2017-09-01 / Shorts

‘Community Treasure’ Starts New Chapter

Beloved children’s librarian Anita Ditz to retire this month

For many children, the local library is a source of great stories and fond memories. For many local residents, time spent at Schlow Centre Region Library is extra special due to the efforts of one librarian.
Anita Ditz became head of Children’s Services at Schlow in 1983, and after 34 years, the treasured storyteller will retire this month. Under her guidance, Schlow became one of the first “Family Place” libraries in Pennsylvania, featuring toys, creative play areas, and parent resources. She also established a nationally recognized Parent/Child Workshop for families with toddlers with special needs.

Ditz has been recognized for taking the “library out of the building” through her participation in several community groups, including working with Smart Start Centre County, to create educational resources for parents of young children, and reading to children from low-income families at the Park Forest Day Nursery.

In 2013, Ditz received the Distinguished Service Award from the Pennsylvania Library Association. It is the organization’s highest honor and is given to someone for “exceptional meritorious service to libraries.”

Schlow Library director Cathi Alloway calls Ditz “a community treasure.” “Anita has served several generations of State College area children and made Schlow’s Children’s Department an award-winning enterprise,” notes Alloway. “Schlow Library is considered a statewide leader in public library service to families, and we look forward to building on her legacy.”

Her legacy also will continue via a new fund established through Centre Foundation. The Anita Ditz Fund for Schlow Library Children’s Department will support collections and activities in the Children’s Library, including purchasing new books, toys, and games and funding storytimes and educational programs.

A special retirement party for Ditz will be held Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. in the library’s Downsbrough Community Room.

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