The Harrington Public Library gets a new home, one of 9 state libraries to get a federal boost

The new Harrington Public Library is being constructed.

Since the 1970s, Harrington Public Library has operated out of makeshift facilities, including a trailer and an old funeral home.

It’s the only public library in the state not operating out of a facility built to be a library - until now.

Work on a new Harrington Public Library is underway, fueled by a combined $11.9 million in state and federal dollars.

$5.6 million of this comes from the American Rescue Plan Act Capital Projects Fund, championed by Delaware’s Congressional Delegation.

The Harrington Public Library is one of nine libraries in Delaware to receive this funding, which allocated a total of $40 million to library improvements throughout all three counties.

Gov. John Carney says every community needs a library.

“Many thought that libraries were going to be obsolete with the internet. You know what? They’re more important than ever. As a gathering place, as a palace where our citizens can get access to information, as a place for books, a place where our children can learn to read and appreciate it. There’s nothing more important, and we need to do a better job with it,” Carney explained.

For many, libraries are a major resource for education, work, and leisure.

Harrington Public Library director Marleena Scott says this project will boost an underserved Harrington community where the poverty rate is almost double that of the county’s.

“This is the only place for some people. The only place they can get internet. The only place they have access to books. The only place they have access to meeting spaces. And this is just going to give them what we are currently able to offer, but so make it so much more. And give them so much more than they’ve ever had access to, especially because transportation is an issue, too," said Scott.

The new facility will be 15,000 square feet - a major bump from its current 2,500 square feet home - making it large enough to adapt to the growing community and its needs now, and in the future.

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