The Friends of Duck Creek Regional Library is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization whose members are dedicated to the construction and operations of the new Duck Creek Regional Library (DCRL). The Friends are committed to supporting the new Duck Creek Regional Library's mission to provide a facility and environment that will connect residents of the Smyrna School District, as well as communities in the region of northern Kent County and southern New Castle County, with their heritage and to assist them with their present condition and improve their future.
We anticipate our new library becoming a renaissance center in itself. It is destined to become a place where children’s story hour, seniors’ coffee hour, and a book discussion group can all meet at the same time, sharing the building with high school students studying for a test, or a group of home-schooled students using the library to check out books on their latest projects. In a meeting room in the back, a small group of local business people may meet with the owners of a local start-up to offer advice and a hand up. In the next room an ESL group may gather to tackle the intricacies of the English language. On the notice board in the front hall, area residents will find invitations to join several clubs that may meet at the library. Yet another possible regular activity at the new library may be a ‘Meet the Author’ event, giving attendees the opportunity to interact with famous authors. All of these activities will take place in a warm and cheerful atmosphere with a public served by friendly, eager staff who are provided with adequate workspace which is properly lit, ventilated, and appropriate for their jobs.
The choice of our space was not a random decision. We have been guided throughout the preliminary stages of establishing the new library by the proven research of the State Librarian as well as statistics determined by studies that were done in every state in the Union. For a town of Smyrna’s size – one that was projected to reach 15,000 citizens by 2020 - the guidelines recommend a 25,000 sq. ft. library. (Library district size recommends that the square footage should be increased to 40,000 sq. ft., however that seems unrealistic in our circumstances). By those standards, the current library is woefully inadequate. At 4,900 sq. ft. it has less than 20% of the recommended space. In addition, note that nearly 2,400 sq. ft. (roughly half) is basement storage area, unsuitable for most library activities due primarily to limited access for the public. In other words we have roughly one-tenth the usable recommended space for a community our size. This is not adequate for the 21st century, nor is it what our citizens deserve.
Furthermore, the current library reached its maximum capacity long ago. Current space restrictions severely limit the number of participants for any given program, thus diminishing the potential success of those programs.
While the existing library is currently very limited in terms of usable space for programs and resources, the new library will expand on those usable spaces and resources and is projected to include an entrepreneurship center, a computer center, a teen and adult reading areas, space for an adult literacy program, a group activity center which would offer chess and other games, space for craft demonstrations, and clubs, small tutor/study rooms, and home schooling activities, as well as facilities to offer college-level classes by Delaware colleges and universities. The University of Delaware and Wilmington University have already expressed interest in providing classes in Smyrna. As is evident in the statistics listed above, the increase in population in this region, combined with an increase in patron visits to the current facility, has put a premium on usable space in the building. There is a desperate need for more room to handle the current and anticipated flow of patrons, to allow professional staff to operate more efficiently, to be able to offer more programming to youth and to seniors in particular, and to provide the community with meeting space that our patrons have requested.