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Community input is sought for the design of the new Newark Public Library

New Castle County
New Castle Libraries

New Castle County looks to the community to help design the new Newark Free Library.

Over $44 million from New Castle County, the state, and funds raised by the Friends of Newark Free Library will pay for the new 40,000 square foot public library in downtown Newark.

This library is the latest in a wave of updates coming to libraries across the state- an effort to meet the growing digital needs of the community.

The building will be formally designed by Quinn Evans Architects, but ideas from the community as to what to include in that design are strongly encouraged.

There will be two in-person public engagement meetings this month to allow residents to share their ideas for the new library’s design, and an online feedback form.

New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer says while not every idea will be implemented, all will be taken into consideration.

“The instruction we gave as the customer, New Castle County, who will be owning and operating this library, is that we want public opinion to be taken into consideration,” Meyer explained. “And that includes if it's one person with an out-of-the-box idea that nobody else has come up with- we want that to be taken really seriously and perhaps incorporated.”

He adds there are two guarantees for the library prior to its formal design: it will have books, and it will be extraordinary.

The online form will only be open until September 30th, but Meyer says public engagement doesn’t end there.

“After that session is completed there will be an opportunity to review the proposed design, or in some cases designs, and give additional feedback,” he said. “This is the public’s library, it's the public’s money, it's the public efforts and hard work that's going into it, so we're eager to get your opinion on what this library can and should be.”

The County hopes to break ground in 2024. The new building is expected to be complete in Fall 2026, according to New Castle County’s FY2024 Capital Budget.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware and graduated of the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021