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Zelie library group begins anew

Friends meeting set Tuesday

After drifting apart due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Friends of the Zelienople Library group looks to revitalize itself.

Michelle Gibbs, who is working on the effort to revitalize the group, which supports the Zelienople Area Public Library, said the group will host a meet-and-greet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the library, 227 S. High St.

“They had a fairly good-sized pool of volunteers that helped put on all the events through the year,” Gibbs said. “Now we’re trying to get everyone back together because, hopefully, this year we’ll be able to start hosting events again without worry.”

At the Tuesday event, attendees can learn “what the Friends do and how we help the library,” and volunteer to help with the group’s handful of events planned for 2022. The events won’t take place at the library, Gibbs said, but will help to support the community staple.

Events planned for this year include an April comedy night at the Steamfitters Technology Center in Jackson Township, a June wine walk in Harmony and a Taste of Zelienople event that’s yet to be planned.

“They’re all kind of fun events, and you don’t even think about the fact that you’re supporting the library because you’re just having a great time,” Gibbs said.

Although it’s primarily a fundraising group, Gibbs said the Friends also seek to connect the library with the community in new and interesting ways.

“What we’re hoping to do is to develop some relationships with people through some of the speaker series that we have and get people more involved, in not only the fundraising events, but activities at the library,” Gibbs said.

Zelienople’s library certainly has a collection of books, but Gibbs said she wants to highlight the library’s programs and offerings outside of the texts.

“We’re trying to remind people that the library is there as a place for people to learn, to continue lifelong learning,” Gibbs said. “There’s a lot of children’s programs, and it’s a great place for moms to come and meet other moms in the area during story time.”

Plus, she said, libraries are part of a community’s backbone.

“I do believe every community should have a library,” Gibbs said. “It’s an important connection to the rest of the world.”

Gibbs encouraged anyone interested in volunteering to attend Tuesday’s meet-and-greet. If anyone interested is unable to attend, Gibbs said suggested calling the library.

“I’m willing to chat with anybody, at any time, about what opportunities are available,” she said.