New library director hits the ground running, continues popular free food pantry program in Apollo

Jul. 21—The Apollo Memorial Library has started a new chapter in its leadership.

After the sudden departure of former library director Jennifer Ramsey on May 9, members of the library's board of trustees began their search for a replacement.

They found it in Spring Church resident Beth Moore.

Moore, 56, said Wednesday that she hopes to continue the established programs already in place at the nonprofit.

"The previous directors have done an amazing job of providing the programming that our community needs. I hope to continue this trend and make our library a hub for the community," Moore said. "I want everyone to feel welcome at the library, whether looking for a book or movie, needing information, wanting a place to meet a friend, researching genealogy, getting a passport, using a computer or taking advantage of our other services, programs and resources."

One of the library's newest programs is the Fresh and Free Community Pantry, implemented in January by Ramsey.

The free pantry, available to all with no qualifying conditions, debuted in January. Local grocer Naser Foods donates fresh produce five days a week.

"We have amazing volunteers who are willing to go and pick up the produce each day," Moore said.

The pantry now offers donated nonperishable food items.

Naser regularly donates more than 40 pounds of nearly perfect produce.

Other local businesses, including Patrick's Pub, have donated food items to the pantry.

Moore grew up in Curwensville, Clearfield County, and graduated with an education degree from Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, N.Y. She holds a master's degree in school library and information science from Mansfield University.

Her family includes her husband, Jerry, and daughters Rachel and Madalyn.

"We are very happy to welcome Beth Moore to the library. In the short time she has already been here, she has proven herself to be a creative, dedicated and capable asset to us," said Jennifer Bothell, vice president of the library's board of trustees. "We are excited to have her here and look forward to working with her on the great projects and programs we have coming up for our patrons and community."

The library, founded in 1908, is the oldest in Armstrong County, housing a collection of more than 30,000 books.

Services include free public internet access; laser printer, copier, fax and scanner services; a seasonal dog license agency; and interlibrary loaning.

Programs include Take Apart Tech Tuesdays, Yarn Good Time Fiber Arts Group, an adult book club, summer STEM and reading programs.

Eight student artists from the Apollo-Ridge School District recently painted a vibrant mural on the exterior wall of the library.

The library hosted a public mural unveiling June 22.

"The mural is a stunning visual representation of all the library is," library officials said during the event.

Moore's first project as director includes the digitizing of the expansive genealogy collection at the library.

"I'd like for it to be available on our website so people can have the convenience of accessing it there rather than having to come to the library. This will also be beneficial for out-of-towners," Moore said.

The library is at 219 N. Pennsylvania Ave.

Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joyce by email at or via Twitter .