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Phone & Fax: (717) 865-5523
Matthews Public Library
M-Th 9 am – 8 pm
Fri 9 am – 5 pm
Sat 9 am – 4 pm
Matthews Public Library provides free access to public access computers with Microsoft Office, Ancestry Library Edition, and Internet access. Wi-Fi is also available throughout the building.
$.10/single sided copy
$.20/double sided copy
$.20/page for black and white
$.30/page for color
Fax service is $1/page to send or receive a fax.
Your Lebanon County Libraries card is valid at all six public libraries in Lebanon County: Annville Free Library, Lebanon Community Library, Matthews Public Library, Myerstown Community Library, Palmyra Public Library, and Richland Community Library. This library card also gives you access to thousands of books, movies, music, audiobooks, eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, and magazines available for borrowing. In addition Lebanon County Library System facilitates materials and resource sharing among the six public libraries as well as Inter-Library Loan services. Your library card also gives the user remote access to Pennsylvania Power Library databases and resources.
It is safe to say that without the countless individuals willing to give of their time and talents in pursuit of establishing and nourishing a community library that northern Lebanon County would not have the library it has today. The Matthews Public Library can trace its inception to the early 1980’s. Having first established Fredericksburg Community Health Center, the Fredericksburg Community Association set its sights on establishing a community library to be located in the lower level of the Health Center and operated as part of the Lebanon County Library System. After more than a year of planning and thanks to the hard work of a dedicated group of individuals, the Fredericksburg Area Library celebrated its grand opening April 18, 1982, in conjunction with National Library Week. Acquired entirely by donations from other local libraries and generous private citizens, its collections were estimated at upwards of 5,000 volumes. The first librarian was employed part-time while the library depended upon a group of devoted and enthusiastic volunteers for its daily operations, staffing, new materials processing, and maintenance of the library program.
Five years later the library’s board of trustees and the Fredericksburg Community Association decided the library needed a larger space that would allow the library to both expand and provide better services to the community. In June of 1988 the Fredericksburg Community Association announced the gifting of a large donation by June Richard Matthews given in memory of her mother, Kathryn Gingrich Richard, a local educator, community member, and library advocate, that would enable the community association to acquire the former Union Bethel Church of God building. Erected in 1844 and located next to Bell & Evans on Main Street, it housed the Church of God congregation until the mid-1970’s. The building, listed with the State Bureau for Historic Preservation, required extensive renovations to the interior before the library could move in, and so a massive fundraising drive and call for volunteer labor was undertaken over the following year.
By this point the library served the entire northern Lebanon County area, not just the village of Fredericksburg, and had increased its inventory to approximately 6,000 items with an average monthly circulation of 1,000 items. On December 11, 1989, with renovations complete and having finally taken up residence in its new home, the newly re-christened Fredericksburg Area-Kathryn Richard Memorial Library opened its doors to the community. The library celebrated with an open house and dedication of the new building the following Spring, on April 22, 1990, the first day of National Library Week. Its new location with increased visibility on Main Street sparked a “borrower boom” in which both membership and circulation increased so much so that for the first time the library rose to become the second smallest in the county in terms of membership. And in 1995 the library was the first public library in Lebanon County to get the Internet.
By 2000 preliminary planning for the construction of a brand new library building at the corner of Center and West Main Streets in Fredericksburg had begun. When June Richard Matthews passed away in February 2000, her husband, George Matthews, conceived the idea of Matthews Public Library as a memorial to honor his late wife and donated the funds to construct the new library building to memorialize her memory. The northwest corner of Center and Main Streets was at that time occupied by a stone house that was picked up and moved a block away in advance of the library’s groundbreaking on October 8, 2001. Over the next year construction of a brand new, two story, 8,400 square foot building with room for 36,000 volumes, more space for computers, and two classrooms continued. By the summer of 2002 construction was complete and in August of that year over 100 volunteers of all ages helped transport 12,000 books and other materials two blocks from the old library to the new building on the town square. On August 19, 2002, Matthews Public Library opened its doors to the community for the first time and celebrated its grand opening with a gala on August 24, 2002.
