Delaware County District Library’s new branch on pace for fall open

A new Delaware County District Library branch is on schedule to open this fall at Home and Steitz roads in Liberty Township, according to library director George Needham.

The branch will be the library system’s fifth in the county, keeping pace with the county’s growing population and the way people use libraries, library leaders said.

“When I was growing up, you always whispered in the library, and you mostly just checked out books,” said Holly Quaine, president of the library’s board of trustees. “The function of libraries has grown beyond that.”

Needham agreed, citing expansive programming, access to technology and providing needed space for community gatherings as ways in which libraries have changed and continue to change.

“All of these things will be accentuated in our new building,” Needham said.

The new branch will be a three-floor, 42,000-square-foot library on a 3.7-acre site.

The design allows for more square footage on a smaller footprint, Needham said, providing both opportunities for grouping functions inside the library by floor and, equally importantly, ample parking space outside.

Walls of glass will be a feature of the new Powell / Liberty branch.

Needham said extensive use of glass windows in the design and the layout of access areas to two outdoor features of the library – a courtyard on the first floor and a small patio area on the second floor – integrate the outdoor with the indoor in ways library patrons have suggested.

A “business center,” with traditional technology, such as computers and copiers, a makerspace with such technology as 3D printers and laser cutters and dedicated rooms for tutoring and meeting are three examples of features of the new library that reflect modern library functionality, Needham said.

The space also was designed with programming in mind for children, youths and adults, he said.

An open-air courtyard is shown under construction April 1 at the new Powell / Liberty branch.

Quaine said although the ways a library serves the public are changing, the reasons for that service have not.

“We remain rooted in the same values ​​that we always have held, that we continue to be places of intellectual freedom with doors that are open to anyone,” she said.

Those open doors need not be physical, either, Needham said, pointing to the growing use of library services available remotely.

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