Lewes Library adds new director

by Michael Short on February 24, 2011

By Michael Short

The Lewes Public Library has hired a new director who will begin work on January 3.

Ed Goyda will come on board as the library faces a crossroads.

The library, a showplace when it was built in 1988, is simply no longer large enough. Rising population and increasing usage have meant Lewes is simply running out of space.

Libraries have not become smaller as the digital age advances. In fact, the opposite has often happened because many library users, including children, still prefer to read a book they can hold in their hands, according to the Lewes Library website.

Libraries can also be reluctant to invest in the latest digital technology because it changes so rapidly and becomes obsolete so quickly.

It would be very expensive to do repairs and try to expand the current  library location.  The City of Lewes has also said that it does not want the library to encroach any further on the adjacent Stango Park.

That leaves the library with some difficult decisions to make in the coming months, including finding a location for another site. In August, the Library Board of Trustees voted unanimously to search for another location for the library rather than trying to renovate and expand the existing building.

The current building is owned by the City of Lewes and is leased for $1 per year to the Public Library.

“The library itself is at capacity and the back room staff/work areas are far beyond capacity. Our five full and 13 part-time staff members are working in a space that was designed for four people,” according to a frequently asked question section of the Lewes Library website, leweslibrary.org.

The Library serves not just Lewes, but the rapidly growing coastal area. Currently, there are some 18,900 residents in the area. But that number is expected to reach 30,000 in the next two decades.

Goyda will replace Chrys Dudbridge, who is retiring after more than a decade as the library director. The library usage grew steadily during her time at the helm and is expected to continue a dramatic increase.

Usage increased from 81,000 visitors per year to more than 149,000 visitors per year during her tenure.

“We chose Ed Goyda following a national search,” said Library Board President Beckie Healey. “He is a very talented young man who has handled a broad range of responsibilities while managing three different libraries.”

Goyda, who has a Masters of Library Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh, most recently has been assistant manager of the largest branch of the Cape May County Library in Villas, New Jersey.

Prior to that, he was the director of libraries in Boyerstown and Brownsville, Pennsylvania.

Goyda said the need for more capacity may be the biggest challenge facing the library. “We definitely do need more space.”

He said the biggest opportunity may be to expand and continue the library’s role as a community center for Lewes. Goyda said that he  has been impressed by the number of supporters, volunteers and connections that the library has with the local community.

“We feel that Ed Goyda will help us successfully adapt to new technologies, procedures and instruments as the board explores the future of library services in Lewes,” according to Healey.

At the direction of the Delaware Division of Libraries, the Board of Trustees of the Lewes Public Library has been engaged in discussions about where and how library services can best be provided over the next several decades.

“This is a critical topic for the library and we look forward to Mr. Goyda’s input,” she said. “The library will soon be at capacity and our back room administrative offices are well beyond that point. Now is the time to start planning for the future.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity for both Ed and the Lewes Public Library to move forward together,” she added.

The current library building opened in 1988, following a local fundraising campaign.  Prior to that, the library was located in  a wing of Lewes City Hall after being housed for some 30 years in the upstairs of the Zwaanendael Museum.

“By 1961, the museum collection was expanding and needed the space occupied by the library. Arrangements were made with the city commissioners to use a wing of the newly built town hall,” according to the Sussex County Department of Libraries website. “In 1988, the library moved into its present location at Kings Highway and Adams Avenue. And on October 14, 2000, the Lewes Public Library officially opened two new wings: the Barbara Moon Children’s Wing and the Florence Coltman Research Wing. The $1 million additions and renovations nearly doubled the size of the library, which now measures close to 14,000 square feet.”

Comments on this entry are closed.

[CoastalSussex] on Twitter[Coastal Sussex] on Facebook[Our] RSS Feed[Our] Email