A Visit to the New Lancaster Public Library

By Robert Field

The Board of Directors and officers of Manor Management Corporation were meeting at our Lancaster home, so I needed a comfortable place to read and stay cool on a very hot summer day. I decided this was an opportune time to visit the newly opened Lancaster public Library at Ewall plaza in downtown Lancaster, only a full block, as a bird flies, from its former location.

I parked on the third floor of the Duke Street Garage and did not think to take my mobile walker, which was a good thing because the elevator wasn’t working and a bad thing in that I had to go down and later up the stairs, no big deal, but then walk a couple of short blocks in 90+ degree weather to reach the entrance to the library.

The new library is spacious and functional, but it lacks charm and warmth. Whoever drew the plans clearly had not visited many recently built libraries, as wife Karen and I had, for our aborted effort some seventeen years earlier.

Would the remodeling and expansion of the former library have worked out better? Probably not. (Likely would have been at a third of the cost.) But it would have been more whimsical and a lot a lot more fun, especially for the children and teenagers.

But it isn’t too late for creative elements to be added through art and certain furnishings. Board members and staff need to visit leading libraries throughout the USA and Canada during their travels, take photos, and over time add to the interior design. They would even benefit from rummaging through two or three file drawers of our past planning efforts.

Updated: July 25, 2023 — 10:33 am