Exeter library asks township to help power up

Exeter Community Library looks to township to replace staff computers.

The Exeter Community Library is once again looking to the township to provide the funds to keep the library up to date. “The computers are failing,” Shawn Filby, trustee of the library, said in a plea to the township supervisors at their July 28 meeting. “We’re seeing crashes here and there, which disrupts the flow of the library.”

Filby represented the library in their request of $15,000 to replace the entirety of the staff computers. The computers, most of which were an original construct of the library, are between seven to 10 years old.

After being denied grants from a total of seven different private foundations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries, the library is resorting to the township. The grant applications would have funded computers over a three year period.

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The $15,000 funding would only be “about one-third of the computer renewal.” Plans to replace the public computers fit into the second year of the plan where the library will be asking local businesses to purchases a computer for the library floor, with a screen saver dedicated to advertise the business.

According to Fibly, the library was “very successful last year coming within $1,000 of [revenues] and expenses” and continued to run on budget through the end of June.

The library saw a decrease of state funding in 2012 and resorted to the township then the bridge the health care gap of $8,000 per employee. Annually the township provides the library with $115,000 to cover the funding gaps.

Exeter Community Library is now closed on Mondays -- “we can’t afford it any longer,” Fibly said. “We appreciate the funds you do provide with us annually... [You’ve] helped us this year with costs the state decided not to help us with.”

“We’ll have to look at some numbers on our end, and would “like to get [the library] to the point that you can reopen on Mondays, as well,” Township Supervisor Chairman Jeff Bukowski said.

For information on the library, visit them online at berks.lib.pa.us/sxt/

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About the Author

Emily Thiel

Emily Thiel is the editor of The Southern Berks News and is the Community Engagement Editor for Berks-Mont Newspapers. Emily joined Berks-Mont in March 2013. She graduated from Kutztown University in 2011 with a degree in English with a concentration in Cultural and Media Studies. Emily is a native of Allentown, Pa. Reach the author at ethiel@berksmontnews.com or follow Emily on Twitter: @sthrnberksnews.