Walking in the door to the Pittston Memorial Library lifts the spirit as one looks around to see the goings on.
No longer is the librarian holding a finger to her lips for silence.
The public library has become a place for excitement and adventure for all ages due to the many creative and innovated programs on the menu. Attitudes and ideas have changed.
The local libraries are alive with computers, art, coloring projects, sand art, photo contest, book clubs, movies, book trivia, poetry reading and writing, and so much more. There is something for everyone.
There are times when entering the Pittston Memorial Library that my memory takes me back to the times when my daughter Marilyn and I climbed the steps in Pittston City Hall to the second floor, where the library was once located.
It had been established in the early 1950s by the local Lions Club. By the late 1960s it had become a reading room. The books on its shelves were outdated.
Buzzing in my head was the thought it was time to remedy the situation, for there were many children and adults throughout the city who loved to read. Book lovers were able to join the West Pittston Library, which was an up-to-date facility, however, the distance and membership fee for non-residents was a deterrent for many readers.
One day, I asked Mayor Robert Loftus if a meeting could be called for people who were interested in revitalizing the library. He gave his consent but warned, “Others have attempted this venture and failed. There is no money in the budget for a library.”
The thought was not for a handout of money but rather a call for volunteers willing to raise funds to replace the outdated books. To my delight, six attendees to that initial meeting helped forge the revitalization of the library: Jean and Robert Linskey, Jean Campbell, Joe Luke, and Carmen Uritz.
With no idea where to begin we called Mary Heston, librarian at Pittston High School, for guidance. She informed us that the whole system had to be cataloged with the Dewey Decimal System. The only Deweys we knew were Thomas Dewey, who ran for president against Harry Truman, and Donald Duck’s nephew.
And so the quest began. Long and tedious was the walk but many responded along the way. There were times of bleakness and discouragement, but determination prevailed. When it seemed the doors would close, someone came to our rescue.
In the early 1980s, Jean Yates became a member of the library board and brought with her a renewed enthusiasm, determination and dedication. A decade later she purchased Dr. Bruno’s building and donated it to the City of Pittston to house the Pittston Memorial Library. Gratitude to Jean is endless. In her honor, yearly, a volunteer is selected to receive the Jean Yates Award for services to the library. This year’s recipient is Lois Baker Ostrowski.
A project, whether large or small, is never accomplished by one person. It takes the hands and hearts of many. Through the years, volunteers have dedicated their support and energy to establish and develop the library to what it is today. Their efforts are engraved on the smiling and appreciative faces of the many patrons who walk through the doors of the Pittston Memorial Library. The staff that provides the services and programming are the heartbeat and inspiration that make visiting the library an adventure.
So put a little fun in your life — go to the library!
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