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Emmaus Librarian Reports Upper Milford Use

Residents at supervisors meeting disagree about whether Upper Milford taxpayers should be funding the Emmaus Public Library.

A presentation by Emmaus Librarian Frances Larash to the at the Aug. 18 meeting met with mixed reactions from the Upper Milford residents in attendance.

Larash, reporting on Upper Milford library usage, said that Upper Milford users account for 18.3 percent of the library’s total borrowers and 18.2 percent of circulation.

“There are a lot of things that are not reflected in simple circulation statistics,” Larash said, pointing out that library offers a spectrum of programs and services that do not require a library card. These include everything from story times for kids to the ability to walk into the library to and sit down and read a magazine, she said.

“The public library is supposed to serve all of the people, regardless of their reason,” she said.

Resident Phil Casey asked Larash about the ages of the Upper Milford library card holders. He said that perhaps the East Penn School District should subsidize the library instead of the township if most Upper Milford borrowers are school children checking out required school reading material.

Resident Lennart Marten, on the other hand, said that he thinks the $35,000 per year that Upper Milford Township pays toward the library’s $300,000 operating cost is a bargain, amounting to about 10 percent of the cost for about 20 percent of the use.

“As a taxpayer in this community, I can definitely justify the library,” Marten said.

If the township decides to stop funding the library, he said, it will cost residents $40 each to get a library card.

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