Zeamer Collection: Cumberland County

Zeamer Collection: Cumberland County

The State Library has undertaken a project to transcribe and provide online access to Cumberland County cemetery and other records transcribed by Jeremiah Zeamer in the early 1900s.

Because of the deteriorating condition of the original transcriptions in the library's collection, the State Library has made the decision to transcribe the records as they appear in his notebooks and publish them on the web. More records will be made available as this project progresses.


Library funding cuts

Pocono Record Writer
November 25, 2009

Monroe County's public libraries could see fewer programs and services after an across-the-board cut in state funding next year.

The state reduced funding to libraries by 20 percent in 2010, but the local impact varies.
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* Fair to support Pocono Mountain Community Library this weekend

"This has probably been the most difficult year for us to balance the budget," said Wendy Franklin, Clymer Library's director.

Clymer faces three key budget issues. One is the funding cut from the state — about $10,000 of their $258,000 budget.

Second are lower local revenues. Clymer receives part of its funding through a tax assessment based on property values, which have decreased.

And third, PPL has uncapped its electric costs. The library is facing a 34 percent increase in its electric bill.

"We've been cut $10,000, and our electric bill is going up about $4,000," Franklin said.

That means cuts in several areas. There will be cuts in programs. There's no increase for staff salaries. The library will be looking to offer programs that are free or inexpensive to run. And it's cutting anything that is not essential to the operation of the library.

"Furniture and equipment purchases have been eliminated. We've reduced technology funds to $500 next year," Franklin said.

Clymer serves Tobyhanna and Tunkhannock townships.

Barbara Keiser, director at Eastern Monroe Public Library, said "We're holding our own pretty well, although the state aid — a 20 percent cut — isn't insignificant."

That aid — $561,022 last year— is more than a quarter of the budget of $1.9 million.

Despite the funding cut of more than $100,000, Keiser said her staff might still grow.

"Our budget isn't approved yet for 2010, but staff has recommended we keep our staff and perhaps increase it at the Smithfield branch — because our local income has come in ahead of budget," she said.

The programs and materials portion of the library's budget may face cuts.

"... The cuts will probably come from resources — new material available — databases, new books, movies. We will still be buying them, but people may have to wait longer, because we won't be buying as much in the past," she said.

Eastern Monroe Public Library is supported by a 1.1 mill local tax from the municipalities it serves — the boroughs of Delaware Water Gap, Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg and the townships of Stroud, Smithfield, Middle Smithfield, Hamilton, Jackson, Price and Pocono.

Meanwhile, Western Pocono Community Library in Brodheadsville has cut five employee positions through attrition since 2000.

"We saw the handwriting on the wall. The state cut affected us very deeply," said Director Carol Kern.

They also lost about $100,000 last year from uncollected taxes. Western Pocono, unlike the other county libraries, receives its funding through the Pleasant Valley School District, which collects its 1.75 mill tax.

"People walked away from their homes," she said.

But the cuts have been strictly staff, through attrition — the library hasn't cut in programs or purchases. "We have to be careful — we still have to maintain our state standard," Kern said.

Kern said the library would wait until after Sunday's fundraiser to decide what she has to cut in January.

"Maybe reduced hours on a Saturday afternoon is one option. That would be the first thing we'd probably do. We're working hard at not cutting anything, so we can provide full service to our community," she said.

Pocono Mountain Public Library's operating budget will receive about $16,000 less from the state. That's about 4 percent of its total budget for 2010.

But the majority of Pocono Mountain's budget is from local support. The library receives tax remittance from Mount Pocono and Coolbaugh township millage surcharges.

This year continues a pattern of diminishing state aid, according to Ann Shincovich, the library's director.

"We eviscerated our budget last year. ... We had to eliminate some of our technology and professional development. We had to gut our programs last year. People expect us to do certain things that we just can't do," she said.

That means the library cannot fill vacant positions or support all the technology. "We won't have the same programming funds," she added.

But residents can always donate to help programs and technology. "We see a lot of people using our computers for the Internet especially when they are looking for jobs," Shincovich said.

Barrett-Paradise Friendly Library in Cresco is out about $6,000 because of the state funding cut, but that won't take them off course.

"The library board and our staff want to work and fundraise so we do not have to cut back on materials and services for our patrons," library Director Cindy DeLuca said.

DeLuca said the library customarily uses state money for materials, such as children's books and recordings, but may have to find a way to replace the lost funding.

"What we will have to do is find another event or fundraiser to replace that money," she said.

But of greater concern to DeLuca is the cutbacks on the state level. She said "The state system provides so many services and helps libraries large and small provide so many services, like databases and interlibrary loan services."


The Ramirez Solar Home

By Pocono Record staff report
November 06, 2009

BUSHKILL — Work has begun to rehabilitate one of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area's most significant historic structures: the Ramirez Solar House.

National Park Service staff and Frederic Schwartz Architects worked for the past two years to complete architectural and engineering plans to restore the building near Raymondskill Road, south of Milford. The Washington Office of the National Park Service provided funding used to award a restoration contract in September to MERIT, Inc.