Spring City Public Library devotes a space just for seniors

Photo by Heather Tyrrell From left, Spring City Library Director Nicole McCourt Socha, Chester County Library System Consultant Agatha Lyons and Library Board President Terry McCarthy participate in a ribbon cutting for the new senior space in the library during a ceremony last Sunday.

SPRING CITY — Borough and East Vincent senior citizens now have a space in the library just for them.

The Spring City Public Library just opened its senior space and programming, “Thresholds...to Lifelong Learning.”

Because of a $4,000 Library Services Technology Act grant awarded last fall, the library now has a corner space including furniture (chairs and a coffee table), books, audiobooks, DVDs, technology and programming for the older adults in the community who are baby boomers or empty nesters.

A grand opening was held last Sunday and was attended by residents, State Rep. Tim Hennessey (R-26), Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello and Mayor Michael Weiss. Bill Brunner from the Spring-Ford Area Historical Society presented a program, “Then and Now: Spring City and Royersford.” Attendees packed into the children’s section of the library and also sat in chairs right outside the section since there is no meeting space.

SCPL Acting Library Director Cathy Stout said although the first part of the grant is for materials, the library staff is responsible for providing materials and senior programs for the next two years.

The senior population is what inspired the special space in the library.

“The fact that 25 percent of the library’s service area population is 55 (and older) was a big inspiration,” said Cathy Stout, acting library director. “ Commonwealth Libraries made the opportunity for the (Library Services and Technology Act) funding available and provided grant application workshops to assist interested libraries in the process.”

Stout said the offer of the senior space is in line with the library’s strategic plan.

“Spring City has no designated community center,” she said. “We are hoping that offering a comfortable and welcoming seating area will help our older residents think of the library as a ‘destination’ or ‘third place’ in their lives. Being a community gathering place is one of our library’s goals in our strategic plan...that and being a place for lifelong learning. Building a new facility will help us to come closer to achieving those goals.

The library will be continuing the Thresholds space and programs throughout the construction of the new library, Stout said.

SCPL’s first program was held on May 22. The program was a book discussion group about “Prime Time” by Jane Fonda.

According to a press release, the library also purchased more nonfiction books that would be of interest to the 55+ residents including retirement planning, relief for caregivers and other topics.

In addition, before receiving the grant, the library purchased a large font keyboard for seniors to use.

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