Univest Library Editorial

William S. Aichele

SOUDERTON, Pa, June 15, 2012 ---- Think you don't need a vibrant public library? Think again.

The recessionary economy of the past few years has put tremendous pressure on public resources that depend upon local taxes. Budgets for public schools, public parks, a variety of community events and other community institutions have been threatened with underfunding or no funding at all.

Of particular concern to us at Univest Corporation is the underfunding of our communities' local libraries. The Indian Valley Public Library, the North Wales Area Library and the Upper Perkiomen Valley Library are prime examples. Next year, each of these important community institutions will be challenged to find new funding as money from state and local governments is expected to diminish. The Indian Valley Library faces the additional challenge of making up a $440,000 budget shortfall due to the Souderton Area School District's decision to end financial support for the library. (The school district, by the way, is among the last in Montgomery County to continue their funding of public libraries, and they should be commended for their long-time support of this vital community resource.)

At a time when the Internet and a variety of electronic devices provide access to all kinds of information without visiting a library, conventional wisdom holds that libraries are not as important today as they used to be. However, that certainly isn't the case with Montgomery County's public libraries. The Indian Valley Library last year served 292,000 people - an average of 800 people every day. Since its move to a revitalized factory in January 2010, the North Wales Library has seen circulation of library materials more than double, and the number of registered patrons has tripled. And the Upper Perkiomen Valley Library welcomed more than 300 children to their summer reading program in 2011 and circulated nearly 27,500 children's books over the course of the year.

Our libraries are serving the public in new ways, too, providing much more than just books and periodicals. Today you'll find services such as free computer use and wireless Internet access; audiobooks and e-books; a variety of research databases including health and wellness and career resources; discussion groups, programs, lectures and classes for people of all ages; story times, early literacy games and special programs for preschoolers; public meeting rooms; and much more. Whether you are just learning to read, a high school or college student seeking in-depth information for a project or paper, an adult looking for guidance on the purchase of a new car or on navigating the Medicare system, or an unemployed worker seeking job opportunities or career advice, the library remains an incredibly valuable public resource.

Without additional funding, the library's resources may not continue to be available to us. Libraries throughout the region have already cut staffing and curtailed book purchases. The next step for many could be reduced hours, and that's something our communities cannot afford.

At Univest, our "Committed to Local" initiative includes support for youth education and wellness development - and we believe that our libraries play an integral role in both areas. We encourage members of our communities to take advantage of all the resources our libraries offer and to support their missions of serving as gateways to lifelong learning. You can do both by bringing elementary school-aged children to a "Teaching Kids to Save" event at the Indian Valley Library on June 16, the North Wales Library on July 17 or the Upper Perkiomen Valley Library on August 8.

Further, we encourage the residents and businesses of Montgomery County to support increased funding for these valuable community resources. Our libraries need you. And, now - more than ever - our communities need a strong, vibrant public library system.

Sincerely,

William S. Aichele
Chairman, President and CEO
Univest Corporation

About Univest Corporation
Headquartered in Souderton, Pa., Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania (www.univest.net) and its subsidiaries serve the financial needs of residents, businesses, and nonprofit organizations in Bucks, Chester, Montgomery and Lehigh counties. For more information on Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania and its subsidiaries, please visit www.univest.net.


This press release of Univest Corporation and the reports Univest Corporation files with the Securities and Exchange Commission often contain "forward-looking statements" relating to present or future trends or factors affecting the banking industry and, specifically, the financial operations, markets and products of Univest Corporation. These forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties. There are a number of important factors that could cause Univest Corporation's future results to differ materially from historical performance or projected performance. These factors include, but are not limited to: (1) a significant increase in competitive pressures among financial institutions; (2) changes in the interest rate environment that may reduce net interest margins; (3) changes in prepayment speeds, loan sale volumes, charge-offs and loan loss provisions; (4) general economic conditions; (5) legislative or regulatory changes that may adversely affect the businesses in which Univest Corporation is engaged; (6) technological issues which may adversely affect Univest Corporation's financial operations or customers; (7) changes in the securities markets or (8) risk factors mentioned in the reports and registration statements Univest Corporation files with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Univest Corporation undertakes no obligation to revise these forward-looking statements or to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release.