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May 3, 2019
Making Change: Kennett Library
Created by the community for the community.
In a word: the Kennett Library is about community. “We’re always looking for new, better, and different ways to apply this central theme of community to what we do and how we do it,” says Megan Walters, library director. This is community in its broadest, richest sense. More than 1,000 programs bring children, teens, and adults to the library to learn, read, create—and build friendships.
The videogame club, where kids of different ages from different backgrounds come together, Megan says, is
a microcosm of the community the library cultivates. The thriving adult literacy program boasts graduates from five continents and has many success stories. New programs include Level Up, an after-school homework lab for elementary students, and an evening storytime.
The 21st-century library is singularly dedicated to remaining relevant—not only because it has needed to adapt to survive, but also because the community it serves depends on it. Like Harry Potter’s room of requirement, everyone can find something they need here. The library’s vast collection of physical and digital resources includes access to audiobooks, magazines, language-learning programs, sophisticated databases, and more. But the library’s most important resource, says Megan, is people. In our information-saturated age, the key to sifting through it all is the library’s knowledgeable staff. And all of this is free for everyone. “We’re the most democratic institution in town,” says Jeff Yetter, vice president of the library’s Board of Trustees.
While there’s magic in the staff’s ability to squeeze so many activities, materials, and groups into every nook and cranny, the current building is bursting at the seams. Every element of the vision for the new library—including classrooms, multi-purpose rooms, study spaces, a makerspace, state-of-the-art technology, dedicated parking for patrons, and even an auditorium—is designed to meet the ever-evolving needs of this vibrant community.
A new chapter in the story of the Kennett Library is about to begin, and everyone can be a part of it. The new library will be a living legacy for future generations—created by the community for the community.