Rachel Wackett has just completed her first month as the director at the Frankford Public Library, and she is excited to return to the town.
“Everybody has a lot of heart, and there’s room for growth,” Wackett said. “I want to center the library as a community center.”
Coming from the Seaford Library & Cultural Center, Wackett said she believes collaboration is key for serving the public.
“Collaboration between people, entities, business — it’s so much better than going alone,” she said. Partnering with “people with certain knowledge and experience,” she said, “that’s where the magic happens.”
Although the library has 7,000 people in its service area, Frankford itself is a small town, and Wackett hopes to reach across the street to partner with Town Hall, the Frankford Volunteer Fire Company and other groups.
That could include expanding the library’s annual Cinco de Mayo party into a town-wide event with soccer (futbal) games at Frankford Park.
“I’m definitely looking to collaborate, include everybody,” Wackett said.
The Frankford library already offers free access to technology, literature and culture, plus English as a second language (ESL) and citizenship help, adult and children’s reading programs, information sessions and more.
Personally, Wackett said, she has always been impressed with Frankford’s DVD collection.
“Why go to Redbox when you can come to the library?” she said, later adding, “Libraries should provide free and immediate access to anything in the world.”
The goal is lifelong learning, literacy and appreciation.
“We really want people to know that we are focused on community-based engagement. We want to engage the community, to provide programs that meet their needs,” Wackett said.
She aims to offer even more programs, such as homework help and tutoring. So the biggest challenge is their biggest goal.
“We’re going to give it all we have. If we need to reassess, see what fits into lifestyles,” so be it, Wackett said.
And the Frankford library has the people to do it
“The staff is fabulous. Everyone works well,” she said of their “incredible energy, creativity and drive.
“There are so many things I want to learn,” said Wackett, who encourages the staff to keep learning, too.
Wackett said she learned to be a librarian and administrator at Seaford. That includes leading, advocating and “learning your client base” — the public.
“It’s experience earned. It’s not learned in a textbook,” she acknowledged.
Wackett said she and her siblings “grew up in libraries” and summer reading programs. That passion followed her through Indian River High School to Salisbury University, where she studied history. Wackett loved the research, reading and learning about unique topics.
Now Wackett lives with her family in Laurel, with Trap Pond State Park in her back yard, and she “loves” coming back to work in Frankford.
“I’m so glad to be here. It’s such a good thing,” Wackett said. “The board [of trustees] is fabulous.”