MIDDLETOWN, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) has named Penn State University Libraries’ Madlyn L. Hanes Library at Penn State Harrisburg the 2023 Library of the Year. This prestigious award recognizes the excellence of faculty librarians and staff members in innovation, leadership, advancement of employee development, and library service to the academic and public community.
Hanes Library serves approximately 5,000 residential Penn State students, more than 1,000 employees and Pennsylvania residents. The library offers circulation and reference services along with programming and outreach provided in a welcoming and engaging academic environment. It also is a PA Forward Gold Star Library, which recognizes excellence in and commitment to literacy-focused community programs.
Some of Hanes Library’s recent programs have focused on voting rights, resources for domestic violence victims, science literacy and sustainable fashion. Monthly book clubs also provide small student groups with free books and peer-led discussion sessions. Additionally, the library supports the Career Studies Program, which helps young adults with disabilities transition to more independent lifestyles.
Hanes Library provides the expertise of five liaison librarians who are also actively involved with PaLA governance and programs:
- Andrea Pritt, STEM librarian, is the current chair of the College and Research Division Board (CRD) and is the coordinator of the division’s popular Connect and Communicate webinar series.
- Emily Reed, public affairs and international student outreach librarian, serves CRD as the technical coordinator and is a PaLA director-at-large, in addition to serving on the Membership Committee.
- Emily Mross, the business librarian, is a current PALS mentor and served on the 2022 Conference Planning Committee. She also serves on both the PA Forward Working Group and Steering Committee.
- Bernadette Lear, the education and behavioral sciences librarian, who devotes 25% of her work at Harrisburg and 75% or the Education Library at University Park, serves as a mentor in the Association’s mentoring program.
- Heidi Abbey Moyer, archivist and humanities librarian, also has served PaLA in leadership roles.
“It is an honor for the library to receive this recognition based on the contributions of these star librarians and the great work of all of the employees of the Hanes Library,” Glenn McGuigan, Hanes Library director and head librarian, said, adding that he considers it a privilege to work with these stars of academic librarianship in central Pennsylvania.
The Madlyn L. Hanes Library is one of more than two dozen statewide library locations within Penn State University Libraries. The three-story, 115,000-square-foot library houses more than 300,000 volumes and provides access to nearly 750 databases and 110,000 online full-text journals.
Highlights within the library’s collections include the Alice Marshall Women’s History Collection, the Curriculum Materials and Juvenile Literature Collections, and the Holocaust and Genocide Collection. The library’s Archives and Special Collections is a premier repository of Penn State Harrisburg and Pennsylvania history, including oral histories of area Holocaust survivors, liberators and witnesses.
Hanes Library is open for more than 87 hours each week during the academic year, and circulation staff has facilitated more than 6,000 study room reservations and circulated nearly 2,000 course reserve items that provided textbook savings for students. With yearly gate counts of nearly 300,000, library faculty and staff provide outstanding service by creating a campus hub for learning, trusted key resources and community needs.
Hanes Library also provides access to more than 300 computers in the building, circulates laptops and other equipment for student use, and hosts a One Button Studio, which simplifies the process for recording presentations. The library has participated in recent campus initiatives to enable faculty to borrow virtual reality headsets and iPads for classroom instruction, and a room in the library is currently undergoing renovation to create a space for virtual reality, mixed reality and other immersive technologies.