The Oley Valley Community library has faced many struggles with funding over the years. Not part of the Berks County library system means the Library does not receive tax dollars. Completely run off local donations, support from the community keeps the doors open.
Once a year the Oley Valley Library send out a community mailing asking for donations, and 3-4 times a year have book sales at the Oley Fairgrounds. These events generate the funds for there operating budget. Fundraising through out the year includes painting parties at Clay on Main, craft events at Aulenbach Winery and raffle events thanks to the help of Jennifer Schorr, publisher of Macaroni Kid Reading. These events generate the revenue used to purchase new materials. The Library currently stocks up to 9,000 books, dvd’s and games.
The Oley Library offers approximately 20 programs a month free of charge to the community. These include school programs, crafts, tutoring, science fair and homework assistance, workshops and classes and events for seniors.
Circulation numbers have tripled since the Library opened our doors in 2009. To allow visitors more time to browse they have also added full time hours and are hoping to extend them even more in the fall.
In January, the Library added a grant writer to there board, who has since brought in 20k to the little library. With the money, Oley Valley Library was able to purchased 4 brand new Apple desk tops computers, a remote circulation computer, funded our summer reading program thanks to Tompkins Vist, and plan to ad stationary iPads to the children’s section.
Plus, thanks to a grant from the Department of Education, the children’s section has remodeled by Wyomissing Woodworking. This will increase the shelving space for several programs and preschool story time.
The only downfall Oley Valley has seen so far is not being part of the Berks County Library System. Many patrons come from Boyertown and Fleetwood and can’t drop off other library books at our facility or vice versa. Access to a variety of books can be an issue too. Although Oley Valley Library has a good assortment of books it doesn’t have everything. If they do not stock a book your looking for they will buy it for their collection, a convenience for patrons but costs the library money.
The Oley Valley Library has had many hurdles to overcome, but with the help of the community they will continue to thrive.
The Oley Valley Library is located at 33 Main Street. Oley, PA 19547.