It is the mission of the Bloomsburg Public Library to provide a welcoming, inclusive, and lively environment that inspires and enriches our community through access to materials, resources, innovative programs, and experiences that promote lifelong learning, literacy, and creativity.
The Bloomsburg Public Library is a welcoming and inclusive community center to inspire and enrich individual lives. We provide access to physical and digital resources, services, and innovative programs that promote lifelong learning, literacy, and creativity.
Enrich • Connect • Inspire
Ammon Francis Young, M.L.S., Director
Susan Prokop, Assistant Director
Angela Musselman-Leister, M.S.L.S., Youth Services Librarian
Andrea Bishop, Adult Programming Coordinator
Laura Haden, Marketing & Social Media Assistant
Val Ahlstrand, Library Assistant
John Blackledge, Library Assistant
Cathy Cosoleto, Library Assistant
Toby Dayhoff, Library Assistant
Elizabeth Deroba, Library Assistant
Emily Kahn, Library Assistant
Sarah White, Technical Services Assistant
Board of Directors
Cynthia Schultz, President
Daniel Lynn, Vice-President
Aidan McDonald, Treasurer
Nicole Stewart, Secretary
CIRCULATION AND INTERLIBRARY LOAN POLICY
This policy is subject to change at any time without notice.
A library card is a valuable asset. It gives you access to thousands of books, magazines, and other library materials. You are financially responsible for the items checked out on your card, so protect it as dearly as you would a credit card. Do not let others use your card and report a loss or theft of your card to the library immediately.
Borrowing privileges may be suspended for the failure to return overdue books, failure to pay overdue fines, or failure to pay for lost or damaged materials. The library will prosecute to the extent of the law permitted under the Retention of Library Property Act (Section 6708, Title 18 PA Code (PA CSA 6708) and the Library Theft Act of 1982.
Getting a Library Card
You are eligible for a free library card if you live or own property in our official service area: Town of Bloomsburg, Hemlock Twp., and Scott Twp.
Anyone residing outside of our service area may receive a card for an annual fee of $20 that covers all family members at the same address. Please be aware that several townships in our area use the “Bloomsburg” postal address, but that does not qualify as residence.
- Families with children enrolled in the Bloomsburg Area School District and BASD teachers are eligible for free cards.
- Additionally, residents of Montour Twp. receive free cards through the generosity of their township supervisors.
We encourage families to register each member for a card so that the library can better assess how many people use the collection.
The BPL participates in the Access PA Statewide Library Card Program. If you have a valid library card from another library with a blue Access PA sticker, we will give you a BPL library account. However, you will not be eligible to borrow items from the digital service, hoopla.
Patrons who live in our service area or who pay for their library account are eligible for premium services like hoopla.
Library Cards for Children and Teens
Teen/Young Adult Account: Teens, ages 14-17, may apply for their own library card, without parental permission, if they have a current photo ID, such as a current Pennsylvania driver’s license or learner’s permit, provisional license or school-issued photo ID. Unless the Teen library card account is linked to the account of an adult who accepts financial responsibility for the teen’s account, the Teen Card holder may only check out two items at a time. Teen/YA accounts attached to adult accounts (with parent or legal guardian’s permission) may check out DVDs and use hoopla.
Juvenile Account: Children, ages 13 and under, must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian 18 years or older to apply for a library card. The parent or guardian must have a valid BPL account and sign the card to accept responsibility for materials borrowed or any charges incurred on a child’s card. Children may not check out DVDs, devices, or use premium services.
Non-Custodial Parent or Guardian
In order to request an account for a child, the guardian—including grandparents, aunts and uncles, adult siblings and foster parents—must live at the same address and be at least 18 years old. The guardian must show a current photo ID that matches the child’s address and must sign the child’s card. For children in group homes, verification of identity and address by the staff of the home is acceptable.
You can ask for a ” Welcome Card” if you do not have sufficient ID or proof of address when you apply for a card. You can have 1 item charged to your account at a time. Once you have the necessary ID/proof of address, you will receive a regular card. This account expires in 90 days.
- Books, Magazines, Audiobooks, CDs: 2 weeks
- DVDs: 1 week
- Interlibrary Loan items: set by Lender
- Hotspot Devices: 1 or 2 weeks (fee applies; see Hotspot Policy)
- All items may be renewed UNLESS another patron has requested that item. We cannot renew items that have been requested by another patron. NO exceptions.
- Maximum of 2 renewals per item.
- Once an item has reached maximum renewals, the item must be returned to the Library and may not be checked out by same patron for a period of 1 month (28 days).
This policy allows other patrons the opportunity to borrow the item.
- All items must be returned on or before their due date.
- It is the responsibility of the patron to know when their item(s) are due.
