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Our Vision & Mission

Vision Statement

The library will be the community center of the municipalities we serve, where members of the community share experiences, information, and cultivate relationships.

What is the purpose of the Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity? The answer is to provide books, story times, and Internet access. However, our library offers more than that. The library provides a variety of services and access to many resources. These include:

  • Programming for children and adults
  • A clean, safe place to read, work, study, and collaborate
  • Written materials in a wide variety of formats including print, large print, audio, and electronic
  • Public access computers
  • Wi-Fi capabilities
  • Online resources

It is not our mission to provide these services and resources. It is through these services and resources that the library strives to fulfill its mission, this is our unique reason to exist. The methods of how we accomplish our mission are fluid, but the relevance of our mission continues.

Mission Statement

To inspire and enrich the lives of the residents in our supporting municipalities by offering valuable lifetime literacies and a community centric service approach.

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Strategic Plan

The Library Board of Directors launched the strategic planning process in September 2016. Underlying research and community input for this plan was gathered over a nine-month period through one-on-one conversations, a Library Board strategic planning session, and surveys.

Learn more about the MLNV Strategic Plan 2017-2020.

Please note: the next MLNV Strategic Plan will be released soon. (Updated 01/04/2021)

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Supporting Municipalities

We are proud to serve our supporting municipalities: Bushkill Township, Lower Nazareth, Borough of Nazareth, and Upper Nazareth Township.

Board of Directors

A (9) member Board of Directors plus (1) Emeritus member governs the library. Directors represent each funding municipality. Members of the Board serve for a period of three years.

  • Jeff Shepherd – President
  • Mary Reichel – Vice President
  • Leonard Fodera – Treasurer
  • Julie Bender – Secretary
  • Becky Bartlett – Member
  • James Cunningham – Member
  • Laura Dunne – Member
  • Barbara Fischl – Member
  • Amy Templeton – Member
  • Chris Crook – Nazareth Borough Liaison

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Our Staff

Holly Bennett

Holly Bennett

Executive Director

610.759.4932 x6

Catherine Stewart

Catherine Stewart

Senior Library Associate

610.759.4932 x5


For any questions, please call 610.759.4932 or email the following departments (emails will be returned within 3 business days):

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Membership Eligibility

To be eligible to receive a library card, you must belong to one of the following groups:

  1. A current resident of one of the 4 communities that support the library: Bushkill Township, Lower Nazareth Township, Nazareth Borough, or Upper Nazareth Township. Please bring proof of your residency (e.g., driver’s license, utility bill, insurance, etc.) when applying for a card.
  2. A member of another Pennsylvania library, holding a valid library card with the “Access PA” sticker on it. This sticker makes you eligible to receive a card from our library. Please present your home library membership card when applying for an MLNV card.

Residents of Stockertown, Tatamy, and Plainfield Townships are not eligible for MLVN Library cards because those townships do not contribute to the library’s funding. If you are a resident of one of these townships, you may purchase a library card from one of the following libraries, to be used only at the library issuing the card:

Bangor Public Library
Easton Area Public Library
Blue Mountain Community Library

If you are a resident of a township that does not support a public library, consider talking to your local government officials about the benefits of doing so.

Programs, events, and library space usage are open to all members of the public, regardless of membership status.

To learn what library provides you with services, please click here.

Children between the ages 2-12 with a valid library membership are eligible to participate in the Summer Reading Program. Children who are Access patrons, meaning Nazareth is not their home library but they have an orange Nazareth card, may also register for Summer Reading. If the child is not old enough to receive a library card at their home library, but their parent/guardian has an up-to-date card from both their home library and Nazareth, they are still eligible to register for Summer Reading. Children who are old enough to receive a card at their home library must do so. Children who live in a municipality that does not support a library may not register for the Summer Reading Program reading challenge, but they are free and welcome to attend all library programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why don’t all municipalities and boroughs support the public libray?

The residents of our supporting municipalities enjoy everything our library offers because their government leaders believe libraries are an essential government service. These local municipalities support the library as part of responsive and responsible government.

What other mechanisms support the library?

Libraries are assigned by the state to District Library Centers. District Library Centers have nothing to do with School Districts. The Library receives no funding from the Nazareth Area School District. The Library receives no funding from the Bethlehem Library District. The Library receives no funding from Northampton County.

What service area does our district serve?

Our Library is assigned to the Bethlehem Library District.

How does this affect Tatamy, Stockertown, and Plainfield Township?

