Taylor Community Foundation.

“We experimented with keeping the library open during the Farmer's Market hours for the convenience of our patrons to pick up holds, rent movies for the weekend and escape the heat,” Walsh said. “While open, we sponsored a collection of canned and dried foods and donated over 80 pounds of food to the Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry.”

The Friends of the Library sponsored  a Spooky Stories program with storyteller Vicky Town for Halloween. The organization also fund the Read to the Animals with Pals for Life. Beginning or reluctant readers read to trained therapy dogs.

Walsh touched on some new programs for this year, including Financial Smarts for Seniors. This program, scheduled for the fall,  is funded by a grant from the Financial Regulatory Authority, and presented by CLARIFI. The goal of the program is to help older adults stay financially healthy and live independently and safely in their homes. The topics to be covered include: budgeting on a fixed income; understanding your credit report; understanding reverse mortgages; ID theft, scams and financial predators.

Story by the DelCo NewNetwork

Photo by Howard McCoy

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