The New APRLibrary

by Lloyd A. de Vries, VSC
The new facilities of the American Philatelic Research Library in Bellefonte, Pa., are up and running. The Virtual Stamp Club visited October 28th, the day before the ribbon-cutting ceremony.  This is a quick and by no means comprehensive look:newaprl01The exterior of the building, which the APRL shares with the American Philatelic Society, The APRL is the owner and leases space to the APS, which in turn provides services. newaprl09The old library space, in “Building 1,” is now being rented to Centre County Democrats.newaprl02The main entrance to the Library. newaprl03Staffer Fred Baumann at the Circulation Desk newaprl04The Reference Desk on the first floor. newaprl05This is the children’s area. The table and chairs are, well, child-size. newaprl06The company making the chairs called the APRL before burning the design into the chair backs: “Do you know the airplane is upside down?” newaprl07The main floor reading area. newaprl08The second floor atrium. In 2001 or 2002, when the APS and APRL were considering buying the “Match Factory,” I was up in the second floor loft area, where there was not much of a floor and what there was wasn’t terribly safe. I saw the view out the end of the building and said, “Wow. This is going to be something some day.” It is.

Here are a few more photographs: newaprl23Our tour of the new facility was conducted by librarian Scott Tiffney (correct spelling). This photo was taken on the second floor in the less-public areas containing material that is less in demand. newaprl12A reading desk on the second floor. newaprl13The upstairs reference desk, usually staffed by the Technical Resources library, Betsy Gamble. Pay particularly attention to the potted plant on the left. You’ll see why below.

The Dedication (Saturday, October 29th): newaprl17People awaiting the start of the ceremony. How many do you know? newaprl15newaprl14newaprl10Music before the ceremony was provided by bagpiper Betsy Gamble, the APRL’s Technical Services Coordinator. Why is she in the closet next to her usual station (to the right of the potted plant)? “People said I was too loud,” she told The VSC. newaprl16APS/APRL executive director Scott English speaking at the dedication. newaprl18Bob Lamb, who as executive director of the APS/APRL guided the acquisition of “The Match Factory” and its initial stages of renovation. newaprl19APS president Mick Zais (left) and APRL president Roger Brody cut the ribbon (of stamps, of course) to signify the dedication of the new facility. Behind them, from left, U.S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson; Mary-Anne Penner, Director of Stamp Services, U.S. Postal Service; English; Randy Brachbill, vice president, Bellefonte Borough Council (and husband of APS Director of Education Cathy Brachbill); Michael Pipe and Mark Higgins, Centre County Commissioners; and Lamb. newaprl24After the Library Dedication was the dedication of the Connie I. Swartz Reception Area, the main entrance to the American Philatelic Center. Swartz was a long-time employee of the APS/APRL, and was often the first contact for members and others when they called or wrote the two organizations. In the photo below, English presents a plaque to her in tribute to her long service. newaprl25newaprl20And then we took a walk on the beautiful Saturday afternoon to downtown Bellefonte for lunch, pausing in Talleyrand Park for a different view of the exterior of the American Philatelic Center. newaprl21Hard to believe much of the park was once a dump or yard for the lumber/home improvement company that occupied “the Match Factory” in the 1950s and 1960s, isn’t it? newaprl22And if you read this far, you heard it here first: There are rumors that the American Philatelic Center may expand some more, acquiring additional land. But not this park. It’s too beautiful.

Some thoughts on the opening of the new Library facility, by Lloyd A. de Vries, VSC

10 thoughts on “The New APRLibrary

  1. Many thanks for thosewhose vision and support and hard work brought this about. It’s a wonderful addition to the hobby and to its resources. A very suitable space to preserve the archives of philately. I wish great pleasure to all who assemble there.

  2. A wonderful photo journey, Lloyd. I have watched all of the changes at APS Headquarters and Library over the years and have much hope for the future of philately.

  3. The Wyoming Valley Stamp Club went to the opening as a group and all the way back home it is all we talked about. Great pictures that have brought great memories. All of us are planning another trip next year. Just an enjoyable time.

  4. Pingback: Library grand opening a success – Philatelic Literature & Research

  5. I was there with you at the stellar grand opening and could not have been more proud had I raised the roof myself. But no, it was the support of many and it exists for all in the hobby. It’s wonderful in every way.

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