Funding and Governance
Is the Library a Governmental Entity?
No. The Rachel Kohl Community Library is an independent nonprofit organization. We are governed by a nine member Board of Trustees appointed by the five municipalities of Bethel Township, Chadds Ford Township, Concord Township, Thornbury Township, and Chester Heights Borough. The Board of Trustees is the only group authorized to make decisions regarding the Library.
How Did the Rachel Kohl Community Library Get to Where It Is Today?
In 1979, the Community Township Library, as it was then known, officially opened for business.
In 1981, the Library joined the newly formed Delaware County Library System. In addition, the Library’s service area was expanded from the original three communities of Concord Township, Bethel Township, and Chester Heights Borough to also include Chadds Ford Township and Thornbury Township.
In 1989, through private donations and a $300,000 federal grant from the Library Services Construction Act, land on Smithbridge Road owned by Concord Township was selected as the site for the new library. Concord Township municipal offices shared space with the Library for 21 years.
Who Owns the Library?
In 2010 Concord Township sold the building and land to the Library Board of Trustees for $363,000. Concord Township financed the mortgage at 5% over 15 years. In 2019, in an effort to reduce our costs, we approached Concord Township to lower the rate on the mortgage that they hold for the Library. We now have a 30-year mortgage at 3.5%.
Note: The Township holds the mortgage because no bank will lend to us as we do not have a stable source of funding from one year to the next.
Who Does the Library Serve?
Since 1981 we have been the library of record for the five municipalities we serve. Since joining the Delaware County Library System and receiving both county and state aid, we, in fact, serve all residents of the County. This is a reciprocal agreement; our patrons can use all 26 of the libraries in Delaware County. Since we are a free public library, we cannot—nor would we want to—restrict access to our library to the residents of any particular municipality.
Where Does the Library’s Funding Come rom?
There is no law in the county or state requiring funding of public libraries. Currently, Chadds Ford has a millage rate of .012 per thousand dollars of assessed property value; Concord’s is .117 and Bethel’s is .05. Chester Heights and Thornbury do not have a dedicated library tax.
Are Library and School Funding/Taxes Related?
No. We get no funding from school taxes.
Where Do Our Municipalities Rank In County Funding?
You can view our municipalities’ funding (highlighted in red) relative to the other Delaware County municipalities in the chart below.
For more information on library funding, please view the Delaware County Library System’s State Aided Libraries Municipal Per Capita Funding Profile here.
What About Grants?
We generally do not qualify for grants due to the overall high income of our area.