Thursday, October 27, 2016

Organization-Collingdale Library Association

Location: 823 MacDade Boulevard

Hours of service; Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 12-8 pm, Wednesday 10-8 pm. Friday 12-4 pm, Saturday 10-5 pm.

Founded by: The Women's Club in May 1937.

Mission Statement: To provide easily accessible information to the community and to foster the love of reading.

A Brief History: When the Women's Club was formed in September 1936, the first order of business was to establish a public library. The ladies felt that having a public library meant that the growing community would be well educated and be able to succeed in life. The first books in the library were literature and reference books accumulated by the Women's Club and donated. Many of the founders of the library dedicated their lives to serving the community through the library. The Trinity Episcopal Church in Collingdale (now Pilgrim Seventh Day Adventist Church) actually leased the land for the new library to the library association for $1. The library association also had use of the old rectory building. The rectory building became the library for many years until it was deemed unsafe in 1974 and demolished to make way for a new building in 1976. The photograph above shows this library in 1987 when the association celebrated its 50th year.

The Future- Unfortunately the future looks pretty grim for the association. The Friends of the Collingdale Library, a subsidiary of the association disbanded in 2014 due to lack of interest and time restraints. The void of not having this voice has been keenly felt when a new library director came on board in July bringing many new changes.

The issue is two-fold. The changing demographic of the borough has created a crisis in funding and resources. Equally challenging is the push to change the library's purpose from its original intent and provide what essentially is a computerized library system. This means in effect that the library in its present form will soon cease to exist. Instead of a library with reference books and non-fiction books that are easily handled, you'll now have to request those books from a repository.

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