Library is refuge, even online during pandemic


By Alice Elia, Senior Director of Development
Franklin County Library System 

A library is a refuge, a comforting place. If you have been to a library recently, you know they offer shelves of literature, but also magazines, newspapers, cookbooks, manga, and technology; patrons are reading, but also discussing current events, learning crafts, making friends, and building community.

Sociologist Eric Klineberg touts as “palaces for the people”…. what an amazing image that is. But what happens when the library isn’t able to serve the public in its familiar, comforting ways?

The current pandemic has made it necessary for many libraries to close temporarily. The State of Pennsylvania mandated that all libraries in PA close their buildings through at least April 6, 2020.

The mandate is clear that we stop all in-person services to the public during this period; this includes in- person programming and services like curbside pickup/delivery.

Fortunately, the Franklin County Library System has long had a vibrant online presence and a substantial eBook and downloadable audiobook collection.

If you haven’t made yourself familiar with these resources, now is the perfect time to do so.

Resources: Online story time, ebooks, audiobooks

Tune into one of our online story times on Facebook. Look for more programming on Instagram and Twitter. Follow us on these outlets to stay connected with the library system while our doors are closed.

The databases available to you through FCLSPA.ORG are vast.

Do you want to learn a new language? Now is the perfect time to explore MANGO Languages.

GALE Testing and Education Reference Center provides test prep for students in High School through Graduate School as well as practice for certain Career and International tests.

For young children, BookFLIX is a fantastic resource that pairs animated stories with nonfiction eBooks.

The Franklin County Library System has over 9,500 eBooks and audiobooks available through Overdrive or the Libby App. We regularly add new eBooks and audiobooks, for both adults and children, to our collection.

New due date extension, online resources

Given the circumstances, we extended the amount of time that eBooks and audiobooks can be borrowed and increased the number of books that can be borrowed at one time.

We have extended all of our due dates until the date we reopen, so there’s no need to worry about accumulating fines during this period.

Our book drops are currently closed. We ask that you hold on to any materials you may have checked out until we reopen.

All of our online resources are free and available to any patron with a library card number and PIN. If you have a question about your card number or PIN, you can leave a message at (717)263-1054 or email

If you don’t have a library card, you can now get a library card online.

Please visit to sign up for a card online: we will make sure you receive a card number as soon as possible.

We are doing all that we can to continue being a source of comfort and refuge to our patrons. If you haven’t done so already, we hope that you’ll join us soon.