In November 2019, the original Felton Library shut down for good. On February 22nd, the Grand Opening of the new Felton Library took place. Built in 1893, the previous library was originally the Presbyterian Church. Felton simply did not have a library for a long time until the very first one was established in a coat closet at the Community Hall around 1942. This closet remained our library for about thirteen years until the church moved to a new location. The former church was then purchased by the Belardi family who wanted to tear down the building to make a family house. Around the same time, the library staff wanted to move to a larger location. Plans were made to save the historic building by moving it to the site of the former school property. Nick Belardi offered the building up for around $1000 under these conditions. During negotiations, however, Nick’s wife, Faye, died in an automobile accident. Following her death, Nick decided to donate the building along with the property for the “Faye G. Belardi Memorial Library”.
The Memorial Library opened only one year later, in 1956. It remained until the proposition of the new library, due to the necessity of replacements or renovations on the old one. The new library took roughly seventeen years to plan and prepare and construction did not formally begin until September 21, 2018. The new building is just down the street from its’ old location at 6121 Gushee Street. The historic Presbyterian Church can be found at 6299, on the same street.
The new location is easily over four times the size of the previous one, at almost 9,000 square feet! It’s comprised of seven main sections. The first section is the main library area. Almost all of the books in the library are located in this area. It also includes several reading areas along with a hearth to stay warm at. The second is the “Kids’ Zone” and contains all of the books for younger children, such as picture books. There are also multiple fun, comfortable spots for the kids to read at. A community art wall is placed along the side of the area here as well.
The third area is the “Community Room,” which has a ton of chairs, a projector, and a small snack area. It’s pretty much perfect for all your community needs. Meanwhile, the fourth and fifth areas are the “Study Room” and the “Teen/Multipurpose Room.” The Study Room is a small room, nothing much other than a table, four chairs, and a whiteboard. Its primary purpose is for individual study groups or meetings of four people or less. The Teen Room is much bigger, however, and is pretty much just a bigger version of the Study Room with couches instead of chairs and without any whiteboards. It does include much more floor space though, making it easier to move around in. The Teen Room is not limited to just teens, hence why it’s also called the “Multipurpose Room.”
Finally, the sixth and seventh areas are the “Staff Office” and the “Garden Patio.” The Staff Office was obviously unavailable for exploration and observation, but the floor plan shows it as decently large, about the size of the Kids’ Zone. The Patio is one of the largest areas on the premises, being about the size of the main library area. Overall, the building is built in a very modern style, utilizing glass in much of the exterior and interior artwork. This is further shown by the sweeping glass windows present along every wall of the building. Come visit the new, redone Felton Library!
By Zachary Reaves