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Gettysburg Connection is proud to share weekly “behind the scenes” stories from the Adams County Library System. The library serves all 100,000 Adams County residents and offers us each so much. Which library do you use and how do you use it? Will you leave a comment to show your support?

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Behind the Scenes at the Adams County Library: Join our board!

It is my privilege to serve as the current president of the Adams County Library System Board of Trustees. Like many residents of Adams County, I got my first library card as a small child and have enjoyed the library’s materials, programs, and services my whole life. Where else can you borrow the current best seller, read popular magazines, watch DVDs of first-run movies and current TV shows, plus enjoy educational and informational programs all for the amazing cost of ZERO?

The Adams County Library System was incorporated in 1945 in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as an independent library serving the residents of Adams County. It operates a main library in Gettysburg with branches in East Berlin, New Oxford, Biglerville, Carroll Valley, and Littlestown.

The library is funded primarily through local and state government support, and contributions from individual and corporate donors, as well as investment income. We also gratefully receive support from our friends of the library groups in East Berlin, Gettysburg, Littlestown, and New Oxford, as well as the Harbaugh~Thomas Foundation. Without this public support, the library’s ability to carry out its programs and services would be significantly reduced.

The library is managed by an administrative team, headed by the Executive Director, with oversight from the Board of Trustees. Our Executive Director, Laura Goss, brings almost twenty years of experience and dedication to the library, and the board thoroughly enjoys working with her as we strive to fulfill the mission and vision of the Adams County Library System: opening gateways for exploration and connecting people to opportunities that enrich their lives.

Perhaps you would like to join the Library Board of Trustees? The board is composed of nine trustees, appointed by the Adams County Commissioners. Board membership begins with applying to be an associate trustee. Associate trustees serve a renewable term of one year, as a type of non-voting apprenticeship. Trustees are generally elected from the associate trustee pool and can serve for up to two consecutive three-year terms.

If you are interested in serving as a board member, please visit the library’s website at www.adamslibrary.org for more information. The Board of Trustees page provides details on the roles and responsibilities of board members, as well as means to contact us about applying to be an associate trustee. The board meeting schedule is posted on the library’s website. Board meetings are generally held on the fourth Thursday of each month. The meetings are public, and all are welcome to attend. The website also provides information about the friends of the library groups and other volunteer opportunities.

The Board of Trustees and library staff are very proud that Adams County Library System was able to continue to provide uninterrupted services to our community during the COVID epidemic, except for the mandated shutdown period in 2020—one of few libraries here in Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland to do so. In the coming weeks and months, a lot is happening at the library. Take a peek at the events calendar on the website. There’s something educational, fun, and informative going on at a library branch near you or online almost every day. You can stay on top of coming events, by signing up for the monthly e-newsletter. Just use the Staying in Touch link on the library website.

As a wise person once said, “Knowledge is free at the library. Just bring your own container.”

Dorothy Puhl is president of the ACLS Board of Trustees

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