Due to the recent 20 percent cut in library funds from the Pennsylvania state government, the Palmerton Area Library board of directors has announced that the library will no longer be open Wednesday evenings effective immediately.

The new library hours will be: Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Some cuts in staff hours were also made to try to manage the budget with fewer dollars coming into the library.

The Horseheads Community Development Fund has donated the gift of the new outside drop box for library materials. With shortened hours, this outside box will make it easier for patrons to return materials to the library any hour of the day or night.

To promote the use of the box, the library is having an amnesty month from now until January 31, 2010, not Jan. 2, as was stated previously in an article.

During that time, any overdue items placed in the box can be returned with no fines levied and no questions asked. The library is anxious to get lost and overdue items returned so that they don't have to be replaced and other patrons can enjoy them.

The recent auction of homemade items held at the library was a success. The library thanks all the volunteers who participated in this event. A special thank you goes to Terri Sheckler who organized the auction.

The library will be closed Dec. 24 through Dec.27 for the holidays. It will also be closed on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Please use the drop box to return items.

The library is looking for artists who wish to display their artwork in the Annual Art Show and Lunch, sponsored by the Friends of the Palmerton Area Library, which will be held on Jan. 24 at the library. If you have art work to display and/or sell please contact the library at (610) 826-3424 for more information.

The Library Knitting Club continues to meet at the library on the first and third Mondays of each month at 6 p.m. The club is free and open to all regardless of skill level.

The Third Monday Book Club will meet next on Jan. 18 at noon. The book of the month is "Where the Heart Is" by Billie Letts. New members are always welcome.

The Library Board of Directors meets the third Wednesday of each month at 4 p.m. The meetings are open to the public.

The Palmerton Area Library has six computers available for public use.

Check the Web site at www.palmertonarealibrary.com to see all services and activities.