701 Cocoa Avenue, Hershey, PA 17033

(717) 533-6555 library@derrytownship.org

Library History – Early Days to Now

Early Days:
1912-1913
In 1912, a permanent public library was housed in the YMCA Building, a part of Cocoa House, a community center that also contained a bank, post office, store, theatre, dormitories, and Hershey Trust Company offices. The library was managed through a joint committee of the YWCA and YMCA, enabling resources to be available to both men and women.

1913-1914
Hershey Public Library proper was founded in 1913. The earlier collection was relocated to the Hershey Department Store.

1914-1927
In 1914, the library moved to the newly renovated and renamed Hershey Central Theater Building.

1928-1932
In June 1928, the library moved a third time to the second floor of a former post office.

1933-1980
The library found another home in the newly built Community Center.

1981-1996
In 1981, the Hershey Public Library moved to the former Derry Township Middle School on Granada Avenue and became a part of the Derry Township municipality.The Hershey Public Library was first established in 1913, and has had six previous locations in the area.

To Now: On April 26, 1997, the library moved to its seventh and current location, a building newly constructed on Cocoa Avenue and dedicated solely to the library. Major renovations began in October 2019 to construct a brand new family entrance, a storytime room, a teen room, and a reading garden. This project is due for completion in summer 2020.

About our collections:
As of 2020, the library owns more than 102,000 items, including books, DVDs, music on CD, magazines and audio books. Its special collections include the Pennsylvania Collection, Palliative Care Collection, and World Languages Collection. The Pennsylvania Collection, located in the Hershey Room, contains published materials relating primarily to the history and culture of Pennsylvania with a special focus on Derry Township and Dauphin County.
The Palliative Care Collection features materials dealing with care of the ill, death, and grieving, donated by the Association of Faculty and Friends of the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
The World Languages Collection features a range of materials in foreign languages, including Chinese, Korean, German, Hindi, Russian, and Spanish. In January 1913, the library held 338 books and served 256 patrons.  The library now owns more than 97,047 items (June 2020), and has over 34, 427 (January 2020) registered card holders. How far we have come!

About our Programs and Services:
Hershey Public Library’s in-house services include regular programming, classes, and events for adults, teens, and children; public access computer network; Help desk; interlibrary loan services; meeting room access; a Library on Wheels service for housebound residents of Hershey and Hummelstown. The library also has passes to the Hershey Story Museum and to the Hershey Gardens. And, mobile hotspots to borrow. Free wifi!

About Online Resources:
Hershey Public Library website features an online catalog. Interlibrary loan request form. Electronic databases for research. Digital resources for e-books, audiobooks, comics, magazines, TV shows, movies and music. Information on library programs for all ages. Library events calendar. Library policies. Friends of the library. Links to websites for special interest. The library is connected online via numerous social networking websites, including Twitter, Instagram as well as Facebook.

Please visit us for all your research, study and entertainment needs. We look forward to serving you.

More historical information can be found at the Hershey Archives.