Swing by the 500 block of Vine Street this weekend to celebrate Scranton Public Library’s 125th anniversary and help it prepare for the future.
The ninth annual Swingin’ on Vine fundraiser takes over the street outside Albright Memorial and Lackawanna County Children’s libraries on Friday, May 25, from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission to the 21-and-older event costs $20 in advance and $25 at the door, and benefits programs and operating costs at the city libraries, which include the Nancy Kay Holmes branch in Green Ridge at Library Express in the Marketplace at Steamtown.
“It’s community members serving other community members, and you just can’t go wrong there,” Albright spokeswoman Jessica Serrenti said. “I think we heave wonderful support for the library in our community — Scranton and Dunmore and Dickson City and beyond.”
As guests check out the numerous raffle baskets filled with prizes donated from local businesses, they can listen to the music of Picture Perfect, which takes over from longtime performer Paul LaBelle and the Exact Change Band as the entertainment for the night.
“They have a great mix of everything — your Top 40 pop tunes, everything from Bruno Mars, and then they’ve got some Latin, a little bit of country, some rock in there,” Serrenti said. “I have to say, their song list is just never-ending. They’ll definitely be doing more current tunes … but for our older audience, they have those classic tunes as well.”
Subway, Domino’s and Cooper’s Seafood House will provide much of the food, but guests also can munch on items from numerous other local restaurants. Serrenti said they should expect to find lots of pizza, wings, hoagies and such “traditional kinds of picnic foods.”
For dessert, partygoers can grab a slice of cake featuring the library’s 125th anniversary logo on it, courtesy of Minooka Pastry Shop.
Library director Jack Finnerty believes reaching that milestone makes the library one of the city’s “senior institutions.” He wonders “how many tens of thousands of students” learned research methods and worked on term papers within the Albright’s walls through the years, and where their lives took them from there.
“Everybody who’s been a resident of this city, I think, over those 125 years has, at one time or another, found their way through the doors and benefitted from the visit,” Finnerty said.
Library founder John J. Albright built his namesake library on his family’s former homestead as a gift to Scranton residents. The building opened in June 1893 and recently closed for a few months as it underwent a significant restoration.
“When we reopened back in March, it was wonderful to see everyone come back, and they were very appreciative of the changes that we did make,” Serrenti said.
Reaching 125 years shows that the library is “still here for a reason,” she said.
“We are here serving our community’s needs as far as their informational needs, educational needs and even recreational,” she said. “There’s this idea that with everything going digital … that libraries are not needed. And while Google has given more access to information for everyone, it can still be daunting to find out what information is correct (or) how do (you) even start to use Google, and that’s where libraries come in. We can take that daunting task of ‘How do I find information?’ and say, ‘This is how you start.’”

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If you go
What: Ninth annual Swingin’ on Vine fundraiser
When: Friday, May 25, 5 to 8 p.m.
Where: 500 block of Vine Street, Scranton
Details: Guests must be 21 or older. Tickets cost $20 in advance and $25 at the door and are available at Albright Memorial Library, 500 Vine St.; Nancy Kay Holmes Branch Library, Green Ridge Street and Wyoming Avenue; and Library Express, the Marketplace at Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave. Proceeds benefit Scranton Public Library.

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