“Access to a library is an essential element to a life well-lived.”

Dauphin County Library System board members have a job to advocate for funding, programs, and partners, seeking out “people who can play to their strengths and bring their strengths to The Library.”

“Access to a library is an essential element to a life well-lived,” Annie Garner, president of The Library’s Board of Trustees. “I wouldn’t feel as fulfilled if I didn’t have access to a library.”

Garner is playing a key role in transforming the McCormick Riverfront Library and the historic Haldeman Haly House into a custom-designed hub for discovery, dialog, access to community services, and children’s STREAM learning.

A Penn State Health information services program manager, Garner was recently named one of YWCA of Greater Harrisburg’s 2022 Women of Excellence. At the tribute gala this month, she is being recognized for her service to The Library.

“It’s a celebration of The Library more than it is a celebration of me,” she says. “We’re planning to attend the event and celebrate The Library.”

How were you introduced to libraries?
I’m a lifelong learner. I have always gravitated toward libraries. When I was young, once a week, we would add a library trip on with the grocery shopping. We would go to get our books and then walk to the grocery store. I think it was a tactic my mom had to keep our hands busy in the grocery store, so we weren’t grabbing the treats and sweets. It was a regular diet of new books for us each week.

As a board member for nine years, what have you learned about Library staff?
They are super dedicated. They are committed to our members and to making sure there is excellent programming available. They go above and beyond. If there’s an event in the community, they’re out there advocating for The Library.

Why do you support The Library?
The Library is a terrific path to greatness. I learned some of my greatest lessons at The Library. Learning to read. Learning to share. Learning to collaborate through programs. It’s provided me so much fulfillment and enabled me to meet people – people who are different from me.”

What does The Library mean for the community?
COVID has sent some of us back into our caves. We might need a little three-dimensional time together to converse and reengage. If you spend so much time alone, your edges might get a little sharp. Being out and understanding other people’s walk of life and what they’ve been through could broaden anyone’s horizons.