Monroe County Public Library Chronology

Monroe County Public Library
Chronology by Julie Bonser

Feb 1, 1916 Library officially opens by the Stroudsburg Civic Club in Reformed Church on Eighth Street, Stroudsburg, PA.

Nov 1917 Library moves to room in home of Mrs. Pugh, Main Street. (Next to the Stroudsburg Methodist Church.)

Sep 1920 Stroudsburg Civic Club purchases Stroud Mansion (900 Main Street) for library’s new location.

Dec 1920 (approx) Library moves to Stroud Mansion.

Jan 1929 Stroudsburg Council’s donation of $300 to library is reported.

1933-36 Library run by club, now known as Stroudsburg Woman’s Club.

Nov 13, 1936 First library board meeting. The minutes report Elizabeth Kane hired as librarian.

Sept 1937 Monroe County Library is born with Commissioners Willard L. Quick, George E. Shick & Lawrence M. Ramsey signing a cooperative statement with the Stroudsburg Woman’s Club appointing a library board chairman.

Oct 1, 1937 According to library minutes, “It was decided to establish a county library…. the name of the library will be changed from the Stroudsburg Library to the Stroudsburg and Monroe County Library.”

1941 First bookmobile is purchased – half paid by Kiwanis, half by Commissioners.

Dec 1943 Junior department opens in rear of Stroud Mansion House.

Jun 2, 1948 913 Main Street is deeded to Monroe County Library by Howard L. Keiper.

Jun 15, 1953 Ann Kane, daughter of Elizabeth Kane, begins working at library.

Dec 15, 1954 Library opens on first floor of 913 Main Street.

Aug 1955 Bookmobile destroyed in flood. The Red Cross and other individuals loan the use of their vehicles until a new bookmobile is purchased.

Feb 16, 1956 Kiwanis Club presents library with a second bookmobile.

Jun 1957 Agnes Shafer Ransbury Trust funds of $41,932 plus a lot on Route 611 presented to library.

Dec 11, 1961 Elizabeth Kane is honored for 25 years of service. Lulu Shafer Conway was also honored for serving as library’s treasurer for 25 years. She resigned on May 5, 1962.

1963 Howard L. Keiper passed away.

1969 Minutes of Board of Trustees meeting reflect much discussion about building plans; number of board meetings increased from 4 to 6 a year.

Spring 1971 Junior department moves upstairs – renovation.

Fall 1974 A period of transition marked by the death of Mrs. Elizabeth Kane in September; special entry in Trustees’ minute book records details.

Jul 1975 Carol Deane appointed as librarian.

Sept 1975 Mount Pocono Borough Council established Mount Pocono Library with a Board of Directors appointed by council.

Oct 6, 1975 The first meeting of the “Friends of the Library.”

1975-76 Mount Pocono Public Library (MPPL) library policies & procedures developed.

Apr 1976 MPPL open; first borough funds received in March.

Dec 1976 Carol Deane resigns.

Nov 1977 Mount Pocono receives CETA staff to assist volunteers so library can be open longer; regular schedule.

Jun 1978 Barbara J. Keiser hired as library director.

Oct 78 – Sept 79 Library Services & Construction Act, Title 1 Grant to Monroe County Commissioners for a study of public library services in the county. Audrey Cohen elected chairperson of the Ad Hoc Library Committee of 17 representatives of various kinds of libraries appointed by the Commissioners to oversee the grant. Consultant Edwin Beckerman hired. After public meetings, surveys & much investigation, the committee published a final report in 9/79 outlining the general needs for an improved library facility.

Nov 1979 Circulation exceeds 100,000 per year for first time.

1979 Monroe County Public Library (MCPL) receives per capita state aid for the first time on the basis of 1970 census figures for Monroe County less Barrett Township. Funding was received because of an ambitious plan to meet state standards of collection size which cannot be realized in the present count library building in Stroudsburg.

Jun 1980 MCPL Long Range Planning Committee submits “Library Space Needs” report to Board of Trustees.

Jul 1980 Bookmobile services extend to developments during summer months.

Sept 1980 Mount Pocono Public Library (MPPL) & Monroe County Public Library (MCPL) begins coordinated services providing staffing & collection development assistance. State aid administered for both libraries on the basis of a Monroe County Library System.

Oct 1980 MCPL Long Range Planning Committee submitted to the board general comments on funding sources for capital development. Report includes 18 location options for the central county library facility. The committee further lists four guidelines for selection & indicated preference for two buildings & two land sites. Importance of locating county library in downtown Stroudsburg addressed.

1980 County population increases to 69,409; annual county library circulation 130,874.

Jan 1981 Site Selection Committee formed of Board members Frank M. Brown, Edward Katz & Susan Kovarick.

Apr 1981 Trader’s Hardware building was sold to furniture business & removed from consideration.

May 1981 Board of Trustees authorized Tretheway Associates to do a feasibility study of the Avlon property on Main Street.

Jul 1981 Tretheway Associates submit “The Avlon Building; Study for Use as the Monroe County Library” to the board for discussion.

Sept 1981 Bushkill Library opened 10 hours per week at Schoonover House Bushkill Community Center; staffed by volunteers from the center.

Computer database searching made available as an enhancement to present reference & research services. Equipment & training provided through Library Services & Construction Act funds in cooperation with the Easton Area District Library.

Nov 1981 MCPL Board of Trustees votes to carefully consider a proposal submitted by Mill Race Developers to convert one wing of the Holland Thread Complex for use as the new central library.

1981 System circulation totals 138,121.

Apr 1982 The John F. Rich Company, fundraising counsel hired to do a feasibility study to measure fund-raising potential for the Holland Thread project. Report submitted May 21, 1982.

