Art of the Garden Exhibit & Sale Going On Now!

The opening reception for the Art of the Garden show was held on Friday evening, April 8th.

We’d like to congratulate the grand prize winner of the show Susan Stefanski!

In addition to the grand prize, we’d like to congratulate the following winners as well:

1st prize to Linus Coraggio
2nd prize to Rose Marie Cunniffe
3rd prize to Elizabeth Heller
Honorable mention to Sabine Rehm
Honorable mention to Andrea Beizer
Honorable mention to Judy Fox

The reception included a few snacks and beverages from local businesses and even though it was a rainy evening, a large number of community residents stopped by the library.

Thanks to all the library staff with all their help throughout the set up and ongoing display of this show. And thank you to the Friends volunteers and the Trustees for volunteering as well!

Thank you so much to all the wonderful pieces entered into the show! Please don’t forget to stop by the library to pick out a piece to grace your lovely walls. A portion of each sale benefits the HTFL and the show will continue through June 20th.

The Friends would also like to thank everyone for their patience with us while we host our first show on this scale. All suggestions and comments have been noted and will be taken into consideration when planning future events. Feedback is always appreciated!


Cooking With Your Friends: Easy Flounder Roll-ups

Alright, everyone flip to page 118 for today’s recipe – Easy Flounder Roll-Ups submitted by Becky O’Hara. My husband and I are huge seafood fans and especially huge fans of recipes with the word “easy” in them. 🙂

After gathering all the ingredients, I realized that we had to cook the rice first. Ugh. So we waited while the white rice cooked, about 20 minutes (unfortunately, no minute rice for me!). Once that was done, the rest really was easy. It was quite a feat to fit all the veggies and such onto the flounder to roll it up, but I tried.

Once I shoved as much as I could into the roll, I put it into a small round casserole dish and stuffed the extra stuffing around the edges which seemed to work just fine.

Half hour and 5 minutes later, this is what the casserole dish looked like.

The flounder cooked nicely and was perfectly done. We could’ve handled a bit more shredded cheese but the whole dish was nice and moist. Yum!!

Friends Focus: Katrine Fantini

This week’s Friends Focus is on one of our more recent additions to the Friends’ board of directors, Katrine Fantini.

Tell us a bit about yourself:
* My name is Katrine Fantini and I am a full time mother of an amazing six year old son. Currently, I am earning an associates in business administration at Delaware County Community College. I also am an estimator and an assistant administrator for Fantini Tile Corp.

What do you do (employment or for fun)?
* I enjoy spending time with close friends and family.
What first made you want to join the Friends’ Board?
* I had noticed the hours for the library had been reduced and I had learned about how the economy was affecting the library. I felt compelled to contribute in some way to help sustain our library. The library is a main staple in me and my son’s life, I don’t know what I would do if the library and all of its wonderful programs were not available. Becoming a board member of the Friends is allowing me to give back to a library that has provided so much to the community. It is an opportunity for me to show my appreciation.

What are your primary duties on the Friends’ board?
* Since becoming a board member, I have come up with some fundraiser ideas that I hope to make a reality. I am excited about developing and putting into place a terracycling program in all of the township’s schools that will help raise money for a great cause and help the environment at the same time!

What book do you most cherish?
* The book I cherish the most is any work written by my son and his baby book, of course.

I am a college student so I don’t get a lot of personal time to read during the semester, but a recent english class had allowed me the opportunity to read something other than a textbook. I read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and I have to be honest, I had a really hard time putting the book down. What interested me most about the book besides the fact that is was a true story was how Jeanette, despite the tragic experiences she encountered and the unthinkable environment she grew up in, persevered and attained a successful life. I also enjoyed reading A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. The story was intriguing and I was very curious to see where the story was going and how things were going to end. I do enjoy reading and thanks to a few friends’ suggestions (and letting me borrow their books) I have some reading material lined up for when I am finished my current class and they are: Memoirs of a Geisha by Author Golden, Twilight and New Moon by Stephanie Meyer.

