New Dover Library FAQ's
DOVER PUBLIC LIBRARY CAPITAL CAMPAIGN
Please look through the questions below. If you still need assistance please call the Library at 302-736-2465.
You can also download the Questions and Answers as a PDF file here.
Questions and Answers
Since the mid 1970’s public libraries have served a broader community role than just the provision of reading and study materials. Libraries now serve their communities as community centers where enrichment activities that support life-long learning and intergenerational social activity are the center-piece of library function. Libraries are often the first opportunity that young children have to begin their learning journey and to interact with other children. Libraries provide opportunities for reading, relaxing, research, job searching, and cultural growth for all ages.
The Internet, rather than causing the demise of libraries, has created a greater demand. The volume of information has exploded and most of it needs interpretation. The role of the librarian has changed from providing access to interpreting and assisting with verification of credible information.
There will always be a need for print materials as many readers prefer print. Many types of information cannot be easily conveyed online. Beyond that, however, the Library will continue to be an important location for public access to personal computers, electronic databases to which the Library subscribes, and other electronic equipment.
The new Dover Public Library will serve as a training and meeting site; a community gathering location; and a place where children can be introduced to books and reading. It will be an attractive and welcoming facility for all residents regardless of their reasons for visiting.
After the Library is built there will be 189 spaces for visitors to City Hall and the Library. By comparison, at the current Library there are only 36 spaces now available that are shared among three public facilities. City Hall’s parking needs are between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm, while the Library’s peak needs start at 4:00 pm and on weekends.
Most of the spaces at the current City Hall lot are leased to businesses and governmental agencies. Those leases will be transferred to other nearby parking lots.
In 2005, the City of Dover invited citizens from the City of Dover, Kent County, and community leaders to participate in a Site Selection Committee for the new Dover Public Library. The following people participated as members of the committee:
Tony DePrima, City Manager
Eugene Ruane, Councilman & Library Liaison
Zach Carter, Director, Parks, Recreation & Library
Dr. Morris Eskenazi, Library Commission Chairman
Sheila B. Anderson, Director, Dover Public Library
Allan Angel, Levy Court Commissioner
Richard Krueger, Director, Kent County Library
Anne Norman, Director, Delaware Division of Libraries
The committee developed the following criteria for site evaluation:
- neighborhood/cultural fit
- parking (onsite and offsite)
- contribution to downtown redevelopment
- visibility to passersby
The committee evaluated and visited 26 sites. From those, this short list of potential sites was created:
- Basil Bradford/Ice Plant/Stephenson’s Lot
- Playtex, Site 2
- Bayard Hotel
- Roadway Trucking
- Chesapeake Utilities, Sites 1, 3 & 4
- Army Reserve
- City Parking Lot/Post Office
- Lobby House
- Eden Hill Farm
- Federal Building
After applying the selection criteria to the above short list of sites, the committee reached the consensus that the City Hall Lot/Post Office site on Loockerman most closely met the desired criteria.
In addition to being available without cost, the new location will allow for future expansion of both building and parking once the current Post Office facility is moved. The lease for that facility ends in 2020 and the Post Office has been officially notified that the lease will not be renewed.
The Kent County Library was originally created as an administrative facility in 1988. About ten years ago, it began to circulate materials to the public from a leased location on Rt. 13 just south of Dover. Because that lease expired May 2010, the Levy Court made the decision to purchase property just north of Woodside for the new Kent County Library. This new 10,000 square foot library facility, whose mission it is to serve the residents of the unincorporated areas of Kent County, opened in the summer of 2010.
The Dover Public Library is designated by the Delaware Division of Libraries as the Anchor Library for Kent County. In this role, the Dover Public Library provides support for all other libraries in Kent County including professional and technical expertise, cataloguing of materials, and maintaining a collection large enough to meet borrowing needs across the county.
In 2008, the Kent County Levy Court and the Dover City Council instructed their respective county and city executives to research management, oversight and funding options for county library systems. In May 2009, Mr. Petit de Mange and Mr. DePrima presented various options for developing a county-wide library system. The Dover City Council approved the concept of a merged library system for the County and City. The Kent County Levy Court decided to take no action.
The City of Dover has requested funding support for the Dover Library building project. To date, the Levy Court has contributed $30,000 of the Reciprocal Borrowing tax money to each public library in the County to be used for capital purposes.
Initially, construction costs for “green” infrastructure is higher – but over time, the cost of green building design and materials will be offset by energy savings in various areas. The new Library’s objectives, for example, are to use 46% less energy and 40% less water. Moreover, we expect many of the costs required to achieve LEED certification will be covered by Federal energy funding.
The new Library will begin with a core collection of 160,000 items. The collection of the current Library contains 119,392 items. Those materials have aged and the collections are being thoroughly weeded so that the new collection will be more contemporary, contain accurate information and be useful to library customers.
If the stock you wish to donate has appreciated in value and you have owned it for at least twelve (12) months, then you can give the actual shares to the campaign and receive a tax deduction based upon the cur-rent value. You can also avoid the capital gains tax that you would otherwise pay when selling the appreciated stock. The Dover Library Foundation maintains a brokerage account for such transactions.
If the stock to be donated is worth less than you bought it for, then you are better advised to sell it so that you can claim the loss in value against your taxes – then make a gift of the cash proceeds to the campaign.
The State provides 50% of the cost of constructing a new Library. In the case of Dover Public Library, that represents $11 million granted over several years. The Library is responsible for the balance; and unless that money is raised, the State is not obligated to pay their share – so yes, in that sense, every dollar given to the campaign is matched by a dollar from the state.
Using one-time, non-recurring revenue, the Dover City Council set aside $3.7 million in capital funds for the Library project in 2007. Since that time, this money has earned interest and grown. The City of Dover has donated the land for the new library. The appraised value of this land is $1,632,450 (March 2010). The City will sell or lease the existing library building to off-set the costs of the project; and this is valued at $1,446,900 (March 2010).
The Library believes that collaborations with other institutions make the Library and its services more effective, efficient and stronger for the benefit of all citizens. The Library collaborates to support programming efforts, to make joint use of space, and to provide a centralized meeting space in the Dover area.
The Library has active collaborations with the Delaware Public Archives, the Elizabeth Murphey School, the Delaware Home School organization, the Delaware Economic Development Office, Bayhealth Hospital, the US Census Bureau, the Downtown Dover Partnership, First Night Dover, Wesley College, the Delaware Money School, and the Delaware Division of Libraries.