Read­ers ad­just to Elk­ton library park­ing lot clo­sure

YMCA sees uptick as Elk­ton branch drops

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JES­SICA IAN­NETTA

jian­netta@ce­cil­whig.com

— With the park­ing lot of the Elk­ton Cen­tral Library closed un­til Oc­to­ber, library pa­trons have been com­ing to the book­mo­bile at the YMCA of Ce­cil County for all their read­ing needs.

Arne An­der­son, book­mo­bile op­er­a­tor, said on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon that 63 peo­ple came to the book­mo­bile on Mon­day, and an-

ELK­TON

other 64 came on Tues­day.

“Yes­ter­day when I was driv­ing up, peo­ple were stand­ing out­side wait­ing,” he said. “Lots of peo­ple are us­ing (the book­mo­bile) right now. They seem to re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate us com­ing up here so far.”

The Elk­ton library park­ing lot closed on Mon­day, mean­ing pa­trons have to walk or take Ce­cil Tran­sit to get to the build­ing on Newark Av­enue. As an al­ter­na­tive, the library has moved its book drop to the YMCA of Ce­cil County, and the book­mo­bile has set up in the park­ing lot there from 3 to 8 p.m. Mon- day through Wed­nes­day and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Satur­day.

Library pa­trons can turn in their sum­mer read­ing logs at the book­mo­bile or pick up holds and on Wed­nes­day, An­der­son had three shelves full of holds plus many more still in boxes on the floor.

“Some peo­ple just pull up, don’t even turn off their car, grab their books and then get back in,” he said.

Fra­zier Walker, Ce­cil County Pub­lic Library com­mu­ni­ca­tions specialist, said

the Elk­ton branch, which typ­i­cally gets about 800 peo­ple a day, has seen only about half that since the park­ing lot clo­sure. But at the same time, re­cep­tion at the YMCA has been good and the book drop has been

full, she said.

“Three days in, we’re pretty happy with how it’s go­ing,” Walker said on Wed­nes­day.

The two-month long con­struc­tion project will lay the ground­work for the library to add 100 ad­di­tional park­ing spots in 2018 when the new Gilpin Manor El­e­men­tary School opens next door. Con­struc­tion on the new

school is slated to start this fall and, once com­pleted, the school and library park­ing lots will be joined to al­low for more library park­ing in over­flow sit­u­a­tions.

The con­struc­tion will also in­clude in­stalling a so­lar canopy in the library park­ing lot to gen­er­ate en­ergy and pro­vide shaded park­ing, adding two elec­tric ve­hi­cle charg­ing sta­tions, im­prov-

ing stormwa­ter man­age­ment, cre­at­ing a right turn exit lane, re-paving and re­strip­ing the lot and mak­ing im­prove­ments to the driv­ethrough book drop.

Eileen Smith, of Elk­ton, is a reg­u­lar cus­tomer at the Elk­ton branch but stopped by the book­mo­bile in­stead on Wed­nes­day. Though she didn’t mind go­ing to the book­mo­bile, she ad­mit­ted

she’s “spoiled” and misses go­ing into the Elk­ton branch.

“I’ve prac­ti­cally lived there since my son was a tod­dler,” she said. “My son was potty trained from a book at the library.”

But Smith said she’s will­ing to go to the book­mo­bile for a few weeks if that means the Elk­ton library will get ren­o­va­tions.

“I will give up the park­ing for the im­prove­ments,” she said. “The library is the place to be.”

Ge­orge Patchell, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the YMCA

of Ce­cil County, said none of the YMCA’s ser­vices or ac­tiv­i­ties have been dis­rupted by hav­ing the CCPL re­sources there. Both the book drop near the main en­trance and the book­mo­bile have been busy, he added.

The YMCA is happy to be able to help out the library, and Patchell said ev­ery­thing seems to be go­ing well so far.

“The library and the YMCA, we’re all com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions and we’re all in this to­gether,” he said. “It’ll come back to us in the end.”

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JES­SICA IAN­NETTA

The Elk­ton Cen­tral Library park­ing lot will be closed un­til Novem­ber, with the book­mo­bile moved to the YMCA of Ce­cil County park­ing lot.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

In­side one of two poul­try houses on the Meck Farm near Ear­leville, these 3-week-old chick­ens run about freely.

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