September 25, 2020
Dear Southern Lehigh Community Residents,
On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff, it has been an honor for the library to serve our community’s residents for many years and we are grateful for the support that we have received year after year from Southern Lehigh School District, Coopersburg Borough, Upper Saucon Township, and Lower Milford Township as well as individual residents.
As we plan the library’s budget for 2021 and make formal presentations to each of the municipalities and the school district for continued funding, the library is facing a serious challenge from Lower Milford Township’s Board of Supervisors. The Board has not committed to continued funding of the library and one Supervisor has stated publicly that he currently opposes our funding request. This could result in a loss of $25,660 in funding for the library. Such a significant loss of funding would force the library to eliminate programming and reduce the size of its staff, cut back its business hours, and purchase fewer print and electronic items. The negative impact on library service will not only affect Lower Milford residents, but also those residing in Coopersburg Borough and Upper Saucon Township, effectively all those living within the Southern Lehigh School District borders.
Even in the midst of a pandemic, with our building forced to close for several months, the library was able to maintain services for all residents by reinventing itself. The Board of Directors applied for and received a Paycheck Protection Program grant through the Small Business Administration that kept the staff employed and working from their home computers. Programming for all ages was, and still is, provided virtually. Money was reallocated to purchase more downloadable and streaming content that you could enjoy on your personal devices. Once we were able to reopen, we added curbside pick-up service, allowed more renewals, forgave overdue fines and will continue to do so through December 31, installed a protective shield at the Circulation Desk, hired additional cleaning services, and required our staff and patrons to follow all CDC and PA Department of Health guidelines to insure everyone’s safety.
Please consider attending the Lower Milford Township Board of Supervisors meeting as a show of support for the library on Thursday, October 15, 6:30PM at the Lower Milford Township Building; please note that in-person attendance is limited to 25 persons. You can also participate via Zoom; details about joining that online meeting are available at www.lowermilford.org. You may also lend your support via email to the township’s appointee to the library’s Board of Directors at [email protected]. We ask that you also consider letting your own municipality’s elected officials know how important library service is to you and your family in and out of a pandemic year by emailing them or attending their next public meeting; contact information is available on municipal websites. We thank you for your support!
Southern Lehigh Public Library Board of Directors
Bruce Eames, President
Rachel Pfeiffer, Vice President
Diana Inglis, Treasurer
Candi Harmon-Kruse, Secretary