Just in time for Valentineâ€™s Day, Mayor James Wehrle â€” who recently obtained a new library card as part of his commitment to read more books and spend more time at the Punxsutawney Memorial Library â€” has proclaimed February as â€śLibrary Loversâ€™ Month.â€ť
Coral Ellshoff, director of the Punxsutawney Memorial Library, said Punxsutawney has a rich history of libraries, such as the Tibby Library at the Punxsutawney Area Historical & Genealogical Societyâ€™s Lattimer House.
Jeanne Curtis, the librarian at the Tibby Library, said it is primarily used for research, especially genealogy.
Other uses include local research of classmates through high school yearbooks; city directories; family history; local history; and Jefferson County and neighboring county histories.
Currently, the Tibby Library has a special display, â€śPeople and Places in Punxsutawney,â€ť featuring novels and non-fiction books that are related to Punxsutawney, such as â€śAces,â€ť a World War II novel by Robert Denny, who grew up in Punxsy and was a World War II bomber, and â€śTiger at the Barâ€ť by Chester Harris, the story of Punxsy native Charles J. Margiotti, a prominent lawyer, business executive, civic and political leader and Pennsylvania Attorney General from 1935-1938.
The Tibby Library is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
Before she was librarian at the Tibby Library, Curtis was a librarian for 34 years in the Punxsutawney Area School District: 32 years as an elementary librarian and two years at Punxsutawney Area Middle School.
â€śMy mother asked me if I would have to become the Punxsutawney Area High School librarian before I could retire,â€ť Curtis said. â€śI told her no, because I had already worked there as a student teacher. Been there, done that.â€ť
Ellshoff said every student in the Punxsutawney Area School District will now receive a library card, even if they donâ€™t live in Jefferson County.
This has created a level playing field for every student in the school district, as they can obtain library cards, read library books and participate in the summer reading program.
â€śSummer reading has proven to be very important, so that kids can hit the ground running when school begins again in September,â€ť she said.
Ellshoff said that many libraries including, the Punxsy library, are doing more for patrons through their Web sites.
The Punxsy libraryâ€™s Web site, www.punxsutawneylibrary.org, has a link to Access PA Power, which provides access to $600 million in books just by entering a library card number.
Ellshoff said â€śLibrary Lovers Monthâ€ť is not just about celebrating libraries; itâ€™s celebrating library users.
â€śWhat can your library do for you?â€ť she said.