October 2, 2018

Emmaus Public Library Names New Director

Maryellen Kanarr has been named the new director of the Emmaus Public Library to succeed Amy Resh. Kanarr has served as the Adult Services Librarian for the past two years and previously worked at both Allentown Public Library and Parkland Community Library.

Kanarr’s promotion comes as the library is set to complete construction of a new $1.3 million, 2600-square foot children’s wing in the next few weeks. She credits the library board, Friends of the Library, patrons, volunteers, staff, past directors, and the community for helping the library reach this milestone.

“This is a really exciting time in the library’s history, and I’m honored to be part of it,” says Kanarr, who has been a librarian for 16 years. “After dealing with a lot of noise and dust for the past seven months, patrons will soon get to enjoy the new space.”

The new space designates a special area for children and teens, with an area for crafting, storage, a study room, and restrooms. Youth Services Librarian Sue Monroe (“Miss Sue”) is looking forward to storytimes and more in the new addition.

Moving the children’s and teen collections into the new wing will open space to expand the adult area, which will once again include a comfortable reading lounge that patrons have had to do without during the expansion.

“Our patrons have been very understanding about being in a construction zone, and also very generous in helping to fund the expansion,” adds Kanarr. In addition to donations from patrons, businesses and community groups, the library — which serves residents in Emmaus and Macungie Boroughs and Upper Milford Township — received a $500,000 Keystone Grant to help with construction costs.

While busy planning a grand opening for the new wing, Kanarr looks forward to growing the library’s offerings and its role in the community.

In addition to 90,000 items, the library has free museum passes to the Allentown Art Museum and America on Wheels, public-access computers, a large summer reading program, and a ‘seed-lending library,’ which gives patrons seed packets to grow fruits and vegetables. This year, the library also teamed up with Plant-A-Row Lehigh Valley so residents could donate produce from their garden for the hungry.

The library holds nearly 30 events every month for adults, teens and children, and a new ‘Book-a-Librarian’ offering gives residents free one-on-one assistance with research and information needs, such as accessing books online.

“Public libraries have really changed in recent years, and your library card gets you so much more than it used to,” Kanarr explains, citing the library’s growing collection of digital and audio books, 2,000+ DVDs, music CDs, and even jigsaw puzzles to borrow. “If you haven’t been here in a while, stop in to sign up for a library card so you can take advantage of all that’s available.”