South Coastal Library more than just books


South Coastal Library’s library circulation and volunteer supervisor, Pricilla Scott, now has a new title to add to her job description. Scott was recently given the role of publicist for the Bethany Beach library.

“I am trying to talk to people, just trying to get the word out because the library really is the prime cultural center for this area,” she noted. “We draw people from all over the place – even from the Ocean City area. – people come over for programs. Even as far as Rehoboth and Lewes. Even though they have their own libraries there and they do have programs, some of our programs are particularly appealing to them.

“I think our Art in the Afternoon program has been going on for six years,” Scott pointed out. “I just want to reach out and to get the word out,” she said.

Scott joined the South Coastal Library as a volunteer six years ago, after moving to the area from New York.

“It’ll be six years in August,” she noted. “I was actually in marketing and communications up in New York City, and we moved down here after 9/11, and I applied to the library and got the job,” she explained.

In those six years, the library has undergone considerable growth.

“The library has doubled in size. It went from 10,000 square feet to 22,000 square feet,” Scott noted. “It’s very open here. The library was build 15 years ago, when it was the original structure, but before that it was in a mobile trailer down in Bethany Beach and people would go into this little trailer to get their books. I don’t think it was much bigger than what the Bookmobile is.”

Scott said the new, expanded library building has been a pleasant surprise for those who have never visited the library before or who haven’t been in since the expansion was completed.

“People can’t believe it when they walk in the door, because they’re thinking,’little old Bethany Beach.’ And then they come in here and their expressions, and ‘Oh, this is better than my library at home’ or whatever their comments are. ‘You have a great collection of CD books.’ And they just go on and on, so it’s really very satisfying.”

Scott said the new library was designed so the library may continue to grow and expand; and that’s what they’re doing – especially in terms of programs.

“We have a children’s program twice a week,” Scott noted. “We have adult programs, a good 10 a month – particularly in the off-season. In July and August we’re so busy with library patrons coming in, but we do offer a summer reading program for both children and teenagers. And, actually, this year, we’re going to offer one for adults as well,” Scott said.

The Summer Reading Program is designed to get kids reading. For every two hours of reading they do, the library will give them a prize.

“We have papers that kids come in and pick up,” Scott explained. “They have different activities on them, like read a book, write a book report – just all sorts of different activities, especially reading. So for every two hours of reading, they can come in and get a prize. And at the end of the season they get a bigger prize, whether it’s a sweatshirt or just little toys or games. And it’s similar for the teens. And it’s very, very, very popular.”

The program is not designed solely for local kids. Families vacationing in the area may participate, as well.

“The thing is you could come in and sign-up for the summer reading program if you came over here for vacation, for a week or two,” Scott emphasized. “You could still go through the program, even if you wind up going home and doing your reading at home in Virginia, or wherever you live. And it’s open to everybody. It doesn’t matter if you have a library card,” she noted.

Some other programs offered at the library include Armchair Traveler and the popular art series Art in the Afternoon.

“My particular interest is travel, simply because that was the industry I was involved with for most of my career,” Scott explained. “And one of the things we have coming up is the Armchair Traveler, where one of the local Bethany Beach residents is going to talk about his life experience in British Columbia and show some really fantastic photographs. That’s April 13 at 2 p.m.

“Another thing we have going on on April 15 at 2 p.m. is Art in the Afternoon, and Anne Hanna – who is a local artist – will present a program on [Dale] Chuhuly who is a glassmaker.”

The library frequently offers musical performances, as well. On April 12 at 2:30 p.m. Danaher and Cloud will perform.

“It’s an Irish and Virginian duo,” Scott noted. “They are cousins, and they both play Irish music. … One of them plays five or six different instruments, and they tell different stories and they sing.”

The library has worked with the Delaware Humanities Forum on its programs, but many are arranged through submissions from local residents. Scott said the library is willing to entertain any submissions for program ideas and is always open to new ideas and suggestions.

“We’ve worked with a man who does war presentations, like World War II and Revolutionary War, things like that. But many people will send us material for consideration, and then we talk to them and interview them,” she said. “Our director picks out the foreign films that we show once a month, January through April. So it’s a combination of our knowing people and people present their materials to us, like music CDs, so we can listen to them and the like.”

Scott also welcomes volunteers who can contribute time and talent to the library in any capacity.

“We have such terrific programs going on. We consider this library not only a library with media in it but a library as a cultural center. We have foreign films, and we have travelogues, and we have teen programs, children’s programs — just something for everybody, really,” Scott said.

For more information and program schedules, call (302) 539-5231 or visit www.southcoastal.lib.de.us.