The Bertolet Memorial Library, Leaf River, set a precedent Tuesday when it became the first library in Illinois to become a village post office (VPO).
U.S. Postal Service officials were on hand for the grand opening of the VPO and to unveil a new stamp.
Library director Penny Bryant and Post Office Operations Manager Tom Principe unveiled the new Sealed with Love Forever stamp as part of National Library Week.
The stamp art depicts an envelope fastened with an wax seal featuring a small heart in shades of red. The stamp promotes reading and writing, but also has a special meaning for the event.
“The theme for National Library Week is the ‘heart of every community,’” said Bryant. “This library is an important part in the lives of our residents. That’s why we welcome this new opportunity, which is symbolized by this new stamp.”
Principe said VPOs are a national trend. "It's a easy we can offer services when the post office isn;t open," he said.
"I'm very excited to offer the VPO to our patrons," Bryant said.
The library will provide Forever stamp sales, Priority Flat-Rate boxes, pre-paid package drop-off, and blue collection box pickup service.
Library hours are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 8a.m. to 12 p.m. The library is closed Friday and Sunday.
Several more VPOs are scheduled to open in Illinois the coming months. More information about the Village Post Office is available at www.usps.com/villagepostoffice.
Last year, the USPS introduced the VPO model as an alternate retail location for postal products and services, especially in rural communities.
VPOs are operated by local businesses contracting with the postal service, and offer a range of popular postal products and services including stamps and flat-rate packaging.