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PHOTOS: Matt Smith Tours Whitehall Public Library

'Sen. Smith has a long political history of strong public library support.' - Library Director Paula Kelly

Pennsylvania Sen. Matthew H. Smith, a Democrat whose jurisdiction includes Whitehall Borough, paid a special visit to the Whitehall Public Library on Wednesday morning.

Library Director Paula Kelly was joined by several library board trustees, members of the Friends of the Whitehall Public Library and representatives of the Whitehall Council in welcoming the state senator and members of his staff.

"Our board president, Cristina Brady, along with Faustino Dunckhorst, our Friends president, wrote wonderful advocacy letters to our local legislators," Kelly said, "and, as a result, the senator's office contacted me about arranging a visit."

During Smith's visit, the library's leaders brought him up to date on several of the library's most recent endeavors, including a variety of initiatives resulting directly from Library Services and Technology Act grants from the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, namely:

  • the opening of the Second Chapter Café, a dedicated library space for older adults and seniors;
  • the library's Family Place, a children's library space and collection dedicated to early childhood development and literacy for children ages 0 to 3 years; and
  • the library's Library Easy Access for Residents in Need (LEARN) Bus program, Family Literacy Kit initiative and American Library Association grant-funded Talking Time @ Your Library programs—all services dedicated to the borough's English-as-a-second-language refugee population.

Smith, whom Kelly said plans to visit all of the public libraries in his senatorial district, was able to tour the Whitehall Library and listen to constituents' concerns regarding sustainable library funding.

"Sen. Smith has a long political history of strong public library support," Kelly said.

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