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Easton Library Pitches Services to Forks

Easton Area Public Library director believes Forks Township is ideal for a library.

Forks Township residents must be readers.

Because the director of the Easton Area Public Library says that 40 percent of all township residents have library cards. That's more than residents of Palmer Township, which has a branch of the library.

So why shouldn't Forks?

And that's the question Library Director Jennifer L. Stocker asked the Forks Township Board of Supervisors during last week's work session.

Stocker, who has worked at the library for 24 years, including eight as director, pitched the library's services during a presentation after a meeting with Township Manager John Cornell and Recreation Director Rachel Sulzbach.

"Patrons ask me all the time, 'when are we going to see library services in Forks?'" Stocker stated. "Growing our services into Forks Township is an excellent opportunity. Building a brand new building would be a dream. But we could do baby steps right now."

Stocker suggested maybe having a kiosk—like a vending machine with books—in the Community Center. She said kiosks are offered in Bethlehem and Hanover townships.

When asked by Supervisor David Billings, Stocker said she might be able to seek grants to pay for a kiosk.

Supervisors Chairman Erik Chuss suggested the old recreation building on Zucksville Road as a possible place to set up a temporary library.

But Stocker said the structure isn't best suited for a library.

Supervisor Bob Egolf suggested a bookmobile for Forks, but Stocker said those really don't exist anymore.

Supervisor Dan Martyak wondered if kids—youngsters and those in high school—even use library services in the wake of the Internet age.

"Are kids really doing research at libraries?" he said. "Are they renting movies? What profile do you have for Forks?"

Stocker said she couldn't offer specific details for Forks, but stated that when the economy suffers, usage at libraries increases.

"People use our access to the Internet. They have their children enrolled in summer programs," she added. "It's great to go to parks and pools, but when it's raining, people go to libraries."

Sulzbach suggested a kiosk and Supervisor John O'Neil wondered whether any space in the Community Center could be devoted to a library room.

"I'm happy to try out anything," Stocker responded.

"This is the first step," she concluded. "My long-term goal would be a library in maybe 10-15 years. Maybe three years out."

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