Letter: Keep the library in Kennett Square

To The Editor:

Letters1In 1895 a group of Borough residents chartered a new subscription (private) library that was to remain in the Borough of Kennett Square and be dedicated to the remembrance of Baylor Taylor. The Bayard Taylor Memorial Library was founded.

Over the years this charter has increasing been ignored by BTML Board Members. They now want to move the library outside of the Borough and rename it the Kennett Community Library.

Over two decades ago the BTML Board stated that they wanted better facilities with dedicated parking. Their proposal was to build a 40000 sq. ft. library with a minimum of 100 dedicated parking spaces. At that time the County Library in Exton was only 40000 sq. ft. not all on one floor with a dedicated 64 parking spaces that included four handicapped spaces. The Exton has expanded slightly since then, but dedicated parking remains at 64 spaces still today.

The Board said they considered several sites within the Borough, but found none acceptable. None of the sites were publically discussed, nor were the reasons for rejecting the sites. The Board then purchased the Waywood site outside the Borough that they believe could provide 40000 sq. ft. in two stories and over 100 parking spaces.

Our community did not accept this concept and the BTML Board could not raise funding for their project. Dedicated parking spaces were shown not to be needed by the Friends of the BTML who donated $100 dollars of parking meter coins and found that three months later nearly $25 dolJars still had not been used.

The Kennett Area Regional Planning Commission offered to assist the library Board in planning for needed space. Meetings occurred about once a month and some progress was being made. However when the KARPC requested financial information that should have been available to the general public the BTML Board refused to supply this data. The meetings ended in failure because the BTML Board would not supply needed financial information for planning purposes.

The BTML Board has now proposed renaming our library, the Kennett Community Library and again locating it at the Waywood. This has not been well received by the community. Any BTML Board member who voted to approve this proposal should immediately resign, and/or the municipalities who support the BTML should appoint new representatives who believe the BTML should remain in the Borough.

Individuals should be permitted to form a new library, but they should not use the finances of the BTML to do so. The KCL must return all financials funds they have stolen from the BTML to plan their KCL. They should not use the investment assets of the BTML {primarily the Waywood site without purchasing it from the BTML) Finally they should not pillage any of BTML’s physical assets such as books, computers, furnishings, etc.

The regional community is in need of a new BTML. It does not need a rehashing of locating a new library (KCL) at the Waywood site. I am certain the BTML can remain it the Borough. With proper planning that involves all community members, a new, larger BTML can be located in the Borough of Kennett Square and have adequate parking.

We cannot forget the history of our community. It is appropriate to remember individuals who make our community great One such individual was Bayard Taylor It is appropriate to name our library after him. It is important to follow the BTML’s charter and keep the library in the Borough!!!


Bruce Yelton,


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