When approached by the library board secretary in 2019 to see if she would be interested in being a part of the library board, longtime Upper Providence resident Victoria Young thought “why not?” She had stepped away from the corporate world, her children were in college, and her time was her own. What a great way to give back to the community she had been a part of for 24 years. With a background in capital markets, she was well suited to help review the library’s funding and help plan for its financial future. During the early days of the pandemic, the interim president asked Young if she would assume her position as president. Young accepted the offer. “How could she not?” She felt it was a great way to make a difference and in June of 2020 she was officially elected as President.
While the Library receives funding from both Media Borough and Upper Providence Township, we rely heavily on community donors and local support of our fundraisers. The library’s iconic book sale normally held twice a year had been shut down by COVID leaving the library with a budget shortfall. Young and the library board members personally reached out to donors from previous years asking for their support. In true form, the community rallied, and the library exceeded its fundraising goals. “Even in these circumstances, the community saw the value in the library and the services it provides to the community.” Media-Upper Providence Free Library has been one of the few Delco libraries that has provided curbside contactless pick-up and building access since our county entered the Green Phase in July 2020. They have increased their eBook collection as well as trying to maintain as much of their programming as they can. The book clubs have gone virtual and the “make and take” craft has become the “take and make” where you can come into the library and take the craft to make at home. The library is open to the public for brief browsing and window curbside pick-up Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10am – 2pm and Tuesday and Thursday from 10am – 7pm.
As we come into better weather Young hopes to have outdoor events at the library, some in tandem with the outdoor dining on State Street. The library has begun hosting “Pop-up on the Porch”, a curated book sale to be held on the library porch. The first Pop-up sale featured paperbacks for all ages in April. Check the library website, https://mediauplibrary.org/ to find out more. Victoria hopes to work with local businesses along with both the Upper Providence and Media Borough boards to bring awareness, events, and programs together creating a community hub, Everybody’s Hometown Library, where everyone is welcome.