Spring 1982 New book drop is added to the Loder Building, courtesy of the Daybreak Kiwanis Club.

Nov 1982 Mount Pocono Public Library and the Monroe County Public Library solidify coordinated services agreement and join as one system.

Jul 1983 Library mascot, Yertle the Turtle, joins the library.

Nov 1983 Referendum effort fails.

Sept 1984 Barbara Keiser resigns as director.

Sept 1984 Michelle Turbak hired as director.

1985 New Bookmobile purchased.

Sum/Fall 1986 Bushkill Library, at Schoonover House Bushkill Community Center, closes.

Apr 1, 1987 Pocono Mountain Public Library withdraws from the Monroe County Public Library System. This was decided by PMPL board at its previous monthly meeting.

Aug 26, 1987 Grand Opening of the Pocono Township branch, located at Route 715 and Warner Drive, next to United Way offices.

Jan 1990 The Pocono Township branch relocates to township building in Tannersville. The grand opening ceremony is celebrated March 23, 1990.

Sept 25, 1990 The Associated Libraries of Monroe County is created when Monroe County Public Library joins Pocono Mountain, Clymer, Barrett, and Western Pocono libraries. The Monroe County library then becomes known as the “Eastern Monroe Public Library.”

Sept 1990 Michelle Turbak resigns as director. Barbara Keiser serves as acting director until Phil Hearne is hired in 1994.

Feb 1991 Library celebrates 75th anniversary.

Nov 1991 Smithfield branch library opens for the first time. Originally scheduled to open in October, the opening had to be postponed due to a building inspection. The grand opening ceremony is celebrated on December 3, 1991.

May 18, 1993 Referendum effort passes that guarantees funding for library service. Election results: Yes, 5,085 ; No, 3,402

May 1994 Phil Hearne hired as library director.

Sum 1994 A location is chosen for the new library on Route 611 in Stroudsburg, the old Stroud’s Jewelers and Distributors building.

Nov 1994 It is announced that the new library will be named the Hughes Library, named after R. Dale Hughes and his family. Total donations from Mr. Hughes and the Hughes Foundation totaled $1 million.

Spring 1995 The first OPAC’s (Online Public Access Computers) are in use. The public can now search the library catalog from computer stations, donated by Nazareth National Bank.

Sum 1996 Staff and 150-200 volunteers prepare for move to new library location. Must move approximately 80,000 library materials.

Aug 19-25, 1996 Due to the move, annual book sale is held at the Stroud Mall.

Aug 31. 1996 EMPL opens main library named Hughes Public Library. It is finished on first floor only.

Nov 1, 1997 Gala Opening of Hughes Library held on unfinished second floor

Jan 1998 Manual check-outs cease as library goes to an automation system with MulitLIS.

Jan 1998 Second floor of Hughes Library opens releasing community meeting rooms on first floor; adult collection and staff work areas relocated to second floor.

Sept 1998 Phil Hearne leaves position of library director.

Jan 1999 Deb Messling hired as library director.

Mar 23, 2002 “Kick-off” event for newly purchased Bookmobile.

Jun 2002 Deb Messling resigns as library director.

Aug 2002 Alan Bobowski hired as library director.

Aug 24, 2002 R. Dale Hughes, local philanthropist and major donor to library, passed away.

Mar 2002 Service at the Monroe County Correctional Facility goes “live” with automated checkout.

Mar 2003 Library switches automation systems and goes live with SIRSI (Unicorn Workflows).

Jun 15, 2003 Ann Kane celebrates 50 years of library service.

Nov 2004 Alan Bobowski leaves position of library director.

2004 EMPL circulation exceeds 500,000 (all locations)

Jan 2005 Barbara Keiser appointed library director

Mar 2005 Rearrangement of 1st floor. The new layout helps accommodate for more audiovisual materials plus moves the young adult collection closer to the YA librarian’s office.

May/Jun 2005 Wireless Internet network added, accessible to patrons with laptops.

Aug 26, 2006 10th anniversary reception held for Hughes Library

Oct 2007 Resource room collection opens in Youth Services. The collection originally came from Pocono Healthy Communities Alliance.

Dec 2008 Commissioners increased tax millage to 1.1 mil.


Frank Frazeta, master of fantasy art, dead at 82


Born Feb. 9, 1928, in Brooklyn, Frank Frazetta attends the Brooklyn Academy of Fine Arts at age 8.

He turns pro at age 16, after entering a painting in a scholastic art competition and is disqualified on the grounds that he had had professional help.

In 1944, Frazetta creates his first published comic, "The Snowman," a wooden idol resembling a snowman who comes to life to combat the evil of The Fang.

He paints the first Conan the Barbarian cover in 1966. The cover "knocked publishing on its ear," he said about the artwork in a 1985 interview.

Singer/entertainer Cher, making another comeback in 1979, had a new image in the form of bizarre costumes inspired by Frazetta's fantasy art.

In the early 1980s, Frazetta turns the upper floors of the former Masonic building at the corner of South Courtland and Washington streets in East Stroudsburg into a gallery. The art museum would be on the floors above Frazetta's Fantasy Corner and would not only house Frazetta's work, but offer display space to other artists in a separate gallery.

On July 17, 2009, his wife and business partner, Eleanor "Ellie" Frazetta, dies after a year-long battle with cancer. She oversaw the daily operations of the Frazetta Art Museum in East Stroudsburg. Frank and Ellie had been married 53 years.

Sources: Pocono Record archives; The Progress, Clearfield; "Fantasy Artist Frank Frazetta" by Cathi Sutton, hubpages.com; The Lawton Constitution, Lawton, Okla.