Shockey family underwrites new section of Waynesboro library

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Kenneth B. Shockey (right) reviews drawings and selected furnishings for the new children's section at the Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library with Youth Services Coordinator Lori Milach. The Paul K. and Anna E. Shockey Foundation donated $50,000 toward the Bricks.Books.Bytes. capital campaign funding a construction project that nearly doubles the size of the existing facility. This is the library's first expansion since 1988.

WAYNESBORO — The children's section in the newly remodeled Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library has been underwritten by a $50,000 gift from the Paul K. and Anna E. Shockey Family Foundation.

When completed the expanded children's section will take up most of the space in the 1988 addition, which previously housed adult fiction and periodicals.   For many years the children's section has been located in the original 1814 house that was given to the town for use as a library in the 1940s.

“This dramatic change affecting one of the library's key service areas is really going to have a positive impact on our already dynamic children's programming,” said Pat Groff, president of the library's board of trustees.

“The community will be so pleased with the additional child-friendly space. Thanks to the generosity of the Shockey family our children will have room in this comfortable and welcoming space to grow and explore all the wonders a library can offer,” Groff said.

Kenneth B. Shockey, Greencastle, recently met with Youth Services Coordinator Lori Milach, who displayed the paint colors, flooring samples and furniture selected for the enlarged space. “We've chosen neutral, relaxing tones for the walls and floors reserving color for shelving and seating.” In addition, Waynesboro Area Senior High School art students will paint brightly colored dragon-castle-knights and princess-themed murals on the walls of the section. “We are so excited,” said Milach.

The gift was received as part of the library's $1.7 million Bricks.Books.Bytes. capital campaign. Library board member Lucinda Potter invited Shockey to consider supporting the endeavor.  “For years donations to community entities have been given quietly, but recently we have decided it's time to honor the memory of my father (Paul K. Shockey), a co-founder of JLG Industries, who died two years ago,” Shockey said.

“He was always paying back to the community, mostly anonymously. He and my mother were never ones to have their names on buildings,” said Shockey. “But we decided it was time to honor them and their longtime support for community causes.”

By putting Foundation funds into action and going public with donations, Shockey hopes the move will inspire others to give. “There are so many local organizations and individuals in need,” he said. The Shockey Family Foundation comes under the umbrella of the Pennsylvania Automotive Association Foundation, which helps manage the fund.

“Our patrons are eagerly anticipating the renovated children's area,” said Library Director Dinah Shockey [no relation to the Shockey Family Foundation]. “The children's section will be a dedicated area where adults must be accompanied by a child,” Shockey said.  The children's area will be family friendly with low shelving, large windows and many educational activities. Doors will separate the large area from the rest of the library for the security of children and to contain noise.

Library usage numbers are down because of the construction,” said Shockey, “but we expect them to go right back up as soon as the dust settles.” Work on the children's section will take approximately two months. The Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library serves more than 16,000 patrons in the greater Waynesboro area.

Fundraising continues as completion of the library's $1.7 million addition nears. The expansion nearly doubles the size of the existing facility and is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Donations are still being solicited and a Books.Bites.Brews. fundraiser is set for Saturday, Nov. 1 at the Waynesboro Country Club. Tickets for the 5 - 9 p.m. event featuring music, small plates, a silent auction and a mystery raffle are available at the library, The Greater Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce office and at Mainstreet Inc. in the M&T bank building. Individual tickets are $40 each.