• 26 Apr 2024 10:13 PM | Anonymous

    The new library will be a dramatic gateway to the city.

    On Sunday, April 14, we had our Annual Thank You Brunch and had a marvelous turnout! We were thrilled to have about 100 people come out to support the Friends and all we strive to do for our library.

    We're especially grateful to the Quinn Evans Architectural Firm for their presentation on the new Newark Free Library! From a large performance hall to indoor and outdoor gathering spaces, to comfortable spots to read and study, and more, the new library promises to be a space that all patrons of the library can enjoy.

    Check out more renderings below:

    A plaza and a rooftop terrace will let patrons enjoy the outdoors , while sustainable design will help preserve it. The mechanical systems in the new library will not use any fossil fuels; solar panels, EV charging stations, and improved access for pedestrians and cyclists will also encourage use of renewable resources.

    A wave-shaped façade will filter light from the eastern exposure and traffic noise and evoke the sound-friendly performance, podcasting and recording spaces inside.

    By flip-flopping the parking and building areas, the library gains a stronger presence along Main Street. 

    Our forward-looking library manager Pam Stevens strongly advocated for the whisper rooms shown in dark blue. These sound proofed areas are ideal for podcasting, playing musical instruments, recording oral histories, and other sound-recording activities.

    Specialized areas for children, teens, gamers, and creatives will be found here along with an outdoor terrace.

    To see a pdf of all drawings, click HERE

    We're looking forward to our new library building, and hope you are just as excited for the journey ahead! 

  • 5 Jan 2024 1:34 PM | Anonymous

    On April 14, the architectural team for the new library will speak on their progress. During the design phase, architects from Quinn Evans are taking advantage of input from two public meetings sponsored by the Friends as well as results from the online community survey conducted by New Castle County. Find out more about the annual meeting here.

    Quinn Evans recently received a major honor. The firm won the AIA (American Institute of Architects) Architecture Firm Award for 2024. According to the AIA web site, this annual award is “the highest honor the AIA bestows on an architecture practice. The award recognizes a firm that has consistently produced distinguished architecture for at least 10 years.”

    Quinn Evans was the architect for the North East Library. You can read their description of the project here. Better still, take a quick (20-30 minute) drive to North East and see their work for yourself. Street address:
    North East Library, 485 Mauldin Ave, North East, MD 21901

    All Friends members are welcome to attend the April Annual Meeting. Tell your friends! There’s still plenty of time to join and be the first the latest on about the Newark Free Library. Stay tuned to our web site and our Facebook page

  • 5 Jan 2024 1:12 PM | Anonymous

    We're thrilled to announce that Quinn Evans has been honored with the prestigious 2024 Architecture Firm Award by The American Institute of Architects! We're absolutely thrilled to have them bringing their expertise to design our new library!

    Read more:

  • 19 Oct 2023 10:17 AM | Anonymous

    By Sue Peters, FNFL Vice President

    “There is truly something for everyone here,” said Diana Brown, Community Services Manager for New Castle County Libraries at the June 24 ribbon cutting for the new library in Middletown.

    Created with significant input from the community, the 28,000 square foot, $20 million library offers more room for its collections. It is also home to a wealth of new spaces and technologies for just about everything under the sun.

    “We’ve doubled the number of books in the children’s collection,” said Library Manager Kevin Swed, while holding up a staff T-shirt designed and produced in the new Maker Space. (The shirt design features the number 023.5, the Dewey Decimal number for library staff.)

    Located at 206 Main Street in Middletown, the library is walkable and bikeable for many residents. Said Susan Kemer, President of the Friends of the Appoquinimink Library, “It is located within about a mile-anda-half of five or six schools with the highest number of free and reduced lunches. Those students are within a two-mile radius of this place. We know that those students are the ones that probably need these tools."

    With a community meeting room that can seat 115, the APPO library also meets the public’s need for discussion and activity space. This all-purpose space is dedicated to the memory of James P. Young, a longtime Friend of the library and advocate for the new building who passed away in 2021.

    The facility is a model of energy efficiency and sustainability with features including:

    • High efficiency LED lighting
    • Rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels & solar powered site lighting
    • Low flow plumbing fixtures
    • Native species landscape design requiring no irrigation
    • 4 EV charging stations 

    At the ribbon-cutting, speaker after speaker noted the collaboration and spirited discussions among town, county, state, and federal officials that made the library a reality. County Executive Matt Meyer, former County Manager of Community Services Marcus Henry, Mayor Kenneth Branner, Jr., New Castle County Council and the APPO Friends group were particularly mentioned for their involvement in the project. Many speakers called libraries a cornerstone of democracy.

    Public opinion also strongly influenced the outcome; public meetings could involve more than 100 people. The process was not easy at times but was designed to yield the library best suited to the needs of the Appoquinimink community. The ribbon was cut as The Beatles’ “Come Together” played. Let’s look forward to making the process work as well for the new Newark library.

  • 18 Oct 2023 2:47 PM | Anonymous

    Family Gathering Area


    Children's Lighthouse Area


    Reading Deck

    By Katy Ferrero, FNFL Correspondence Secretary

    Barbara Jo German, Sue Peters, and I were graciously given a tour of the new North East Library by the manager, Heather Simpson. I just wanted to share a few of my impressions of the building.

    You feel an immediate sense of spaciousness and light when you enter the lobby. Colorful displays of books serve as decorations. Wide corridors lead to community rooms and offices. The main downstairs space houses the adult collections, as well as work and training spaces.

    Upstairs has a large children’s space accommodating toddlers to tweens. It has a separate teen space for middle and high school students. In between is a living room type area where families can read or play games. This library also has an outdoor space, and a cozy “sitting by an electric fireplace” room.

    Cecil County considers this a “people” library. Its collections are comprised of newer materials. But just like our library system, materials can be ordered from other libraries within their county. This library took ten years to plan and there are some issues with staffing such a large space.

    It is easy to be impressed with this library. However, it is important to realize that we need to focus on what features we want in our library that will serve our community the best. By visiting other new libraries, it will help us explore the possibilities.

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