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?

Littlestown library is small but provides many services

by Jess Shelleman, Branch Manager, Littlestown Library

If you’ve been to Littlestown Library, a branch of the Adams County Library System, you’ve most likely met me (Jess – Miss Jess to the kiddos). You’ve also definitely met Kat. Being one of the smaller branches of ACLS, our branch library is run with only two employees: myself, the Branch Manager, and Kat, our Library Assistant.

adams county library

Being a staff of two, our days are full. In addition to presenting programs and helping you, our patrons, with book requests, reference questions, and tech help, there is a LOT that goes on behind the scenes. And I promise you, it does not involve sitting at our desks and reading books all day long…unless, of course, I happen to be prepping for upcoming story times.

Being a small branch with only the two of us, we rely on the main branch in Gettysburg for support in several areas. One of the main areas in which this support comes is with books; after all, what is a public library without books! While we try to maintain as many and as varied titles as we can at Littlestown, our shelf space is limited. The Gettysburg Library is the largest branch in the county and is able to store the majority of the county collection on its shelves. It allows the system as a whole to have a larger variety of titles than if we were limited to a single, small library. And at any time, our patrons can request items from Gettysburg or any of the other branches, and they will be loaded onto the ACLS delivery van to be brought straight to Littlestown Library.

Speaking of requesting items, did you know that we have the ability to access titles from every library in Pennsylvania through a program called Access PA? ACLS has an interlibrary loan librarian who works out of Gettysburg Library, and every day it’s their job to sort through item requests, contact libraries across the state to request the specific titles, and process each interlibrary loan that comes in before they are sent off to each of the branch libraries for the requesting patrons.

In addition to getting brand-new items throughout the year, each week we receive several bags of new-to-us books/DVDs/audiobooks from the Gettysburg Library to help us keep a variety of titles on our shelves. At Littlestown, we’ll go through one or more of our sections and pull off some of the titles we’ve had longer and send them back to Gettysburg. On Gettysburg’s end, they do the same thing, but on a bit larger scale. While at Littlestown, we only focus on one or two sections a week, the staff at the Gettysburg Library are responsible for pulling and sending rotations from different areas of the library to each of the other five branches in the system. This is a process that runs nearly every week year-round.

This brings us around to new items! ACLS adds thousands of physical books, DVDs, and audiobooks (plus e-items) to the collection every year. Each of these physical items passes through our tech services department. At a smaller branch, it would be impossible to add so many items. At Gettysburg, each item must go through being added to the catalog and processed before it can be sent out to the branches. This wouldn’t be possible without the staff of the tech services department.

Beyond just books and other items for and in our collection, Gettysburg Library offers support in other ways. It offers plenty of office space for many behind-the-scenes staff members and services, such as development, finances, and marketing, among other things. People who take care of tasks that help to keep the library running smoothly and that allow Kat and me to take care of our number one job every day: taking care of you, our patrons.

Adams County Library is participating in this year’s Giving Spree on November 3rd, and we are #13. For more information on how to participate, please contact Erica Duffy, ACLS Development Director, at

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