Member Spotlight: McBride Memorial Library

“The biggest benefit that the library has seen from our membership in the Chamber is our ability to network and promote through Chamber events. For example, I am able to publish this spotlight and talk about the library through a medium that many individuals who may not visit the library will read about.  It also puts me in contact with many individuals who may not be aware of how the library can support their information needs.”

– Nadine Kramarz, Director of Library Services, McBride Memorial Library

McBride Memorial Library was started as the Berwick Public Library on July 16, 1916 by the 20th Century Club and the Delphians. These groups later combined and still exist today as the 20th Century Delphians and continue to support the library.

Like other public libraries, McBride supports lifelong learning and promotes five literacies: basic literacy, information literacy, civic & social literacy, health literacy and financial literacy. It promotes basic literacy and kindergarten readiness for children under age 5, provides after-school programs and STEM opportunities for school-aged children and a safe third space where teens learn how to be an adult. It also provides information, research and relaxation for adults. McBride also supports small businesses and entrepreneurs by offering free space, computers and internet, online databases and opportunities to network with other businesses, including through entrepreneurial breakfasts, the next of which is scheduled for Sept. 15 at 8 a.m. Furthermore, public libraries provide information and support democracy by providing unfettered access to information in both print and electronic form, and are also strong community builders – which includes businesses.

McBride was selected for a competitive Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant to implement a special needs toy library to build pre-literacy skills. This toy library is available throughout Columbia and Montour counties. Additionally, Nadine Kramarz, director of library services, was selected as a 2017 iLEAD participant and is now working with other PA librarians on a community engagement project. McBride has also been awarded several materials through grants offered by the Commonwealth, including 8,000 lego educator bricks for its Lego Club and Lakeshore Building Blocks for Block Parties.

Volunteers are crucial to the success of McBride, which is now accepting volunteers to support its mission by shelf reading, maintaining collections, gardening/landscaping, working at events, baking goods for programs such as Books on Wheels or for events such as the Ice Cream Social. For more information on volunteer opportunities, visit here and for more information on the library, visit its website or call 570-752-2241.


Member spotlights are chosen via a random drawing from members that submit their business cards at a Business After Hours event. The next Business After Hours is scheduled for July 19 at the Columbia County Traveling Library, located at 702 Sawmill Rd., Bloomsburg. 

PASSHE Board Presented With Findings of Strategic Review

On July 12, the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) were presented with a much-awaited set of recommendations by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), a consultant group that the PASSHE board hired earlier this year to conduct a strategic review of the state-owned university system. PASSHE, which Chamber member Bloomsburg University is a member of along with 13 other institutions, has a combined enrollment of just over 100,000 students, including over 9,500 at Bloomsburg during the recently completed 2016-17 academic year. According to a 2015 study commissioned by PASSHE, the 14 institutions have a combined $6.7 billion total economic impact, including nearly $393 million at Bloomsburg, utilizing data from the 2013-14 academic year. The strategic review was necessary due to falling enrollment and budget challenges at a majority of the PASSHE schools. 

A summary of the presentation to the PASSHE board is detailed in this article in Inside Higher Ed, and the complete NCHEMS presentation can also be viewed on its website. 

Member News – July 12, 2017

Member News


Hamilton Dental Care Hosts Open House Tomorrow at New Location

Hamilton Dental Care, which cut the ribbon on its new office building last week, will celebrate the recent opening of its new location at 2 Audubon Court, Bloomsburg, with an Open House tomorrow, July 13, from 4:30-8 p.m. The public is invited to bring the family for a fun night of food and prizes. Attendees can tour the new office and meet the friendly staff. Kids will enjoy face painting and balloons by The Balloon Man, Lanny Lee.  Adults can register to win a variety of prizes and baskets.  All new patients that schedule during this event will receive a 50% savings off their new patient exam.  A door prize of free whitening will also be given away to one lucky winner. 


First Step Seminar in Bloomsburg This Friday

Have you ever thought about starting your own business, but weren’t quite sure if it would be right for you? Or maybe you want to know what paperwork you need in order to open your doors? These and several other common questions for small businesses will covered at the next First Step Seminar given by the Wilkes University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) on Friday, July 14, at noon at the Downtown Bloomsburg, Inc. Business Incubator, 151 E. Main St., Bloomsburg. Laura Haden of the SBDC will speak about the different legal structures a business can be, how to write a business plan and create financial projections, and much more. Cost is $15 for the First Step book. Walk-ins are welcome but pre-registration is preferred. Register by calling 570-408-4334, email or online


Bucknell SBDC to Hold Annual Celebration of Small Business Breakfast

The Bucknell University Small Business Development Center will host its annual Celebration of Small Business Breakfast on Friday, July 21, from 8-10 a.m. in the Terrace Room on the second floor of the Elaine Langone Center on the Bucknell campus in Lewisburg. Friends and fans of small business are all invited to attend this free event that will bring together the business community, statewide economic development stakeholders and legislators to recognize the accomplishments of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial leaders in the region. The year’s program will feature the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Person of the Year for Pennsylvania, Elvin Stoltzfus, the founder and president of Pik Rite, Inc. It will also recognize the local finalists of the 2017 InnovateHER Business Challenge and recognize the winners of that competition, and will feature the presentation of the Charles H. Coder Entrepreneurial Leadership Award recognizing innovation in new product development and outstanding collaboration with Bucknell’s College of Engineering. 

