NEW BETHLEHEM – The Redbank Valley Public Library’s annual pre-holiday Shop, Look and Listen craft show attracted a healthy flow of area visitors on Saturday, Nov. 16. The yearly event is only one of numerous programs the library offers throughout the year.
The six-hour show kicked off at 9 a.m., but event organizer Darla Hinderliter said, “When we got here to open the doors, there were already people standing in line. This is a busiest we have been in the past couple of years.”
Jaylene Smith, the library’s director, was also pleased by the turnout.
“Not only did we have more shoppers this year, but we also had more vendors, many of them new to Shop, Look and Listen,” she said.
Vendors tucked themselves into every possible corner of the building, their booths ranging along the aisles leading to the rear exit, crowding the community room and lurking among the book stacks. Among the offerings were wreaths, coverlets, Thirty-One merchandise and ever-popular baked goods.
Smith said, “We were very pleased by the attendance. At this time of year, we are always competing with other organizations’ crafts shows. I think our timing was just right.”
She also said that the library’s annual wreath sale was in progress until Thanksgiving. Holiday evergreen wreaths are $20, spruce swags are $12 and grave pillows, complete with watering picks, are $30. Orders are available for pick-up on Monday, Nov. 2.
While higher state funding is expected to add some much-needed cash to the library’s coffers in the upcoming fiscal year, Smith and her staff continue to devote a lot of attention to fundraising opportunities 12 months a year.
“Events such as Shop, Look and Listen are very important,” she said. Vendors pay a set amount for their tables, and those proceeds benefit the library.
“Our weekly crafting events, especially the current ceramic-painting class, are popular and well-attended,” Smith said. “We are always looking for something new to offer area residents that they have not already done.”
In addition to large public events, the library offers a variety of weekly classes and activities. The building also has a community room equipped with a full kitchen that is available for rental, hosting everything from chamber of commerce luncheons to baby showers.
The Redbank Valley Public Library, located along Broad Street in the eastern portion of New Bethlehem, offers not only traditional services such as lending books and electronic media but is also an accredited U.S. passport processing site.
The modest cash flows generated from the rentals and passport processing, along with events such as last Saturday’s event, make library programs possible.