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Youngsville Life

Photo submitted to Times Observer A handful of volunteers have generously taken the time to assist with the mowing and upkeep of the Youngsville Cemetery to date. So far, the volunteers have been mowing, weedwacking, and even removing old Christmas wreaths. But more preparations and volunteer help is still needed in order to get the cemetery ready for Memorial Day and to keep it in good condition throughout the summer. If you are interested in joining the Youngsville Cemetery’s Volunteer Force, contact Bruce Kay at 563-9480.

Borough updates

The Youngsville Borough office continues to be open by phone, email, and through the dropbox to the right of the front doors. Utility payments can continue to be made either by mail or via the dropbox. Contact the borough at (814) 563-4604 with further questions, Kim Hall, Ext. 4, Jolean Ishman, Ext. 3, Mark Theuret, Ext. 1, and Lisa Hagberg, Ext. 2. The borough offices can also be accessed by appointment. For the latest information, visit the Youngsville Borough’s Facebook page.

YVFD Mother’s Day BBQ: On Sunday, May 10, the Youngsville Volunteer Fire Department is having a Mother’s Day Chicken BBQ Fundraiser from noon until sold out. Drive-through only! The cost is a $10 donation per meal and includes: a half chicken, macaroni salad, baked beans, roll, and a cookie.

Public library updates

Youngsville Public Library and all other public libraries in Pennsylvania are anxious to be allowed to reopen more services to our patrons (other than the increased e-services that we currently offer). However, as of Wednesday, May 6, public libraries that will be in “Yellow” status (such as Youngsville Public Library) have not been told by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries in Harrisburg as to when the library closure order will be lifted. Therefore, for now, all public libraries are still under a “closed indefinitely for on-site services order.”

The Youngsville Library and any other library that is located in a “Yellow” county region can still only offer on-line services to the public until that closure order is officially lifted by the Department of Education and the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, too. Unlike regular/private businesses, public libraries in Pennsylvania are required to not only follow federal and state reopening and safety guidelines but must also follow all additional mandates, rules, restrictions, decisions, and plans as dictated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). We have been told that the PDE’s “Framework for Reopening Libraries” is in the process of being determined/finalized. Once completed, the PDE’s “Framework for Reopening Libraries” in Pennsylvania will then need to be approved by the Department of Health (DOH). After which, public libraries will be instructed about what we are allowed to do next.

There are a lot of statewide factors that need to be considered by both the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the Office of Commonwealth Libraries (OCL), which is why all libraries are still in a “waiting for instruction” phase. The PDE decisions have to take into consideration not just rural areas but bigger cities, library branches, and more. In addition to general staffing and patron safety concerns, just some of the topics that the PDE and OCL are working on addressing include: will libraries only be allowed to do curb-side service? If only curbside service is allowed, what new rules must the libraries now follow? Will books/materials that are returned via drop-boxes have to be placed in quarantine status for a set number of hours/days before being allowed to check them out again to other patrons? If patrons are eventually allowed in the buildings, how many patrons will be allowed per square foot? Will book clubs be allowed to meet? What about summer reading programming- since large groups cannot meet in public how will summer reading be handled? Will there be a restriction given to libraries regarding the number of unsupervised minors allowed in the building at any given time (to especially prevent libraries in larger Pennsylvania cities from suddenly becoming “day care centers” for elementary/middle school students who aren’t in school.)? These are just a few of the issues/concerns that are being addressed in the “Framework for Opening Libraries” and that must also be approved by the Department of Health.

Youngsville Library realizes that it is frustrating for our patrons because public libraries are not being allowed to open our doors yet. We miss seeing our patrons in person too and are so anxious to be allowed to once again offer the many on-site services that we regularly do. Unfortunately, YPL (and all public libraries) are still in a forced state of limbo. In the meantime, YPL truly appreciates everyone’s patience and understanding during this unprecedented time.

For now, the dropbox is still open 24/7 and e-book and e-audio book data bases have been increased, too. Additional information regarding YPL’s extended return policy, easy ways to access free e-resources such as e-books and audio books (even if you don’t currently have a county library card), wonderful “one-stop” resources for students and parents to utilize, and much more can still be found at YoungsvilleLibrary.org (references/general references tab). As soon as the library is told what library operations will/can look like and what safety rules and regulations we will have to follow, Youngsville Public Library will inform the public via the newspaper and on the website.

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