- DVDs = $1.00 per day
- DVDs left in book drop = Additional $0.50 per day
- Books, Magazines, Audio, CD = $0.25 per day
- ILL items: $1.00 per day
- Hotspots: $10 (ten) per day
Lost Items and Damaged Items
- Charges for items that are lost or damaged will equal the list/retail price of the item.
- The library does not accept replacements for lost items purchased by the patron.
- Patrons are responsible for renewing or returning materials on time.
- The library does not make courtesy calls to warn of impending or active fines. Patrons can mitigate problems by providing a working email or cell phone number.
- An “Overdue Letter” is mailed to a patron when an item becomes 2 weeks overdue.
- Once an “Overdue Letter” is mailed:
- Patron account is SUSPENDED until:
- Item(s) returned and fines paid in full OR
- Item(s) replacement cost is paid in full.
- Patron account is SUSPENDED until:
- Patron MAY NOT RENEW any items OR CHECK OUT any new material until the overdue item(s) issue is resolved.
- Once an “Overdue Letter” is mailed:
- On occasion a library patron reports to the library that an overdue notice has been sent in error, and the items have already been returned. This is referred to as a “claims returned” response.
- The library will accept a patron’s claimed returned response twice. Each instance will be noted in the patron’s account.
- Upon the third instance, the library will assume that there is a possibility of false reports of “claims returned.” The most recent “claims returned” items will be considered overdue on the patron’s account. The patron will be expected to return the items or reimburse the library for the lost materials according to the fee schedule listed above. Failure to pay for lost books will result in suspended library privileges until the account is settled.
- The borrowing privileges of patrons are blocked when their accumulated fines and fees total $10.00 or more.
- A patron whose account is blocked will be barred from using the public computers.
- Disruptive or disrespectful behavior toward staff may result in the loss of borrowing privileges for a week or longer. This period is at the discretion of the director.
Linked Accounts and Responsibilities
Parents/guardians are responsible for the library accounts of their children (foster children) and their borrowing privileges are linked together.
- If the borrowing privileges of a child are blocked due to accumulated fines or fees, the borrowing privileges of the parent will also be blocked.
- If the privileges of a parent are blocked, all children linked to the parental card will also be blocked until the reason for the block is resolved.
ILL is a privilege, not a right. The Library will make every reasonable effort to borrow items for BPL patrons.
- Only patrons who have no upaid fines or fees may participate in this program.
- Patrons may request up to 4 items at a time. At anytime, the total of items borrowed, in process, or requested may not exceed 4 items. (Special circumstances require permission of the Director.)
- Failure to return ILL items on time will result in a suspension of ILL privileges.
- Patrons must provide two means of contact. If we cannot reach you, you may lose the benefit of the service.
- Materials will be held for 7 days and then returned to the lending library.
- Patrons who fail to pick up ILL items three time in 12 months may lose their ILL priveledge.
- Patrons who have reached the maximum of $10 in fines on their BPL account may not borrow through the ILL program
Items borrowed must be returned by the date marked on the ILL band.
- Items borrowed from other libraries are subject to the policies of the Lending Library
- It will be assumed that there will be no renewals unless the Lending Library makes a note about their policy.
Items not picked up will be returned to the Lending Library on their due date. This may result in a future loss of privileges.
ILL Overdue Policy
- The BPL will charge $1.00 per day, per item, for overdue ILL items.
- ILL items that are returned more than 7 business days after the marked Date Due will result in the loss of ILL privileges for 90 days. Items overdue for a longer period or after a first “offense” will be suspended indefinitely.
- The library does not make courtesy calls to warn of impending overdue items.Li
Patron Behavior Policy
This policy is subject to change without notice and implemented at the discretion of the Library Director.
Enforcement of these rules will be conducted in a fair and reasonable manner. Library staff will intervene to stop prohibited activities and behaviors. Failure to comply with the Library’s established rules, regulations, and policies could result in removal from the premises and expulsion from the Library for a period of one day to one year, or in arrest or prosecution. Violations could also result in the restriction and/or termination of Library privileges, including the use of Library computers and other equipment. Expulsion for more than one week may be appealed in writing to the Director of the Bloomsburg Public Library.
For the comfort and safety of patrons, volunteers, and staff, and the protection of Library property, the following actions are examples of conduct not allowed on Library property.
- Engaging in any activity in violation of Federal, State, local or other applicable law, or Library policy.
- Carrying firearms and dangerous weapons of any type (except by law enforcement officers).
- Being under the influence of alcohol/illegal drugs and selling, using, or possessing alcohol/illegal drugs.
- Verbally or physically threatening or harassing other patrons, volunteers, or staff, including stalking, staring, lurking, offensive touching, and obscene acts such as sex acts and indecent exposure.
