Bethlehem Area Public Library

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The Bethlehem Times – December 28, 1900



A Meeting Was Held Last Evening at Which Plans Were Discussed Donations of Money and Books Will Be Gratefully Received.

A movement is in progress by a large number of prominent ladies and gentlemen of the Bethlehems for the establishment of a public library and reading room. The scheme is an excellent one and is already meeting with the hearty approval of the citizens of the three towns. It is truly a lamentable fact that the Bethlehems have no institution of this sort, while many of their sister towns throughout the Lehigh Valley have them running in a good manner. The idea of the originators of the scheme proposes to make the library a circulating one and the books to be loaned by the payment of a popular subscription. The fee to be charged will be five dollars a year, to be paid to the treasurer and which will entitle the holder of the ticket to the loan of any number of books for a period of one year.

The library will also contain a large room which will be absolutely free to all classes and which will contain the many tradespapers, current magazines and the local and city dailies. No fee whatever will be charged for its use. The system will be the open shelf one, thus allowing readers free access to the alcoves and choosing that sort of literature which is best adapted to their intellect.

The location of the building will be in a central portion of the vicinity, so that it may be readily reached from most any portion of the three boroughs. Now that the scheme is already started, all that the promotors will require will be the cordial, hearty and financial interest of the citizens of the town.

It is to be born in mind that the establishment of such a library is not merely for the benefit of a certain class of people, but for all classes, especially the industrial class, for which the free reading room will be opened.

The committee in charge have met with much success in their efforts and already a large number of books and a snug sum of money has been realized. The members of the committee desire that donations of money and especially of books to be sent them and they will be much appreciated. Any donations of this sort should be sent to either Mrs. Garrett Linderman, of Fountain Hill, or Mrs. H.F.J. Porter, 56 Church street, Bethlehem. Announcements will be made from time to time through the press in order to keep the public well aware as to how the idea is progressing. Entertainments will also be given, the proceeds of which will be added to the growing fund. One of these entertainments has already been contemplated and will be given in the near future.

As has been said before, all that the committee requires is the cordial and financial support of the citizens of the Bethlehems and the institution is bound to come and be one of which we will all be justly proud of.

It is hoped that the library and reading room may be in full operation by the close of the month of January and the people interested are doing everything in their power to have it in working order by that time.


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