National Library Week: The new library

This is the last in a series of daily posts about how the American Philatelic Research Library serves the philatelic community as we celebrate National Library Week.

The new APRL
Architect’s rendering of the new library space

I thought it would be appropriate to end the week with a look at the future of the APRL.

I was reminded by my co-blogger Larry Nix that this year marks the 45th anniversary of the APRL. While we do not have any anniversary celebrations planned, we are embarking on a very exciting project – the renovation of new library space.

The new library space will be located in the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, PA, where the APS and APRL are currently located. It will provide:

  • Space for collections with room to grow, consolidating collections from the current public library and library annex into one contiguous space.
  • Second floor of the new library
    Second floor of the new library showing the closed stacks area currently under construction

    Secure, climate-controlled areas for rare books and special collections, using space-saving compact shelving.

  • Additional work space for staff and our growing number of volunteers.
  • Accessible, comfortable places for researchers, including reading lounges, carrels with lockable storage, group study space, a youth area, and tables with task lighting and electrical outlets.

We have just started construction on the first phase of the project, which will include the closed stacks, rare book room, and large document and map room.

The benefits of the new library to researchers who are able to visit are obvious, but these benefits extend well beyond the walls of the APRL.

compact shelving
Compact shelving will provide economical and efficient storage for less frequently used material

Better work spaces for staff and volunteers means more capability to sort donations and get books on the shelves and ready to circulate, and room for more volunteers to work on digitization, preservation, indexing, archival processing, and more.

Secure, climate-controlled areas for special collections means these unique materials will be available for many years to come.

Increased space for collections means the APRL can continue to grow.

To learn more about the project and find out how you can contribute, visit the Strategic Priorities section of the APS website.

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