And for Waldo, this is a great year to be a part of the team as the library marks 85 years in Ambridge.
Event planning is underway to celebrate the anniversary, which falls on July 6, just days after the nation's birthday.
Waldo has also been working to gather photos and other information that demonstrates how the library has changed from 1929 through now.
It’s only been three months since mid-October, when Waldo took on the role as library director and she’s put her sights on attracting more patrons.
Waldo said she feels that a lot of people don’t take advantage of the library, for whatever reason. Her hope is to offer more programs that entice these people to come inside.
“It’s such a beautiful building. I’d really like for it to be a point of pride for Ambridge," Waldo said. "Not many communities are lucky enough to have something like this.”
At 17 years old, Waldo joined the Pennsylvania National Guard and served for more than 13 years. She missed a year of undergraduate studies to go to Saudi Arabia in 2002. Her job was to monitor a no-fly zone.
While in the Middle East, Waldo worked in the video store and ran the little library and computer they had. She eventually earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in library information science.
Waldo was previously the children’s librarian in Beaver and came to Ambridge full of ideas. On Saturday, the first “Authors in Ambridge”event—a brainchild of Waldo's—was a hit with about 20 people in attendance. She hopes to have three to four at the library each year.
“If anybody knows any local authors who would be willing to come and talk, we’d really love to have them," she said. "There really are a lot of local authors. I never realized how many until I started working here.”
Waldo said libraries are evolving, and Ambridge is no different.
Besides checking out books, patrons can get free basic computer lessons, join book discussions and writing groups, or participate in various children's activities.
Non-profits can meet in the library auditorium for free and researchers doing genealogy, property and other topic searches can find a collection of local, county and state archives stored in the smaller Pennsylvania Room.
More programs are also in the works for children and teens. Waldo wants to get a Lego Club going, but needs more blocks to be donated. In the summer, the library plans to get more teens involved with programming such as teen trivia and a tie-dye session.
Waldo said the library can draw many ideas from the state's “PA Forward Initiative,” a program that focuses on providing resources in health, financial literacy and other areas.
“I want this to be a community hub, not just ‘oh that place has books in it. I’m not going there,’” Waldo said. “In this day and age, that’s just a battle that librarians face.”
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February is “Love Your Library” month. To support the library, patrons can buy a cut-out hand for $1 and have their names posted on the wall.
What are your best memories of the library? Stop by and fill out a Laughlin Memorial Memories form or email ewaldo @ beaverlibraries.org
Laughlin Library is searching for creative, friendly, and motivated citizens of Ambridge to help start a “Friends of the Library” fundraising group. Call 724-266-3857 for details.