Officials with the Cleve J. Fredricksen Library yesterday cut the ribbon on two just-completed projects—a new lower-level entrance and a business/career center.
The Camp Hill library’s new entrance will assist young children and mothers hauling baby-filled strollers, allowing them to bypass the stairs to the children’s reading area. The goal of the Business and Career Center (BCC) is to better serve a population increasingly in need of jobs services, said library officials.
“It’s a current trend among the ‘edgier’ libraries—which we like to consider ourselves—to support workforce development,” said Bonnie Goble, the library’s director. “This includes career beginning, career transition and entrepreneurial efforts.”
Fredricksen is one of the first libraries in this area to have a center like the BCC, Goble explained.
“It’s just another way for libraries to meet the need, and this is a need,” she said.
The BCC includes two sections: “The Hub” and a technologically equipped classroom.
The Hub provides a space for nonprofits, businesses and community members to meet for conferences, presentations or meetings.
The classroom is a larger space that will be used to run free classes, open to the public, on anything from résumé building to business planning. There will also be a mobile digital recording lab for entrepreneurs to record promos and short videos for their companies.
Lori LaPorte Loss, BCC coordinator, was dubbed the “mastermind” behind the project by co-workers, since she had been pushing for the opening of a center like this one.
“I had a hand in everything from the colors to the space to the programming,” she said.
Fredrickson previously hosted an Employment Opportunities Expo, which provided the community with job-related workshops and a career fair. Loss wanted a physical space where people could come for help at any time.
Fredricksen partnered with South Central PA Works, founder of PA Career Link, to create the business center.
“I think back to times when I needed a job,” said BCC Specialist Diane McDonough. “This is something the community has really needed.”
The new renovations were funded by the library’s Open Doors Campaign—a fundraiser that started in 2018. So far, they have raised $540,000, with a goal of raising $650,000 to also fund an outside reading plaza, which the library plans to open on Sept. 30.
“It’s going to be a dream come true for a lot of people,” said Judy Kenny, another BCC specialist. “It’s going to become much bigger than these walls.”