About

Located just off the square in downtown Elizabethtown, PA, Elizabethtown Public Library is a place where our neighbors find resources that help them achieve their goals and make their dreams come true. Our community comes together during special events like Taste of Western Lancaster County and The ExtraOrdinary Give and all the days in between. People can gather around a great cup of coffee from our coffee shop or discover the work of local artists in our Friends of the Library Bookstore. This is just the beginning of what you can do too when you visit the Library, we hope to see you soon!

Elizabethtown Public Library is an independent, nonprofit organization. The majority of our operating funds come from donations and internal activities that generate revenue – like our passport acceptance services and coffee shop.

The Library is part of the Pennsylvania network of public Libraries, is registered, and reports annually, to the Office of Commonwealth Libraries. We partner with public Libraries across Lancaster County to make more materials available to everyone in our community. We collaborate as part of the Library System of Lancaster County to build efficiencies in delivery of certain services, especially the Summer Reading Program and our online catalog where you can find books, movies & more available for your use.

What Can The Library Do for You?

Location & Parking

The Library is located just off the square in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. There is limited parking available at the back of our building and metered parking available on the street in front of the Library and in the municipal lot behind the Library. At this time meters take coins only.  

Library History

In just a few years Elizabethtown Public Library will achieve 100 years of continuous operations. From a small band of volunteers and a single room in the Oddfellows building to a renovated church building the Library has outgrown every location it occupied. With a growing demand from the community, technological advances, and expanded services the Library has filled every square inch of opportunity in each location it has known. 

Mission & Values

Elizabethtown Public Library is Making Dreams Come True: educating, empowering, and enriching the Greater Elizabethtown Area by stimulating learning, literacy, and the acquisition of knowledge through the provision of books, resources, and programs.

We believe that every person can reach their highest potential, achieve big goals, and make their dreams come true. It doesn’t matter where you started, how old you are, or what level of education you completed – you can move forward on a path toward your dreams. Every day we help people just like you take steps forward in life. We are here as your life-long learning partner and resource provider to help you on your way.

Many people didn’t get a strong start in education, reading or in their community. We are here for them too. Every day people visit the Library who don’t have the resources they need to pursue their dreams. For some, they need access to online job applications and a fingerprint background check to get the job. Some need help finding materials that will help them read better so they can better understand written instructions and get a promotion at work. Others are new to the area and meet new people in Elizabethtown Coffee Company or by volunteering with the Friends of the Library crew. The list goes on and on: entrepreneurs find legal forms, families engage together in stimulating programming, people who dream of travel have their passport applications accepted, and on and on. And, yes indeed, for the lovers of history and good stories and need to escape for a few minutes each day – we have books, movies & so much more.

Board & Governance

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Library is governed by a 7 – 9 member Board of Trustees. The CEO serves the board and has no vote. Board members volunteer their time, are tied to Library interests by living or working in the Greater Elizabethtown Area, and serve for the benefit of the Library. Individuals interested in more information about board service may complete the letter of interest and submit their interest.

The Library Board of Trustees:

Jeffrey Winterborne, Chair (Elizabethtown Borough)
David Kruft, Vice-Chair (Mount Joy Township)
Corinne Bush, Treasurer (Conoy Township)
Catherine Hecker, Secretary (West Donegal Township)
Brett Thackara (Mount Joy Township)
Derek Lehman (West Donegal Township)
Michael Hench (Elizabethtown Borough)
Susan Zeager (Conoy Township)
Deborah Drury, CEO serves without voting privileges

Governance

The National Center for Nonprofits succinctly states, “Board members are the fiduciaries who steer the organization towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as by making sure the nonprofit has adequate resources to advance its mission.” Board members govern, or oversee the organization, without self-dealing in a culture of accountability.

To provide adequate oversight, the Library board meets on the 3rd Thursday at 3:30 PM  in January, February, April, June, August, October and November. There are times, due to scheduling conflicts, that the board meeting is rescheduled. Any such change will be reflected on the Library’s room use calendar.

Each board member receives an introduction to the 10 Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards developed by Board Source and an overview of the Standards for Excellence: an Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector as well as locally developed information about the Library’s policies and other relevant information when they join the board. Board members serve in terms of three years.

How We’re Funded

Elizabethtown Public Library is primarily funded by donations and revenue generating activities. Unlike most public Libraries across the United States, we are not a department of government nor were we established by a large endowment of funds. The Library continues to work diligently to strengthen our organization’s sustainability and has come a very long way in the past 20 years.

At this time, the Library receives about 17% of it’s revenue from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Lancaster County, about another 22% comes from the local municipalities we serve (Elizabethtown Borough, Mount Joy, West Doneal and Conoy Townships). The remaining revenue comes from our annual appeal donations and other contributions received throughout the year, event proceeds, and net income from our revenue generating activities like Elizabethtown Coffee Company, passport acceptance services, and more.

The Library strives to be excellent stewards of all funds received. Each year we submit to an independent audit. You can access our 990 at guidestar.org, you may have to create a free user profile to access information. The Library is also required to complete periodic reviews to remain accredited by the Standards for Excellence Institute. This requirement helps ensure the Library is complying with regulations and ensures the highest levels of ethics & accountability of Library finances.

Passports

The Library provides passport acceptance services. Find more information about passport application services and passport photos.

Fingerprinting

The Library is an IdentoGo fingerprinting location. We do this to help people seeking employment complete their background check requirements. We also do this to help people seeking volunteer positions qualify as volunteers.

Friends of the Library Bookstore

Friends of the Library Book Store & Sales

Located front and center of the Library is the Friends of the Library Bookstore. In addition to gently used books, the bookstore features works from regional artisans on a rotating basis. From oil paintings to pottery to doll clothes for American-Girl sized dolls the bookstore is a revolving collection of interesting items. Check out the Friends page for more information.

County-wide Collaboration

Elizabethtown Public Library is an independent public Library collaborating with the other independent public Libraries in Lancaster County through the Library System of Lancaster County (LSLC). Through our collaboration with LSLC, we are able to share one Library catalog and have more items available for people to borrow. Additionally, our collaboration uses county and commonwealth funds to provide delivery of physical items and downloadable materials. Many of the online research databases that you can access with your Library card are made available through the commonwealth and through our collaborative purchasing power within the county. This collaboration also coordinates the museum pass program and some of the Summer Reading programs.

Being part of this collaboration does not, in any way, take away from our independence. We are also not a department of government. We are an independent, 501 (c) (3) organization. We have an independent Board of Trustees and we have an official service area that is defined by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We do not limit our service to that area. We do operate within the guidelines to provide service to those inside and outside of our defined service area. And, we are happy to serve you.

Want to help support our mission & vision?

Etown Coffee Logo

Elizabethtown Coffee Company

Responsibly sourced coffee beans roasted on site at the Library and served by the cup or pound. Rich teas and soothing tisanes are also on our menu. Enjoy our café favorites throughout the Library. All proceeds go directly to benefit Library programs and services.