Taylor No More: it’s Kennett Library

But Bayard Taylor name to live on at future, new library location

The Bayard Taylor Memorial Library will officially become the Kennett Library on June 7.

The Bayard Taylor Memorial Library will officially become the Kennett Library on June 7.

KENNETT SQUARE — After many months of debate, discussion and major changes to the regional composition of the library board, the trustees of the Bayard Taylor Memorial Library voted Tuesday to formally rename the facility The Kennett Library, effective June 7.

Taylor, a local 19th century poet, will not be forgotten, though. A second and future step, library officials said, will be to name the location of a new library in honor of Bayard Taylor, the namesake of the Library for 120 years. Both measures were unanimously approved.

The changes come after five public sessions and an aggressive outreach to the public for input and opinions on the future of the library. Previously, there had been a community outcry over a lack of transparency and appropriate local municipal representation on the board of trustees.

The board’s decisions followed the completion of a professionally-run 17-step branding process which incorporated community input, historic library names, and extensive research into library naming practices which showed that nine out of ten libraries choose names that provide their location first rather than an honorary name.

The Library held five public sessions throughout April and early May to communicate its process and the conclusions they came to at each step.

“The response to the naming presentations was extremely positive,” according to Thomas Swett, who was elected Library President in January. “We were very pleased and very surprised. Community leaders, library users and our municipal leaders all came forward to praise our efforts and encourage us onward.”

After the backlash previously over changing the library’s name, board members were concerned that it might happen again.

“Frankly, we expected some resistance, but it never came,” said Jeff Yetter, Vice President of the Board. People liked the name, our commitment to bring Bayard Taylor back to life both in the library and in the new library property when it’s built, and they liked our ideas to create a strong, fresh brand for the library. Not one of our team members received anything but positive feedback from the people who attended our presentations.”

The name change — not intended to slight Taylor, officials said — was to make the library more user friendly to more people.

“One of our key goals,” said Swett, “was to arrive at a name that is public-friendly. Kennett Library is clear about where we are. It’s easy to pronounce and it translates well for our Spanish-speaking neighbors. It will also make it easy to find us on the web and on social media like Facebook and Twitter. We plan to introduce our new library brand within 90 days, including a new professionally-designed Library logo and some new historical displays.”

The name change as well as future plans harken a new start in the community for the library, officials say.

“It’s time for a fresh start for the Library,” Swett said. “We have a new Board and we are working hard to earn back the trust and support of the entire community. Our new name and our new brand is a very important step in that process.”

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