BROOMALL–For many years, the staff at Marple Public Library would have to manually lift up a large, 110-pound protective Plexiglass cover over their heads and then manually place each letter on their outdoor sign in order to change its message, despite rain, sleet, snow, or a heat wave.
"The sign was lit with old-fashioned bulbs and was a sign that appeared to be from the 1930s. The sign was clearly not current with today’s technology. It was a sign that was not effective in communicating with the many communities we serve," said Bill Conville, a board member of the Friends of Marple Library.
But that old sign will be a sign of the past.
Come early March, the library will be replacing its outdoor sign with a digital LED sign that will allow staff members to change messages quickly and conveniently from inside the administrative offices.
"I suggested to our board that we set a goal of buying a new sign for the library," said Conville through an email. "Imagine the convenience of sharing a multiplicity of messages throughout the day with the drive by community in front of the library and the many visitors to our library from cultural programs to children programs to fundraising programs, to book signings, visiting authors. The complete spectrum of so many activities of the library may now be quietly and effectively announced and shared with the community at all times."
The new sign was approved by Marple Public Library Director Deborah Parsons and township officials.
According to Conville, once the new digital sign was approved. The Friends of Marple Public Library set in motion their fundraising efforts, which began about a year ago. From cake sales and used DVD and VHS sales, to multiple bus trips, increased membership drives and raffles, the library was able to reach their fundraising goal of $29,5000 in December 2012.
According to Conville, the sign will be made by KC Signs of Aston and the digital sign will be delivered and installed all on the same day.
In order to honor this milestone for the library, the Friends of Marple Library will host a party in March to "celebrate our good fortune and the beginning of a new era of communicating with our many communities by instantly telling them what we are doing for them at our library."
"Libraries are indispensable to our civic and family and political life. With our new high-tech sign, we will have pushed the communication envelope a little farther to the benefit of all," added Conville.