Bayard Taylor Library adapts to new technological trends

Photo by Fran Maye Donna Murray, director of the Bayard Taylor Library in Kennett Square, speaks to the Longwood Rotary Club about future plans.
Photo by Fran Maye The Bayard Taylor Memorial Library in Kennett Square will soon be moved to a new, undetermined location.

By FRAN MAYE

fmaye@21st-centurymedia.com

The recent move by a library in Texas to eliminate all paper books won’t be coming anytime soon to the Bayard Taylor Memorial Library in Kennett Square, but major changes are under way.

Donna Murray, director at the library, said finding a location for the library is the highest priority.

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“The board is working very hard to find a location for the library,” she told members of the Longwood Rotary Club. “We’ve pursued some options. We are keeping in mind some people want us to stay in the borough, but parking is a top priority.”

Murray said library officials will soon seek input from the community on what they want to see in the new library.

“Location has been tough to pin down,” she said.

Despite its location, the library will continue to be a big influence in the community, Murray said.

“The library is doing everything to stay relevant in the community and to promote literacy,” she said.

The library’s literacy program serves non-English speaking adults and provides one-on-one tutoring. Classes in English as a Second language are given at day and night. Citizenship classes have even started at the library and soon it will add a GED class.

Last year, 90 tutors logged more than 4,300 hours.

“This is a wonderful success story of how the library is changing people’s lives,” Murray said.

Murray said the library is putting an emphasis on the younger set. Last year, a summer garage band concert was held in the library’s rear parking area and was a success. With four superhero movies coming out this summer, the library is putting an emphasis on graphic novels.

“We’re working with an educator and a comic book shop owner to come up with creative programs,” Murray said.

E-books will continue to have a strong presence at the new library. Ebooks are free with a library card.

“(E-books) are our highest growth item right now,” Murray said. “We’re trying to allocate ore money to this.”

The library also assists those seeking jobs by offering workshops in job training. Library officials help patrons with online applications.

The latest piece of technology for the library is a 3-D printer, which was donated by a local resident.

Despite losing 80,000 in state and federal funding a few years ago, the Bayard Taylor Library continues to offer core services to residents, Murray said.