“Mr. and Mrs. Matthews recognized the intrinsic value of libraries and their role in the perpetuation of an educated society.”1 The Matthews’ vision for their community in the form of a new library building allowed the expansion of material collections, programs, services, and space. Matthews Public Library also expanded its hours from 26 operating hours per week at Kathryn Richard Memorial Library to 59 hours per week in the new building. Today the library’s mission of providing both educational and recreational resources for the community continues in this spirit. The library provides a safe space for children to congregate and study, free Internet and computer access, free Wi-Fi, access to thousands of books and eBooks, movies, music, and audiobooks for the community to borrow as well as remote access to research databases and in house access to Ancestry research databases. The legacy of the first volunteers who worked countless hours to establish and nurture library services in the northern Lebanon community is realized today in the Matthews Public Library. Its community continues to support and nurture its library and all the library has to offer its community.
1. Swope, Randy L. “Introduction: The George T. Matthews Audio-biography and Photo Gallery.” George Thomas Matthews. http://georgetmatthews.blogspot.com/p/bio.html. Accessed 29 Aug. 2017.
Sheila Redcay, director
Favorite Books Are About Several of Her Favorite Interests: Gobekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods by Andrew Collins is about the archeological dig of a civilization in Turkey believed to be 12,000 years old; The Curious Cruise of Captain Santa by Ruth Plumly Thompson was published in 1926 but just recently discovered by Miss Sheila. It is vintage children’s writing and illustrations at their very best; and The Demonologist: A novel by Andrew Pyper was a fast moving and fun thriller, horror, literary mystery, and travel novel all in one book.
Sheila’s favorite genres to read are mystery and thriller, and she enjoys reading books by the authors Robert McCammon, Steve Berry and Joseph Finder. Sheila has a B.A. in English Literature from Lebanon Valley College. Selected as a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Scholar, she earned her Master’s degree in Library Science at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She enjoys storytelling with puppets and created the Polka Dot City Puppet Theater at the library for people of all ages to enjoy. Sheila is a lifelong Rolling Stones fan and is considered by many of her colleagues to be the librarian “most likely to one day meet Keith Richards.” Her favorite part about working in the library is that she has “access to millions of books!”
Angela Michael, assistant, blog writer, social media manager, and website editor; Lebanon County Library District, social media & publicity coordinator
Favorite Books: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd and To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Angie loves to read crime/mysteries, suspense/thrillers and literary fiction and has been a longtime fan of the authors S.J. Bolton, John Connolly, Karin Slaughter and Anna McPartlin. Born and raised in Lebanon County, Angie is a graduate of Kutztown University of Pennsylvania where she earned a B.S. in Ed. An avid library patron from a very young age, Angie began working at the library in 2002 and launched the library’s blog, “A Series of (Un)Fortunate Reviews” in 2007. Her favorite parts about working in the library are cruising the online card catalog, finding new books to borrow and read, recommending great books to patrons, and the surprising comments from readers and authors received on the library blog. In addition to reading, she enjoys the scavenger hunt of the genealogy trail and developing her beginner’s sewing skills with creative projects.
Shayne Tyrpin, assistant
Shayne enjoys reading action novels and is a fan of Veronica Roth, Shel Silverstein, and Lemony Snicket. A graduate of Northern Lebanon High School, she transferred from Harrisburg Area Community College, Lebanon campus, to Bloomsburg University where she is pursuing an undergraduate degree. When Shayne isn’t working at the library, she enjoys gardening, drawing, reading, and redecorating her room. Her favorite part about working at the library is the quiet atmosphere and the easy access to so many books.
Timothy Stoessel, assistant
Timothy likes to read science-fiction and mysteries; his favorite author is Douglas Adams. A graduate of Northern Lebanon High School, he is now an undergraduate at Lebanon Valley College in Annville. In Timothy’s spare time he enjoys reading, watching anime, playing games online, and karaoke. His favorite thing about working at the library is its peaceful atmosphere.
Cherrie Boeshore, volunteer
Favorite Books: Collected Poems of Robert Service; Stoker’s Manuscript by Royce Prouty; The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman; and Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round by Marisa McClellan.
Cherrie is a fan of mysteries, but she loves the access to the diversity of reading material library offers. In addition to reading, Cherrie’s hobbies include knitting, gardening, preserving food and being outdoors.
|Dale Richard, Jr., President||Laurie Shuey, Vice President|
|Cherrie Boeshore, Secretary||Judy Orasky, Treasurer|
|Ann Marie Bakaric||Chris Hoffman|
|Alletta Schadler||Sue Werner|