The Lower Saucon Township Council will make a final decision on their library preferences at their next meeting on October 23rd.
The council will then decide to stay with the Bethlehem Public Library or move to the Hellertown Area Library.
The Hellertown Area Library could prove less expensive.
The Library Task Force committee offered its lowest cost option, at $113,947.02, which would include renovating a lower level for relocated children's area, creating dedicated lower level computer area, infilling the second floor mezzanine to gain upper book stack space, utilizing the former children's area as a new reading room, and installing additional main level book stacks.
The Lower Saucon Township Council has set aside $183,000 in its budget for library fess, a figure they estimate based on their regular commitment to the Bethlehem Public Library.
A downfall of going to the Hellertown Area Library will be a loss of the Bethlehem Area Public Library Bookmobile, which makes regular stops throughout Lower Saucon Township on Wednesdays.
“I am very disappointed that this option does not include a bookmobile,” said council member Priscilla DeLeon, in reference to the Hellertown Library option. “Probably a lot of residents were dependent upon that and did not know that we were even discussing this.”
The Hellertown Area Library, which presented its report at the council meeting on Wednesday night, hoped that its satellite location at Seidersville Hall might offer some similar options to the bookmobile.
“There’s the ability to consider some sort of drop off for more remote areas and when we talk about Seidersville as a satellite location, that’s akin to those kinds of services,” said Tom Maxfield, vice president of the council.
Thanks to the Access PA program, resident members of a certain library have access to the circulation materials of all other libraries in the state.
Therefore, Lower Saucon Township residents could access both Bethlehem and Hellertown books.
However, some aspects of library membership will not be available, like the bookmobile or children’s programming, which are reserved for Bethlehem Public Library residents.
Several residents of Lower Saucon Township came to the council meeting to address the board about their views in support of or against the move to Hellertown Area Library.
To ensure that all residents will be aware of the impending vote, council members voted to hold off on voting until their next meeting.