History, Mission, Vision
The Rachel Kohl Community Library exists today largely because of the efforts of one remarkable woman who, seeing a need, dedicated herself wholeheartedly to the task of starting a library in western Delaware County. In 1950, Rachel Kohl and her family moved to Concord, a rural area with one small elementary school and no library.
“The closest libraries were either in West Chester, Wilmington, or Media and eventually everybody got tired of driving around for books,” said Rachel, a lifelong lover of books who worked as a medical records, church and public school librarian. “I thought it would be worthwhile to try and get a community library going that could help the school children with their work.”
By early 1979, volunteers amassed enough books to fill a small, vacant closet at the Concord Elementary School and 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 and expanded from the original three communities of Concord, Bethel, and Chester Heights, to also include Chadds Ford and Thornbury.
The library was housed at the elementary school for six years, moving from its original location to a 400 square foot classroom, which had been the former school library. As the community became more populated and as the school district grew, Rachel and the board identified the need for a building of their own. Erected in 1989, the Rachel Kohl Community Library was so named at the request of a benefactor who insisted to the trustees that the building be named in her honor for her persistent and dedicated work in identifying, outfitting, and raising funds.
The Rachel Kohl Community Library enhances the quality of life in our communities by providing the resources and services for life-long learning and enjoyment; the space and opportunity to gather and connect; and an environment that fosters a love of learning.
The Rachel Kohl Community Library will become a highly utilized, sustainable community resource, serving as the primary center in our five-municipality region for enrichment, learning, information gathering, research and leisure activities among all generations.
Learn more about our strategic plan, as approved by the Board of Trustees on October 23, 2017.