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One month open, foot traffic in Appoquinimink Library just as busy as first day

The new Appoquinimink Library opened a month ago, and is still as busy as its first day.

Roughly 1,000 people came through on opening day, and within 16 days, the library had circulated over 20,000 items.

This was pleasantly surprising to library manager Kevin Swed, who says he only expected the first few days to be so busy. But the library has something for everyone, whether they are a visual, audible, or hands-on learner.

“It draws a wider variety of the community into us, so that they get an opportunity to see not only what we have on our shelves and what we have equipment wise, but what we can do for them with the trained staff to help them with many of these projects,” Swed said.

Middletown is enjoying the month-old library, taking advantage of its numerous study rooms, meeting areas, and creative spaces. Individuals and organizations can reserve five different study rooms, two round-table meeting rooms with virtual meeting technology, and two event rooms, which can be converted into one large space.

Swed notes the new facility is one of just two libraries in New Castle County that circulates more children’s material than adult material.

To appeal to teenagers, it has an arts and crafts room with supplies and a game room with a Playstation 5 and Nintendo Switch.

And the library is not only drawing people in, but bringing them together in the Maker’s Space, equipped with sewing and embroidery machines, 3D printers, laser and vinyl cutters, a heat press, and more.

“It’s a wide variety of options for a very diverse community," Swed said. "And Middletown has boomed over the last 20 years, and the demographics of this town have changed a lot over the 20 years, so it is really us trying to adjust and serve our entire community.”

Users must attend a Maker Lab Orientation and Safety training before using that equipment, but once completed they can also attend makers programs like sewing classes, painting, clay making, and game, artificial intelligence and app development training.

Rachel Sawicki is Delaware Public Media's New Castle County Reporter. They are non-binary and use they/them pronouns.