LAFLIN — It may be small, but the Laflin Library means a lot to the borough residents as was evident at its 45th anniversary celebration Sept. 24.
The library held an open house that featured food, beverages, basket raffles, free books and camaraderie to those who attended.
During the two-hours event, the library was sometimes filled to the point where it was hard to move around.
“Good,” Laflin Librarian Nancy Coassolo said of the packed room. “That’s what we were hoping for.”
Among those in attendance at the celebration were members of the Laflin Women’s Club, who founded the library in 1972.
Dorothy Shea Yazurlo, Laflin Borough mayor and a member of the Women’s Club, said a group reached out to the Osterhout Free Library in Wilkes-Barre in 1972 for a bookmobile to get started.
“They said we were too small for a grant and they could not send the bookmobile,” she said. “So, I asked about a reading station but we would have to provide the building.”
A gentleman named Bernie Bartoli owned an A-framed shaped building on the land where the Laflin Fire Department currently sits, and gave the Women’s Club the building to use as the library.
Yazurlo said the Osterhout Library would give them 250 books every three months to exchange and they began spreading the word that the borough had a library.
The A-frame building was damaged during Hurricane Agnes in 1972, but then-mayor Fred Ziemer stepped in.
“He had a trucking company, so he hauled a trailer from Harrisburg and we were in that trailer for many years,” Yazurlo said.
The library eventually moved into a second trailer for a few years before finally being moved into the borough building in 1997.
To see the library come from hard beginnings to what it is today tells Yazurlo all the hard work done to start it was worth it.
“I truly believe libraries are the center of education,” she said. “I also believe that if a community has a library, they’re much more (likely) to educate their children.”
Today, the Laflin Library Association, a voluntary organization, administers funding to support the library. An annual fund drive is also conducted every year so that community can help support it.
When the library first started, it was operated by volunteers, but its first librarian was hired in 1981.
Having served as librarian for the past 11 years, Coasollo said she got her start as a volunteer doing story time with children.
“They needed a new librarian so they asked if I would be willing to take on the position,” she said.
Inside the library are thousands of books or movies available to rent by people of all ages.
Programs offered today include K-9 Unit visits, Book Discussion Group, Crafts, Summer Reading Programs and a lot more.
Coasollo said summer time is the library’s busiest time of the year.
“I do a lot of programs in the summer time because the children are off of school and they don’t have a lot of extra curricular activities in the summer,” she said.
The library holds summer hours, but it’s current hours are 3 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.
Regina Hrichison worked as the librarian from 1992 to 2000 and is currently preparing to retire, but stays involved as a member of the Library Board of Volunteers.
Even though the library is as small as it is, she doesn’t foresee it going away anytime soon — or at all.
“I don’t see any end to it,” Hrichison said. “I just think there’s room for more growth. I wish we could have a bigger facility, but we get good support from the community and I think they realize it’s good to have a little library here.”