Lewes library thanks community for helping

February 3, 2023

As American society speeds through the information age, awash in online access to newspapers, e-books/audiobooks and resources in all manner of digital formats, many ask, “Do we really need libraries anymore? What purpose do they serve? Does anyone actually read physical books now anyway?” At the Lewes Public Library, we know the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” In fact, aside from a bump in the road during the pandemic, circulation of physical books at the Lewes library has steadily increased year over year, with circulation of physical books increasing by more than 15% from 2021 to 2022.

That’s why when the end-of-year report came in with more than 300 books permanently lost for the year, it was met with great alarm and dismay by staff. The cost of the 162 books lost in the kids’ wing alone represented about a third of the yearly budget for new juvenile book purchases, which is provided each year by Friends of Lewes Public Library – the largest private contributor to the library’s budget. Every book that’s purchased as a replacement means there’s a new book that cannot be acquired. There’s just is not enough money in the budget to replace all the books that get lost as a part of regular library business.

When Children’s Librarian Jennifer Noonan posted a plea for help on social media with a link to an Amazon Wish List of books, the community answered the call – big time. The staff here at the library was completely blown away by the response and willingness of the community to help. But why should we be surprised? This community always steps up when we ask, and for that, we want to extend our extreme gratitude. We could never do the things we do here at Lewes Public Library without the support of this outstanding community. Make no mistake. This library is run by the staff and board, but this here is a group project, contributed to by volunteers, community members and business partners in countless ways. This cannot be overstated. 

Which leads us to an update. As a result of your efforts, we have been able to replace more than 200 of the books that went missing in 2022. We have reached out to our longtime partner, local independent bookstore Browseabout Books, which is now generously hosting an ongoing replacement wish list for us on its website. Community members can access that at any time at to purchase a book that needs replacement at the library.

So, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

We know libraries are important to communities, and the Lewes Public Library is important to Lewes and the surrounding area. Your participation in our mission to serve our community lets us know you feel the same. And for that, we are beyond grateful.

Lewes Public Library staff and board
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