The Friends of the Penn Kidder Library Center (PKLC) are moving ahead with their plans to establish a public library in Kidder Township. The new library will be located at the Pine Point Plaza on Route 903 in Albrightsville.
The library will serve the over 11,000 full-time residents of Penn Forest and Kidder townships. Residents of surrounding townships will be able to use the library for a small yearly fee. The center will house books, a number of public access computers and a children's room. The building will meet ADA requirements.
The new library will be approximately 660 square feet and will be broken up into four sections. There will be a children's library, adult library and a bathroom. There will also be a community room, which will be available to the public for group activities.
The project is being headed up by Barbara Franzosa, president of the Friends of PKLC. When Franzosa's daughters were young their local library played an important part in their lives. According to Franzosa her girls were always reading a book or off to some summer program at the library. She accredits their success in school and in their careers to their love of reading.
So why a library in this age of electronic media? Franzosa tells the story of her own experience.
"My daughter bought me an electronic reader as a gift. I thought 'Great!' I bought the first book in a series of seven books for $2.99. By the time I had downloaded the seventh book it was $11.99. It got rather expensive. Not everyone can afford to spend that kind of money in this economy."
The PKLC will be an all-volunteer undertaking. After a capital investment of $22,000, the group estimates that it will have an $18,300 annual operating budget. Franzosa says the volunteers want to have the startup capital and one year of operating funds in hand before they proceed with the actual project.
To keep costs to a minimum, the PKLC will be housed in a modular unit. The unit needs to be of a special design to support books and shelving. The floor needs to support at least 100 pounds per square foot as opposed to the standard 40 pounds per square foot.
The modular unit will be rented from the manufacturer on a three-year lease. The manufacturer has not yet been selected. The land, which is owned by Franzosa and her brother, Jim Smith, will be provided at a nominal fee per year and will include water and sewer.
Penn Forest and Kidder townships fall into the service area of the Dimmick Memorial Library in Jim Thorpe. The townships combined make up 59 percent of the Dimmick's served population. The PKLC and the Dimmick staff have had discussions regarding permitting the new library center use of the PA ACCESS system. PA ACCESS is a statewide program that allows member libraries access to volumes located in other libraries across the state.
The PKLC fundraising efforts are in full swing. The group has already raised 30 percent of its goal and has a number of events planned to help it reach its goal.
A flea market held on the first Saturday of the month through October at Pine Point Plaza has been a great source of revenue. The flea market includes a used book sale. Used books can be dropped off in front of the car wash, located at Routes 903 and 534 in Albrightsville.
In addition there are plans under way for a fall festival to be held Columbus Day weekend. The volunteer group hopes to make the Columbus Day festival a yearly event to support the library.
Anyone wishing to donate directly to the library project can do so by making out a check payable to Friends of PKLC, Inc., P.O. Box 783, Albrightsville, PA 18210.