If you love the Hellertown Area Library and are looking for a way to help support it, there’s now a service opportunity available that only requires the gift of your time.
The Borough of Hellertown announced in a Jan. 5 Facebook post that the local library is looking for two local residents to serve on its board of trustees.
The trustee terms begin this month. Trustees serve three-year terms and may serve two consecutive terms. Candidates for this position must live in Hellertown borough, attend monthly board meetings and advocate for library services in Saucon Valley, the post said.
Borough council will appoint the newest trustees at the recommendation of the library board of trustees, the post explained.
Noelle Kramer, HAL director, said Hellertown residents can either email a letter of interest to email@example.com or mail one to the library, which is located at 409 Constitution Ave., Hellertown, PA 18055.
She said residents from both the borough and Lower Saucon Township–which is also served by the library–are equally represented on the board of trustees. Every other year, one municipality has three board members and the other has four, with majority representation alternating from year-to-year.
This year Hellertown will have the majority, since the two vacancies were filled by borough residents.
Kramer said HAL is looking for people who are willing to give back to their community.
“We’re also looking for people who are good at fundraising, because we’re always looking for fundraisers, help with events, help with actual fundraising, coming up with ideas for fundraising or (people who) in some other way are able to help us raise and maintain funding,” Kramer said.
In addition to the vacant board positions, HAL has faced some challenges since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March.
Board member Janie Hecker said the library was closed for a period of time when the pandemic started. But it eventually reopened in June, unlike some other libraries that have remained closed to in-person visits.
Kramer said that before COVID-19, all the monthly library board meetings were held in person, but the start of the pandemic led to a shift to virtual meetings. Since the fall, the meetings have been held in a hybrid setting, where some members come to the library and others join on Zoom, she said.
Lara Goudsouzian, current secretary of the HAL board of trustees, said she has been joining the meetings through Zoom because she feels more comfortable participating in them online.
She said the children’s librarian, Andrea Milliren, has been hosting livestreamed storytelling sessions and started offering curbside book pickup in response to the times.
Goudsouzian said the main role of board members is to determine how to keep the library running, not just in the moment, but also in the future.
Board members also help ensure that employees are treated fairly, that the library’s financial future is secure and that the community is well-served by the institution, she said.
Hecker said board members are responsible for the governance of the library and ensuring that it has everything it needs to run properly and meet the needs of its patrons.
Goudsouzian said she joined the board because her children have had “many happy days in the library,” and also because she worked in a library in high school.
Goudsouzian didn’t realize how rewarding giving back would be until she became a member and felt more integrated into the Hellertown community, she added.
“There’s a sense of serving the community and being more engraved in the community by serving on the board of directors,” Goudsouzian said.
Hecker said she would recommend the board position to somebody who values the library as a key part of the community and understands the community isn’t the same without a library.
There was a time when Hellertown didn’t have a library, which meant there were a lot of people in Hellertown without access to books and information, she said.
Hecker said the individuals who are selected to serve on the board should be able to contribute to the library’s success.
“Someone who serves on the library board should not only have the best thoughts of the library and how it can serve the community, but they should also be willing to bring ideas and being a work ethic on their part, to do something for the library, not just sit on the board,” Hecker said.
To apply for one of the board vacancies, a letter of interest may be mailed to the library, or emailed to