For anyone even remotely interested in a visit, the APS facility is really top notch. I'm not quite sure that I even got into each of the open rooms in my stumbling around for 2 1/2 hours, but there seems to be plenty to entertain any stamp collector all in a very historic setting. The building is beautiful, library fantastic, the staff cordial and helpful. I picked through a ream of Norway circuit books in the time I had allotted. The book store off the library yielded a couple of references also. Sorry, I didn't see Mr. English about but did see Mercer Bristow of APEX. I'm sure I'll make a return visit, hopefully in the Fall.
I understand the APS fundamentally operates as a business and those employed there work in that business, so Monday-Friday seems perfectly normal. But it's also a club as well as a research library for stamp collectors and those interested in stamps and the mails as well as a minor tourist attraction. Not being open at all on the weekends just does not seem like a good idea. If a five day workweek is necessary for all employees, and if a staggered work week (some employees work M-F while others work Tu-Sat, for example), or employees choose their day off), maybe the APS could do what some other businesses do which is to close one weekday so they can be open on Saturdays. Many businesses, restaurants, even museums and professional offices do this.
It is a club and an attraction, and the APS does want members and others to visit, I assume, so operating by fairly narrow business hours like an office or bank would (most consumer businesses are open Saturdays, sometimes Sundays) does not seem like a very good approach. If they are assuming that most members are retired and so can visit on weekdays, that is neither fair nor accurate. They may not have any real reason for doing it this way except that's just how they do it. That's not a good way to operate.
This just seems like a bad approach. Our local libraries close one day a week so they can be open Saturdays and Sunday mornings because that's when people can visit. I imagine the librarians divide up the work days among themselves. Spreading the word about stamp collecting while providing a place for people to visit, do research, hold meetings, and so on should include the weekends.
Depends on how many visitors they normally get. I was there on two different days last week, and I only saw one other visitor other than myself the whole time. Plus, it is kind of a remote area and they may not have access to a lot of potential employees.
Thank you for the feedback. We have to balance two perspectives - meeting the needs of the members who come to us remotely by phone, email, or other means who are looking to access a benefit, resolve an issue, or speak to a member of the staff with a question versus the visits we receive from members and the general public. I'll let people who have visited recount their personal accounts of their welcome to Bellefonte, but the feedback I've received has been overwhelmingly positive.
Several times over the years, the APS has offered Saturday business hours both regularly and once a month. Based on the feedback I've received, we had little to no visitors on Saturdays, so the decision was to discontinue in order to meet the other needs of our membership during traditional operating hours. The challenges are amplified when APS staff are at our shows or representing at a WSP show.
That's not to say an APS member cannot access the space on a weekend. We've been contacted by members who were only able to be here on a Saturday or Sunday and we've normally been able to meet those requests. We continue to evaluate all of our services and if a weekend operating day significantly increased member visits, we would find a way to make it happen.
I visited a few years ago because I was passing through the area. Everyone there was so welcoming and friendly even though I was not an APS member. I found the APRL library the most interesting part there. I got there in the afternoon and returned back in the morning. They had some interesting used stamp books for sale. I bought a copy there of "The United States Postage Stamps of the 20th Century, Volume I" by Max G. Johl.
Quote: Many of us have been asking for a 'virtual tour' for quite a while.
I'm not disputing that is the case, but this is the first time it's been discussed during my time with the APS. We do have a video. We posted a virtual tour of the new library on FB. It could use some updating and we can put that on the agenda. I cannot make promises it will happen in the short term.
They have a $65,000 a year reason to entice you there. We're fortunate to have a wonderful facility and we are glad to have members visit.
[quote]Here's an outside the box idea. Have you ever considered a bus or something similar that would travel around the country and bring the APS to those that don't travel? Something with a fair amount of hands on material and several computer terminals with a high speed connection access back to Bellefonte.
We've investigated this and given the current costs of the material, insurance, vehicle and staff, it is not something we can immediately provide.
I've been visiting Bellefonte for the last twenty years, I started when the APS headquarters was located in State College. I have been staying at the Reynolds Mansion http://www.reynoldsmansion.com/ every time I have been to Bellefonte. The Victorian Christmas is a lot of fun, especially the homes tours. This year my wife and I will be staying for a week, just to get away from home and relax.
I enjoyed my two visits there ,the hours worked out fine and the staff is always top-notch to work with . I think they still have a workweek were visitors can help out the staff and do work around the different departments.