I really enjoy most of movies produced by Adam Sandler (Happy Madison Productions and Madison 23 Productions). Whenever I need a laugh these movies are always able to get some out of me. I also enjoy Disney and Pixar movies.

Songs/Musical Groups:
My favorite song is Fur Elise by Beethoven, I could listen to it on repeat forever. I enjoy all types of music, but some music groups/artists I could listen to anytime regardless of my mood are U2, The Fray, and Colbie Caillat.

I enjoy humoring myself with sites such as,, and I prefer to use Google as a search engine. I also enjoy any website that will offer the best price and a low shipping cost for items I want to purchase.

I love cheeseburgers, Eagle Pizza’s plain pizza, grilled chicken salads, snacking on fruit, and I am vulnerable to consuming a box of Gushers fruit snacks without hesitation.

I am a running fiend.

Indoor Activity:
I really like to build things out of with legos with my son, and sleeping is a personal favorite.

What brought you to the Havertown area? What makes you want to stay?
* My family moved to Havertown in when I was in the fourth grade. Havertown has a really amazing community. The people are friendly, the schools are phenomenal, the recreation department has so much to offer, and the library always has something fun and interesting going on. There is so much enrichment this community has to offer, it’s hard to imagine life anywhere else.

* Happiness is….the feeling of fulfillment.

Do you have any pets?
* I share a red eared slider with my son. I can’t claim the turtle as my own, my son helps out a lot.

Which is the best vacation you’ve ever had in your life?
* The best vacation I ever had was one I didn’t even know I was on… childhood.

If given a complete freedom to start afresh, what profession would you choose and why?
* If given the freedom to start afresh, I would have become a teacher. Having the summer off to spend with my son would be ideal.

If you were stranded on a lonely island, what are the five things that you would want?
* If I were stranded on an island, I would like to have (1) a manufactured home to live in, (2) free electricity, (3) free plumbing, (4) free internet service, (5) and an infinite supply of money to order things like hygiene products, food, clothing, and have them shipped to me.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
* Perfect happiness is a feeling of fulfillment in life. Feeling content about who you are, where you are in life, and the choices you have made along the way. I feel as if I have attained my ideal perfect happiness.

What is your greatest extravagance?
* My greatest extravagance is my current occupation with my employer. The position allows me to gain experience in multiple areas of a business while allowing me to have the flexibility to be present in my son’s life.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
* Seriously?! ….I know, right!?

Which talent would you most like to have?
* The talent I would like most is the ability to read/do something once and remember it forever. I would save me a lot of time studying.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
* My greatest achievement is any positive impact I have on someone or my community.

What is your most treasured possession?
* My most treasured possession is all of the photos and home videos I have of my son growing up.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
* No one. Life is a journey and we take on admirable traits we see in others along the way, but at the end of the day we are each one of a kind.

What is your motto?
* Life is what you make of it.

Thanks so much, Katrine, for taking the time to answer all my questions! I hope you all enjoyed learning more about a Friends board member.

Friends Focus on Anny Laepple

Our Friends Focus series will interview members of the Friends board, library staff and other important people in our community. If you have a suggestion for someone you’d like to see interviewed, don’t hesitate to contact us at!

Today’s focus is on the Youth Services Manager, Anny Laepple. Read on to learn more!

  • Tell us a bit about yourself:
    • I’m Anny Laepple and I grew up in rural Central PA. After spending my senior year of high school in Catania, Sicily – I went to The George Washington University in Washington, DC where I earned a BA in Italian Studies. I went on to get my Masters of Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Science. I came to HTFL just out of library school. I live in South Philadelphia, but have also tried the Northern Liberties and West Philly! I have a Little Sister with Big Brother, Big Sisters who is 10 and I’m anxiously awaiting my first niece, who will be coming in April!
  • What brought you to the HTFL?
    • After library school in Pittsburgh I was interested in moving back to East Coast. This was the first position I interviewed for and I absolutely loved the library – I knew right away I wanted to work here!
  • What are your primary duties at the library?
    • As the Youth Services Manager, my primary duties are to serve children birth through high school and their families and caregivers! I manage the staff and budgets of the Children and Teen Departments. I also oversee purchasing all the materials you see added to our collections. Additionally I coordinate programming and publicity. Finally, I also oversee the library’s web presence – all those Facebook posts you see are from me!

