Library Tour: Upper Perkiomen Valley Library

Another stop on the Montgomery County PA library tour! If you want to know what I am talking about, look here.

On Saturday, January 7, 2023, my husband and I visited the Upper Perkiomen Valley Library as my next location in the tour. It’s situated in Red Hill, PA, about 30 miles northwest of my house. We are familiar with the general area because my husband lived in a nearby town back when I first met him. And during the pandemic, you might know that we walked the Perkiomen Rail Trail (2x) for a distance of 40 miles.

The name Perkiomen refers to the Perkiomen Creek which flows through the area. According to the Skippack Historical Society, the name is a Lenape word meaning “where cranberries grow”.

Red Hill is one of several small towns lining Route 63 in this section of the county. I’ve never been to this library, so I was ready to make a new acquaintance. The library is located in a section of a former factory; the rest of the building is now apartments. We parked in the lot behind the building and saw our destination.

We walked around the building to get to the main entrance. I walked out to the street to get the official front facade view, and then we went up the steps.

Once inside I explained my visit to the librarians, and we had a bit of conversation. Before the building became apartments/library in the 1990’s, it housed different operations that produced cigars and later on, dresses. A display showed some company photos of workers gathered:

as well as a sampler stitched by a member of the family who were associated with the cigar factory.

If you’d like to see a photo of the building in its early days, take a look here on the borough’s history page. We spent some time examining these photos before we left. I reflected on the fact of so many life stories in which this building had a part.

All right. Let’s see the library itself, you say!. Here it is.

It’s a small space, but with a wonderful feel about it with the large windows and the vaulted ceiling. All the things you need are here: books, chairs, tables, and a nice selection of things to read. While we were there, pretty early on Saturday morning, a steady stream of patrons of all ages came in to pick up books on reserve or to browse the shelves.

I chose a selection of books to check out. Now I’ve done three things on the list I follow at each visit – talk to the librarian(s), take photos, and get some books. Now I needed to write something. There wasn’t a good spot to sit down and do it, though, with all the comings and goings. I decided to write on the move. I took my notebook to the shelves and noted down book titles.

Quickly I began to arrange them, or the permutations they inspired, into haiku. I’ll give you one right now, and the others I’ll post later.

Haiku 1230

Give me the pencil
Give me black coffee. The plot
holds a knife on me.


All right, that’s it for the Upper Perkiomen Valley Library. Thank you for being here for all of us readers!

22 thoughts on “Library Tour: Upper Perkiomen Valley Library

    • In Montgomery county we can borrow and return books to any library no matter which library we got our card. I can take all these books and return them to my home library. I can also order books countywide and pick them up at my home library.

  1. I always forget how large Montgomery County is! In high school I was familiar with the Ardmore/Bryn Mawr/Lower Merion part of it.
    The library looks very welcoming inside (not so much the outside). That sampler is cool.

    • This library is closer to Allentown than Philadelphia, it’s certainly a distance from my usual stomping grounds. I find these old factory buildings make great re-use facilities of all kinds. I would love to see the apartments. And the idea of living in the library (almost), well, that would be fantastic!

      • There have been a couple of stories I’ve heard on Storycorps or elsewhere on NPR about people who grew up living in apartments over libraries where their parents worked. It does sound magical.

    • I also enjoyed the sampler – how well it was done, the stitches were perfect and tiny, and also the subject, that the person wanted to commemorate their family history.

  2. I have certainly never been to this library and I don’t believe it is one my husband has been to either. I like that it is housed within a former factory to give it even more history within the community. It looks snug and welcoming.

    • Thank you. Everyone I tell about the library tour thinks it’s a great idea and the librarians so far have encouraged me. There is a lot of ground to cover. I’m looking forward to more.

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