Bethlehem Area Public Library

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The Bethlehem Globe-Times – January 30, 1932




The board of directors of the Bethlehem Public Library held the thirty-first annual meeting of that institution on Friday afternoon when certain facts were brought out in the financial reports that must interest the citizens of Bethlehem since they show that the library supported by the city by vote of its citizens is more economically administered than most of the libraries in the country.

Whereas the expense per capita in the conduct of a public library is estimated to average $1 per patron, it is only 64 cents in Bethlehem. The expenditure per volume for circulation is averaged at 15 cents — in this city it is only 9 cents. This shows discreet management of library finances.

The place the public library takes in this community and the extent to which it is used was brought out in the report of the chief librarian A total of 19,904 persons in Bethlehem use the library, this number being 34 per cent of our population. This is a splendid showing and from these figures it is easily seen that the public library is vital to our people.

Bethlehem may well be proud of its public library system in all its departments. It serves through the central library, the South Side branch, the Quinn School and by sending out collections of books to eleven schools. With all this it has shown itself able to keep its per capita expenses far below those quoted as an average by the best library authorities.

The public library has greatly increased in patronage during the unemployment period, and many have found pleasure and comfort in reading library books in the pleasant reading rooms, or in their homes. Many have found opportunity to do reading not available in busier times and have found in the library just what they desired In the way of reading material.

The annual reports of the president of the board, of the treasurer and of the librarian will give those interested in library affairs all the information they desire. The public library is truly indispensable to Bethlehem which is more than fortunate to have fine library buildings, a capable chief librarian, an excellent staff, and a citizenry appreciative of the advantages offered. The Bethlehem Public Library is one of the city's most valuable assets.


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