- Refusing to follow a request or directive of Library staff, including refusing to leave a public computer when time is up or the library will close.
- Annoying other patrons by talking, gesturing, or otherwise interfering with their ability to read, study, contemplate, or otherwise use the Library.
- Interfering with Library staff’s performance of their duties.
- Refusal to follow reasonable direction from Library staff, including but not limited to:
- relinquishing a public computer when a session is over
- leaving the Library during normal closing procedures
- following a suspension of Library privileges
- refusing to evacuate during an emergency
- Soliciting or conducting surveys not authorized by the Library.
- Stealing, damaging, altering, or inappropriate use of Library property in Library facilities or on Library grounds, including computer hardware and software, printers, copiers, phones, and other equipment.
- Trespassing in nonpublic areas, being in the Library without permission of an authorized Library employee before or after Library operating hours, or camping on Library grounds.
- Fighting or challenging to fight, running, pushing, shoving, or throwing things.
- Creating disruptive noises such as loud talking, screaming, or banging on computer keyboards.
- Group activities which are disruptive to the Library environment.
- Using audible devices without headphones or with headphones set at a volume that disturbs others. Using cell phones, pagers, and other communication devices in a manner that disturbs others. Cell phone and pager audible ringers must be turned off.
- Using restrooms for bathing or shampooing, doing laundry, or changing clothes.
- Smoking, vaping, chewing, and other tobacco use in Library facilities.
- Entering the Library barefooted, without a shirt, with offensive body odor or personal hygiene, or being otherwise attired so as to be disruptive to the Library environment.
- Bringing in garbage, articles with a foul odor, or articles which, alone or in their aggregate, impede the use of the library by other users.
- Using wheeled devices in Library property or on Library grounds, except in designated areas, including skateboarding, roller-skating, bicycling, scooters, and shopping carts (exceptions i.e. wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers).
- Lying down or sleeping in the restrooms or on any floor, couch, table, or seat in the Library, and by blocking aisles, exits, or entrances by sitting or lying down in them.
- Neglecting to provide proper supervision of children.
Engaging in any of the above behaviors may result in one or more of the following consequences, depending on the severity or repetition of the violation:
- Initial warning + copy of Behavior in the Library (upon request).
- Library privileges suspended for one day.
- Library privileges suspended for seven days.
- Library privileges suspended for up to one year.
- Library privileges suspended permanently.
Please inform Library staff if you observe anyone behaving in a suspicious or inappropriate manner.
Brief History of the BPL
1889 to 1925
On February 23, 1889, a group of Bloomsburg citizens signed a charter to form the “Bloomsburg Library Company” with high hopes, but not much more. As a nonprofit stock company, the founders hoped to raise $5,000, but started with $105. Between 1889 and 1903, the “Bloomsburg Library Company” was little more than a reading room and often barely existed without a fixed location. In 1903, several civic and women’s clubs pooled resources to provide more adequate financial support for a real library.
In 1903, following Bloomsburg’s Centennial celebration, the Town found itself with about $1,100 leftover. It was decided to use it to revive the Public Library.
A Board of Directors was formed and a librarian hired. The Library occupied the second floor of what was then known as the Woolworth Building on Market Street. The Library kept up with the changing times. A telephone was installed in 1913 and the following year piano rolls were added to the collection, to be loaned out to patrons for the sum of one quarter. (A considerable sum back then and equivalent to about $6.75 in 2021. Bread cost about $0.07 and the average annual income was $687.)
1925 to present
Library use was so enthusiastic by the 1920s that it became clear that the time was right for a library building. A building fund was established in 1923 and fundraising began.
A Philadelphia firm, Ritter & Shay, won the commission with an elegant neo-classical design that suggested a temple of knowledge that was to be a memorial to the men of Columbia County killed in World War I. Inside, a high ceiling and large windows would provide lots of light and air. Until the 1addition was finished in 1997, the Library occupied only the second floor; the ground floor was a museum. Today, the Children’s Library fills the space that was once the entire library.
On January 30, 1926, the Library opened the new building to the public. There were 1,300 visitors on the first day.
In May 1926, the charter was amended to officially change the name to Bloomsburg Public Library.
For many decades, the Bloomsburg Public Library served its community from that one-room space. The library circulated millions of books – later adding VHS tapes to modernize the collection (they were certain that DVDs were just a passing fad.). It became clear in the 1990s that the library needed to grow. The library board, with help from the Friends of the Library and many sponsors, purchased the house lot next to the library and built a modern addition that complemented the historic building. The 1998 addition not only doubled the size of the library and provided more meeting space for the public, but also allowed for an expanded collection. Further enhancements after 2000 included the introduction of computers for the staff and the public, several upgrades to the first-floor seating area, and the redesign of the Children’s Library.