A public library is the heart of our towns in Coastal Delaware; adding technology-enabled services, training, and access.
Since I moved to Sussex County, Delaware, I have been so impressed with the public libraries—11 of which are run independently. As a child, I eagerly looked forward to my weekly visit to the local public library where I could choose my books for the week. That library could fit many times over into any one of the public libraries you’ll find when you move to Delaware. On their first visit to the area, many of our clients have commented: “Delaware does libraries really well!”
The internet has only enhanced the offerings at our public libraries by adding technology-enabled services, training and access.
Starting in Sussex County
Although Sussex County covers the most land, 48% of the state’s land area, it is not the largest population in Delaware, but it is growing and has surpassed Kent County. With only 225,000 people in the county, there are 14 public libraries; with 11 of them run totally as independents. The libraries in Bridgeville, Delmar, Frankford, Georgetown, Laurel, Lewes, Millsboro, Milford, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, and Selbyville do receive grants from Sussex County, but are also supported by Friends groups and local organizations. Three libraries, in Milton, Greenwood, and South Coastal, are part of the county system which also operate the Bookmobile service.
We have lived in both the town of Milton, and now in Lewes, and the libraries are truly at the heart of local events. For example, the Lewes Public Library hosted two outstanding events in September alone— the first-ever History Book Festival and the 4th Annual Shakespeare Festival. This is in addition to the numerous programs, discussion groups, and book clubs meeting there regularly. The Milton Library sits in the heart of the Historic District and is host to many local organizations, town meetings, and even game nights!
Kent County Libraries
The largest library is the Kent County Public Library, just south of Dover. There are three independent libraries in Kent County in Smyrna, Harrington, and Dover. Milford straddles the line of both Kent and Sussex Counties. Plans are in the works to build a new Duck Creek Regional Library in Smyrna, a fast-growing area that will serve northern Kent County and southern New Castle County. For a town of Smyrna’s size—one that is projected to reach 15,000 citizens by 2020—guidelines recommend a 25,000 sq. ft. library. Stay tuned as the search for a site and fundraising efforts continue.
New Castle County libraries
The northernmost county in Delaware also has the densest population with almost 560,000 in 2017. With much of the growth in New Castle County happening “south of the Canal” a new library has been announced for the Middletown area. The new Southern Library is expected to be more than twice the size of the current Appoquinimink library, which leases space in an office building in Middletown. Officials expect construction to begin in 2019 and the library to open in 2021. This is part of an effort to expand services south of the canal.
The rest of New Castle County is served by 15 public libraries, the most comprehensive county system in the state. Located in Brandywine, Newark, Woodlawn, Bear, Hockessin, Kirkwood, Appoquinimink, Claymont, and Elsmere, as well as five independent libraries covering North Wilmington, New Castle, and Delaware City.
I agree with our clients, we are well served by our ever-expanding library systems throughout Delaware. When you come to explore and see if Delaware will become your next home, ask us to show you the local library.