EMMAUS PUBLIC LIBRARY
Fall is traditionally a bustling season of the year as schools reopen, summer vacations end and football teams return to the field.
Add business-as-usual at the Emmaus Public Library to the list.
Construction work at the new children’s wing continues. The calendars of events for children, teens and adults grows. And there is the regular work of the library to accomplish. A daunting to-do list. But a list Maryellen Kanarr, the new director of the Emmaus Public Library, is ready to handle.
“It’s been very busy with construction and day-to-day operations,” Kanarr said in a recent interview in her library office. “But it’s a good kind of busy.”
Kanarr stepped into her new role as director Sept. 20 after serving the library as the adult services librarian for about two years.
Amy Resh resigned as library director in mid-September after accepting a job with the Berks County Library system.
Kanarr, who lives in South Whitehall Township and grew up in Bethlehem, describes the Lehigh Valley as home.
Kanarr has worked in libraries for 16 years and felt the Emmaus Public Library to be “a good fit.”
“I thought about it a lot,” she said of choosing to apply for the director position. “I decided to go for a new challenge.”
Kanarr oversees a staff of five part-time and three full-time employees and works with the numerous volunteers who also give their time at the library. As director, she also is involved with fundraising for the library, connecting with the Friends of the Emmaus Public Library, working with the library’s board of trustees and keeping in touch with the municipalities the library serves, including Upper Milford Township and Emmaus and Macungie boroughs.
As director, Kanarr also plans for the library’s future. For example, where Emmaus Public Library currently is designated as a silver level library in the Pennsylvania Forward Star Program, Kanarr plans to work toward attaining gold level recognition. She also plans to expand online digital resources available to library patrons and offer more non-traditional materials such as the current offerings of iPads available to use in the library, flower and vegetable seeds to “check out” and museum passes.
In the meantime, however, there is plenty to do.
On Nov. 8, a ribbon- cutting ceremony will welcome visitors to the new children’s wing. An open house will follow 6 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 28. And Kanarr will host the inaugural meet and greet with the library director Dec. 3. Library patrons and visitors are encouraged to stop by the library 10 to 11 a.m. and talk with Kanarr. She hopes to host such events every few months.
Fundraising also continues. The 2018 appeal letter is expected to be mailed in the coming weeks and the Friends of the Emmaus Public Library will host the annual Holiday Book Sale Nov. 30.
Plus, a logistical problem looms. How will the children’s books get to their new home in the new wing?
A caravan of book trucks loaded with titles and piloted by librarians, volunteers and friends of the library will likely spring into action on an upcoming Friday or Sunday, when the library is closed, to shepherd the books and other materials to their new shelves.
A similar squadron was mustered to move the books in preparation for construction, according to Kanarr.
Kanarr is looking forward to the return of the reading room for adult readers as well as the expanded areas for children and teen/young adult readers.
“We have a lot of avid readers here,” Kanarr said of those who use the Emmaus Public Library. “We try to have something for everyone.