  • How long have you worked at the library?
    • I’ve been at the library about 4.5 years – wow!
  • Where do you hope to see the library in the next 5 years?
    • I’d like to see the library continuing to serve as a community center for Haverford Township. I hope that we’ll always see new faces coming into the community of library lovers and that we’ll be able to serve them with the best materials and technology available! And if we could have a bigger physical space (and bigger parking lot!), I wouldn’t mind that either.
  • What book do you most cherish?
    • I don’t think I will ever love a book like I love Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak or Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

  • Who is your hero of fiction?
    • Harry Potter!
  • Who are your favorite writers?
    • Right now I’m loving Rick Riordan and Mo Willems.
  • Name your top five:
    • Books
      • Where the Wild Things Are
      • Where the Sidewalk Ends
      • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
      • To Kill a Mockingbird
      • The Color Purple

    • Movies
      • Roman Holiday
      • Mean Girls
      • Up
      • The Rocky Horror Picture Show
      • Little Miss Sunshine
    • Songs/musical groups
      • Neil Young
      • Van Wagner
      • U2
      • Madonna
      • Dar Williams
  • What is your favorite:
    • Food
      • Tacos al Pastor from Los Gallos

    • Place
      • The Caffe Wunderbar in Taormina, Sicily
    • Sport
    • Indoor Activity
      • Knitting
  • Complete this sentence: Happiness is… hand painted baby alpaca yarn, the swings in Marconi Plaza on a summer night, Without a Trace marathons.
  • Do you have any pets?
    • There are two cats at my house – Finn, who is orange and very needy and Bellatrix LeStrange who is very naughty.
  • Which is the best vacation you’ve ever had in your life?
    • A whirlwind trip to Berlin, Prague, Budapest, and Vienna. There were train, planes, buses, and even a ferry involved!

  • If given a choice to skip work for a day, how would you spend the entire day?
    • An early Megabus to New York, where I would buy tickets to whatever was hot at TKTS – shop, lunch, show. Perfect!
  • If you were stranded on a lonely island, what are the five things that you would want?
    • My iphone, knitting needles and yarn, a radio with NPR, sunscreen, a down pillow
  • What is your greatest extravagance?
    • Fancy, fancy yarn
  • What is your most treasured possession?
    • Two necklaces; one from each of my grandfathers. From my maternal grandmother – a heart shaped locket brought back for her from Italy by my grandfather after his time in WWII. From my paternal grandmother, a small cameo from her world travels as a young wife with her oil company husband.

Thanks so much, Anny, for taking the time to answer all our pressing questions! I hope you all enjoyed learning about one of our fabulous librarians. Next time you see her at the library, don’t forget to say hi!

Cooking With Your Friends: Artichoke-Prosciutto Gratin

I’ve always been uncertain – how do you pronounce prosciutto? It is “pro-shoot-o”? Or “pro-shoot”? Either way, this recipe is a super easy and delicious Sunday dinner, especially when the temperature outside doesn’t even cross the freezing mark. 

First the pros:
There aren’t very many ingredients and they are fairly inexpensive.

Besides the cutting board, it’s a one bowl dish. Overall, it takes about 15 minutes to prepare and the oven does the rest!

The cons:
Probably only happens to me – my oven is not very reliable and didn’t stay at the proper temperature the whole time so the dish could’ve been a bit warmer for my taste. But obviously if you have a better working oven than mine, you should have no problems. Also, I felt like it was a smidge salty but that’s to be expected when you combine prosciutto, gorgonzola and canned artichokes.

All in all, served with some warm bread and a garden salad on the side, this dinner makes a fantastic weekday dinner when you’re in need of something quick. So if you haven’t tried it yet, flip to page 79 and dig in!