Register for this free event online, or by calling Shelley Gadoury at 570-577-1249. 


United Way of Columbia County Merges With Danville Area United Way

On July 1, the United Way of Columbia County and the Danville Area United Way consolidated to become the United Way of Columbia and Montour County. This combining of resources allows the merged organizations to collaborate on operations and fundraising campaigns. The organization’s new website is United Way of Columbia and Montour County shares an office building with the Chamber at 238 Market St. in Bloomsburg.


Philadelphia Federal Credit Union to Host Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening of New Branch

Philadelphia Federal Credit Union (PFCU) will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 10, at 11 a.m. at their new branch office located in the Route 11 Marketplace, 1615 Columbia Blvd. (Rt. 11), Bloomsburg. The ribbon cutting will be followed by a public grand opening featuring free food and giveaways, which will run until 2 p.m. 

Medication take-back box now available for use at Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital

Geisinger Health recently expanded its medication take-back program to Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital. A medication take-back box, located in the main lobby, is now available for use by patients, visitors and employees, to safely return unused or expired prescriptions.

The goal of Geisinger’s medication take-back program is twofold: to decrease the abuse and unintentional overdose of prescription drugs by children and teenagers, and to decrease the potential negative impacts of medications on our environment. Geisinger currently has more than 20 take-back boxes installed throughout its footprint for the safe and eco-friendly disposal of unused and expired medications. 

The take-back boxes are easy to use and accept prescription and over-the-counter medications, including narcotics, in solid, liquid, patch, cream, ointment and spray form. Inhalers, needles, syringes and aerosols are not accepted. The box is securely locked and under 24/7 security surveillance.

For more information about Geisinger’s take-back boxes, including locations, hours and frequently asked questions, visit

Budget Bill Becomes Law as Legislators Continue to Negotiate Revenues

From PA Chamber of Business & Industry

Update as of Tuesday, July 11: Gov. Wolf allowed the state budget bill to become law by letting the deadline pass without signing the bill. Lawmakers continue to negotiate a revenue plan this week in order to balance the budget. 

Tonight at midnight is the deadline for Gov. Tom Wolf to take action on H.B. 218, the nearly $32 billion General Appropriations that lawmakers sent him on June 30. The state Capitol was largely quiet last week as legislative leaders continued to negotiate the details of a revenue package to pay for the spending plan. House lawmakers returned to session on Friday and the Senate returned on Saturday, with both chambers convening through the weekend, though little progress was made. In fact, on Sunday the governor rejected a revenue plan that legislative leaders floated his way. “It wasn’t enough,” Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre, explained to Capitolwire about the $2.2 billion revenue package that included about $1.4 billion in borrowing and $800 million in recurring and non-recurring revenues.  

With the governor supposedly holding out for a “couple hundred million dollars more” in additional spending, session is scheduled every day this week until all four caucuses and the administration can agree on a revenue plan. In terms of gaming expansion, it now appears unlikely that the final agreement will include video gaming terminals. Corman told reporters that the gaming provisions are now mostly agreed to, with satellite casinos (smaller gaming venues for which existing casinos would have a first option to bid on licenses), internet gambling run by casinos and fantasy sports betting are being negotiated. Also, while the Senate has seemed uninterested in agreeing to additional liquor reforms, they are now entertaining legislation that would allow beer distributors to become one-stop shops of wine, liquor and beer products in the state’s more rural areas, which liquor privatization supporters say are underserved by the state’s system of liquor stores (a reform that would net about $50 million).

On Thursday, it was announced that the governor’s proposal to merge four state agencies into a Department of Health and Human Services will NOT include the Pennsylvania Departments of Aging or Drug and Alcohol Programs. Gov. Wolf had initially suggested that these agencies, in addition to the Departments of Health and Human Services be combined as part of a larger consolidation plan to help the Commonwealth save $2 billion. Lawmakers cited concerns about the short timeframe associated with the move in the midst of an opioid epidemic as the reason why they moved away from the plan as presented. According to a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, although H.B. 218 includes savings from combining the Departments of Health and Human Services, that merger must still be approved by legislation. A timeline for when that would happen is unclear.

It’s worth noting that the governor’s midnight deadline on H.B. 218 is only a deadline if he wants the revenue plan to be fully agreed-to before taking action on the bill. Or, history could repeat itself and he could do what he did last year and allow the bill to become law without his signature because the necessary revenues weren’t yet approved. In 2016, lawmakers debated revenue sources for two additional days after the spending bill officially became law.