Emmaus Public Library
Krista Pegnetter has grown up in libraries.
Her mother was a librarian and Pegnetter herself has worked in libraries in Florida, including the library of the Palm Beach Post newspaper and the city library in West Palm Beach, and in Pennsylvania, including working as reference librarian at Rodale, Inc.
Since July 1 Pegnetter has been at the helm of the Emmaus Public Library as its director.
"It is great to see how much [the patrons] value this library in particular," Pegnetter said in an interview not long after her arrival. "People think of this as a friendly library," she added.
Pegnetter first joined the board of trustees at the Emmaus Public Library in December 2009 in an appointment by the borough. She was elected board president in 2011, beginning her tenure in the post in January 2012. She was encouraged to seek the director post, a position Frances Larash held for more than 25 years before retiring in the spring of 2014.
"She left everything in very good order," Pegnetter said of Larash.
Particular strengths of the Emmaus Public Library are the children's collection and adult fiction collection, the latter a collection Pegnetter describes as "deep," "curated" and "developed."
"It is one of the best library collections for adult readers I've ever come across," she said. "It is a credit to our library staff."
Pegnetter hopes to grow the collection for those readers who are in the middle: tweens and teens. Pegnetter would like to see an area within the library for middle school and high school students to do homework, chat, express ideas and hang out.
Such a strategy dovetails with recent research by the Pew Center for Research showing older teens and young adults view public libraries as positives or pluses in a community.
Pegnetter also plans to incorporate more outreach in schools to showcase available resources at the Emmaus Public Library.
The Emmaus Public Library is available to residents of Emmaus and Macungie boroughs and Upper Milford Township. The library also has an agreement with Lower Macungie Township Library.
Pegnetter made the rounds to municipalities served by the Emmaus Public Library, stopping in to municipal meetings during the summer and meeting with officials.
Outreach efforts also are visible in the digital world with an increased presence of the library on social media. A redesign of the website is in the offing as well, Pegnetter said. And efforts in older media, such as daily and weekly newspapers and flyers and bulletin boards at the library, will continue. Movie nights at the library have started.
Public libraries are evolving and Pegnetter sees the Emmaus Public Library as part of the evolution.
Pegnetter would like library visitors to see their neighbors, friends and family in the library and view the library as a free and safe place for the kind of person-to-person interaction many miss.
"I want the library to be a part of daily life, not just to check out a book."