Marietta residents and visitors have a new, indoor Little Free Library to visit and use thanks to the combined efforts of the Milanof-Schock Library and local business owners Steve and Abby Ulrich. Located inside the lobby of First National Escape at 100 W. Market St., Marietta, the Little Free Library will be open to the public during regular business hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.
The Ulrichs own the 1875 Victorian building, which was the first nationally chartered bank in Lancaster County, and desire for the space to be a community hub. "We want it to be a place for people to congregate," said Abby. It primarily serves as home of First National Escape, as well as an outdoor ice cream cafe that is open during the warmer months.
The idea of having a library inside the building had crossed Steve's and Abby's minds in the past, so when Milanof-Schock Library board member Stan Tucker stopped in one day and presented the idea of a library-facilitated Little Free Library inside the building, they jumped at the chance.
Tucker had been scouting location possibilities for a potential Little Free Library since reaching out to the Marietta and Maytown areas is one goal that the library had set for itself. "It's been something that's been cooking at the back of our minds for a while," shared library director Barbara Basile, noting that the board of trustees recently completed its strategic plan, which specifically included outreach to coverage areas beyond Mount Joy.
Basile said that with Marietta being a walking community, installing a Little Free Library seemed like a good fit. The bookshelves are now stocked with books for children and adults, who are welcome to swap in books of their own when they borrow a book.
"We hope that then they will tell their friends and that it will also lead people to Milanof-Schock," Basile stated. "Literacy is so important, and we want people to have access to materials. Kids who love to read come from homes that have readers."
In addition to the free lending library, Milanof-Schock children's librarian Miss Jan will host a family story time with stories and activities at the First National Escape in Marietta on the third Monday of each month at 10:30 a.m., beginning on Jan. 21. Miss Jan will also offer a family story time on the first Monday of each month at 10:30 a.m. at the East Donegal Township Municipal Building, 190 Rock Point Road, Marietta, beginning on Jan. 7.
"(Miss Jan) will bring her inimitable style," said Basile. "Once summer comes, the schedule (for these new sites) will probably bloom a little more, possibly into the parks."
Registration for both of the new story time offerings is requested and may be completed at http://www.mslibrary.org or by calling the Milanof-Schock Library at 717-653-1510. The Milanof-Schock Library is located at Anderson Ferry Road, Mount Joy.