Lewes Public Library has become a true community center

August 17, 2018

The primary role of public libraries is to provide access to information. The American Library Association states, "No one should be denied information because he or she cannot afford the cost of a book or periodical, have access to the internet or information in any of its various formats." In that spirit, the Lewes Public Library currently has 57,327 items in its collection for lending free of charge. And thanks to our state-wide Delaware Library Catalog, there is access to literally millions of items, any one of which can be delivered to any library in Delaware.

The library's vision is to be an exemplary library in Delaware and a trusted civic, cultural, social, and learning center. We strive to be a welcoming, comfortable center for the exchange and creation of ideas, as well as the preferred place for cultural and social interaction in the community. We remember that prior to the decision to build an entirely new library, some worried that libraries would soon become obsolete. To see how our new library is used, here is an update:

From July 1, 2016 (opening day of new facility) through June 30, 2018:

• Traffic (people coming into the library) has increased by: 40.24 percent
• Circulation (all items checked out): up by 35 percent
• Number of programs offered (adults, teens, children): up by 44.56 percent
• Program attendance (adults, teens, children): up by 46.5 percent
. . . hardly indications of becoming obsolete. Not only is our new library thriving, it truly has become a community center.

To better acquaint you with library-sponsored, cultural and educational offerings, visit our websiteb ( These offerings include children's story times, book clubs, philosophical discussions, and healthcare workshops, as well as computer training, language learning, art, and financial literacy classes.

The list goes on. All of these are free to the public.

Additionally, many festive events are offered at no cost. These include our Community Carnival (for kids of all ages), Summer Reading Program Series, Lewes Creative Writers' Conference, and this year's 3rd Annual Shakespeare Festival the week of Sept. 16-22. At the Shakespeare celebration this year you can enjoy three lectures, three films, an English Country Dance performance, instructional workshops, a concert, and an outdoor performance of "As You Like It" by Brown Box Theatre Project – all of which are free.

We also are offering, for a nominal fee, a one-day bus trip to Washington, D.C.'s Folger Shakespeare Library and the Shakespeare Theatre.

A festive sit-down Dinner in the Stacks featuring the New Faces of Shakespeare's strolling performers, so popular in previous years, is also offered for a fee. Be on the lookout for further news of the festival.

Mark your calendars and join us for one or all of these events. For further information about the library and its programs, call the library at 302-645-2733 during business hours or go to

See you at the library!

Beckie Healey is director emeritus of Lewes Public Library.



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