Tatamy, Stockertown and Plainfield Township are not part of this Library’s service area. Tatamy and Stockertown are assigned by the state to the Easton Area Library District Center and any discussion on funding library service must first be with the Easton Area Library District.

How can a municipality become a member?

Any municipality wishing to provide library services to their residents by supporting our Library would have to agree to contribute using our current formula which is based on reported EIT numbers from each municipality. Residents of Tatamy, Stockertown and Plainfield Township have the strongest influence in persuading their local government officials that providing library service is a priority for their community.

Can I buy a library card?

The Easton Area Library and Bangor Library sell cards to non-residents. Therefore, residents of Tatamy, Stockertown, and Plainfield Township who are willing to purchase a card do have library service. Please remember that these purchased library cards can only be used at the library that they are purchased. Library cards that do not contain ACCESS PA stickers are not accepted at the Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity.

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History of the Library

The idea of a public library for Nazareth and its surrounding communities was conceived following WWII when the community decided to erect a living memorial honoring all the local men and women who served in time of war.

Prior to construction of a library facility, Mr. Nelson Freeman donated the second floor of his South Main Street store as a temporary library.

The ground was broken for the Library on April 30, 1950 and the dedication was held May 30, 1951.

By 1970, library usage had increased almost tenfold. The heirs of Peter and Katherine Trumbower donated the Trumbower home, at the corner of Center and New Streets, as a larger library facility. The library moved into this, its present location, in May of 1970.

Once again the library outgrew its building, and in September of 1995 a campaign to build the 1.2 million-dollar addition began. Construction and renovation of the library, as it appears today, began in December of 1997. The new facility was rededicated on June 13, 1999.

Yeakel, Elmer & Alice. (1998) The History of the Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity. Moravian Hall Square Museum Craft Shop: Nazareth, PA.

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Library Business

Annual Report

Our Annual Report is released during the first quarter of each calendar year.

Funding Sources

The Library is supported locally by contributions from: Nazareth Borough, Lower Nazareth, Upper Nazareth and Bushkill Townships. The Library budget is determined by the Library’s operating needs, goals of the current strategic plan and anticipated state funding.

The Library budget is prepared and recommended by the Library Budget Committee, which is made of members of the Library Board and 1 elected official from each supporting municipality. The budget is then submitted to the Library Board for approval. The Board approved budget is then sent to each funding municipality.

Funding is also received in the form of state aid contributions from the Pennsylvania Office of Commonwealth Libraries. State funding amounts are calculated on local funding received, therefore any decreases in local funding adversely affect future state funding. This fact makes full funding from each local municipality vital.

Other funds are received from private fundraising, donations, grants and fines/fees collected.

The Library receives no funding from the Nazareth Area School District.

The Library receives no funding from Tatamy, Stockertown, or Plainfield Township.

A municipality wishing to become a supporting municipality would be obliged to agree to the current local funding formula.

Employment & Volunteer Opportunities


The Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity requires that applicants submit an employment application for open positions. You may submit a résumé, but you must also complete the entire application; incomplete applications will not be considered. Résumés are not accepted without a completed employment application.

Applications can be downloaded and emailed to [email protected].

Job Openings

  • There are no active job openings at this time.

MLNV is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Candidates must pass PA State and Federal criminal background checks and obtain a PA Child Abuse History Clearance Certificate.

To apply, fill out our employment application. Submit your application to [email protected] or submit at the front desk.


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PA Forward

The Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity (MLNV) was awarded a Gold Star rating by the Pennsylvania Library Association on November 18, 2019. The PA Forward program sponsors the Gold Star award. PA Forward is a Pennsylvania Library Association initiative that is partially funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, Governor.

PA Forward operates on the belief that “libraries have moved far beyond just being book repositories. They are agile institutions serving real-life needs. Libraries are the key to powering progress and elevating the quality of life in Pennsylvania by fueling the types of knowledge essential to success: Basic Literacy, Information Literacy, Civic and Social Literacy, Health Literacy, and Financial Literacy.” (

The MLNV started working on its PA Forward star status at the beginning of 2019. Since February, the library has received a Bronze Star and Silver Stars for all five literacies highlighted by PA Forward. The MLNV will retain Gold Star Library status for three years.

With the help of PA Forward, our library strives to provide information and programming that promotes and strengthens the following literacies: basic, information, civic, social, health, and financial.

For more information on our PA Forward programming, check out our informational brochure.