Since its founding in 1895, The Kennett Library has served thousands of individuals and families, as it brought its mission of igniting imagination, enriching lives, and creating community to life.
The Library has called two different buildings home during its more than 125-year history; the first dedicated in 1896, and the second, its current site, dedicated in 1962. Since its founding, the function, purpose and role of libraries has changed substantially, as have the region’s demographics and economy, and the Library has worked tirelessly to continue its evolution to serve the community.
The Library currently serves more than 45,000+ individuals living in rural, suburban and urban communities across eight municipalities, and is in the midst of a Capital Campaign to build a new 21st century library that will serve the community for generations to come.
Construction is now underway for the new Kennett Library & Resource Center at the corner of State and Willow Streets in the Borough of Kennett Square, Pa.
“The Kennett Library & Resource Center is poised to become a major destination in southern Chester County that is welcoming and inviting to everyone and will serve us well into the future,” said Jeff Yetter, President of the Library Board of Trustees. “It will help the Library fulfill its mission to improve lives and build a stronger community by strengthening public engagement, supporting economic opportunity, and connecting community resources.”
The new Kennett Library will be a 33,425 square foot state-of-the-art building featuring a large adult library; children and teen spaces; study and reading areas for private reading and reflection; a 110-seat auditorium and rooms for meetings and cultural events; two “Makerspaces” equipped with 3D printers and more; state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment; laptop and computer access, as well as expanded digital communications technology.
The new facility will help Kennett Library continue to be a vital force for progress and further enhance programs such as its highly recognized Adult Literacy Program (ALP), including English as a Second Language (ESL). These programs continue to positively impact many lives, break down barriers and open doors to a better future as well as help strengthen the local workforce by providing opportunities to develop knowledge and skills needed for gainful employment.
“Every person comes to the library at different phases of their life and with different needs, our programming should reflect this,” said Chris Manna, the Director of the Kennett Library. “As we utilize this space for community programming with our community partners, we will engage all reaches of the community to meet you where you are in your life. As always, the Library remains the center of the community to find answers to your questions. Today, those answers might be more than just what lies in a book and with this new library, we stand to continue to provide answers to your questions for the next generations.”
“The WSFS CARES Foundation is proud to support the Kennett Library & Resource Center in helping to enrich lives through learning,” said Vernita Dorsey, Senior Vice President, Director of Community Strategy at WSFS. “Libraries provide vital services to the community through reading, education and much more. As the saying goes, ‘knowledge is power,’ and it has been amazing to see the impact Kennett Library has made through the years as they continue to evolve to meet the community’s needs.”
In addition to support received from the WSFS CARES Foundation, WSFS’ Betsy Niedziejko has worked closely with the Library Executive Committee to create a plan with competitive rates and flexible financing for the new facility.
“It has been a pleasure to work with Betsy and the team at WSFS toward our goal of opening the new state-of-the-art facility to support our community even further,” said Yetter.
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