Membership & Donation Update!

The Friends have made it even easier for you to join or renew your membership. Instead of being required to send or drop off a check or cash to the library, the Friends now offer Paypal as a way to pay for your annual membership!

Additional Options

We’re so proud to be able to upgrade our ability to accept payments at no cost to you. Through Paypal, you are able to securely purchase your membership as well as donate any money you see fit to the Friends. The link to renew or join the Friends is right here. And the link to send the Friends a donation (in any amount, from $0.01 to as much as you can give!) is right here. The donation button is also located in the left bar of any page on the Friends website.

For anyone unfamiliar with the site, Paypal is a secure online payment service. The service allows members to send money without sharing financial information, with the flexibility to pay using their account balances, bank accounts, credit cards or promotional financing. If you use a credit card, you’ll continue to earn any rewards that card offers! In addition, you’ll save the cost of an envelope and stamp and we’ll get the money faster – allowing us great flexibility when giving money to the library. All in all, it’s a win-win and we’re so happy to be able to offer this option to you!

Solution Graphics

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me, Nicole Bruno (the Friends treasurer) at I generally respond within 24-48 hours and would be happy to hear from you!

Friends Focus: Richard Romejko

In this Friends Focus, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the last remaining founding member on our board. I’m very excited to introduce Richard Romejko! Beyond being a founding member, Richard is incredibly active on all fronts when it comes to Friends activities. He came up with the idea and organized the Haitian Art sale at the library last year to benefit Doctors Without Borders as well as our library. He has a great way of melding the different aspects of his life and having everyone benefit. Read on to learn more…

  • Tell us a bit about yourself.

Richard Romejko-a baby boomer who attended the Woodstock Musical Festival way back in the day.

Continue reading

Cooking With Your Friends: Pumpkin Soup

This post it the first in a series that will appear here. I’ll–or someone will–cook each recipe in Cooking with Your Friends, the cookbook compiled by the Friends of the Haverford Township Free Library, and review it.

The raw materials; too dark this evening to capture the soup. Consider this a place holder.

Here’s what clinched it: “The trick is to realize it is really hard to ruin squash soup.” Those reassuring words from Janet Chrzan, nutritional anthropologist, Library Friend, and founder of the Oakmont Farmer’s Market, prompted me to take on her recipe for pumpkin soup.

It seemed only natural that I should buy the pumpkin at the Farmer’s Market, so I did. (I am kicking myself for not writing down the grower’s name.)

The first step, to skin and cube the pumpkin, reminded me why I don’t cook with pumpkin more often. It’s hard work, though once I switched to this style vegetable peeler, the rind came off more easily. The soup comes together effortlessly after that. Once it was cooked, I used an immersion blender to smooth the soup, though that step is optional. There’s no real measurement for the seasonings, and I was a bit worried after I threw in a palmful of chili powder, which is my customary definition of “to taste.” Would it overwhelm the pumpkin?

It was delicious! My husband found it to be a nice warming fall soup, and said the spices contrast with and set off the natural flavors of the pumpkin. I loved the surprise of the coconut milk under the flavors of pumpkin and chili.

Janet reports that the soup “has taken on more of a Southeast Asian tone,” and that was my cue for building dinner around this soup. I went with a “pan-Asian” theme and had edamame and store-bought shu mai and potstickers  to round out the meal.

With Halloween around the corner, it’s the perfect time of year for pumpkin soup. Try this recipe.


Welcome to the new blog from the Friends of the Haverford Township Free Library.

Our goals with this blog include:

  • Keeping you up-to-date on our events. Not just where and when–we’ll give you the inside scoop.
  • Introducing you to the Friends and the Friends of Friends. Profiling our board members, the library staff, and our business sponsors, you’ll get to know the library’s movers and shakers.
  • Cooking. We’ll be making recipes from the Friend’s cookbook to entice you to get your own copy. (Proceeds benefit the library!)
  • Giving you talking points so that you can help us advocate for the library.

Of course, our mission is to serve the community. Please let us know what you’d like to see on the blog!