Reading Public Library unveils high-tech room in south-eastern branch
October 14 — Thanks to a generous donation and the kindness of local entrepreneurs, the Reading Public Library was able to open a high-tech room in its South East branch.
Dozens of people celebrated the opening of the Dr. Jerome I. Marcus Meeting Commons Wednesday night at 1426 Perkiomen Ave. from the library.
The new room is a high-tech private meeting room that can accommodate up to eight people.
The room is equipped with commercial grade technology, ultra-high definition television, the ability to connect smart devices and a sound masking system.
The room was made possible by the largest individual donation the library has ever received, said Linda Klein Capozello, director of advancement and communications.
She did not disclose the price of the room.
Over the summer, the library’s main branch unveiled three high-tech rooms that were built with donations from Marcus, Capozello said.
Thanks to the generosity of Marcus and the contractors who performed the work in-kind or at a reduced rate, the library had funds available to build a room at the South East branch.
“It was a really good surprise,” said Capozello. “We know people value libraries and library services, but the extent to which they have been generous was exciting and it has validated the work we do.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to rethink the way they do business, it made sense for the library to install these high-tech rooms, Capozello said.
“This room will provide our neighbors with a living space equipped to meet the needs of an increasingly connected society through virtual communication,” said Emily McNulty, director of the South East branch.
Social workers, school tutors and more and more businessmen have been using libraries since the start of the pandemic, Capozello said.
“It’s a way of seeing the library not just as a collection of books, but as a community center that is a safe and welcoming space,” she said. “Our library branches are neighborhood hubs and the fact that we could put this important resource into a neighborhood hub was very exciting for us.”