Milton Public Library


121 Union Street
Milton, DE 19968

Phone Number: 

(302) 684-8856


(302) 684-8956

Hours of Operation: 

Monday - Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. / Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m / Sunday CLOSED


Mary C. Hopkins

History and Information: 


The Milton Library Association was organized in January 1875, and incorporated in March 1883. The first library consisted of one bookcase of 200 volumes in Welch’s Store. In 1913 the library was moved to a building on Front Street where it operated under the sponsorship of the Milton New Century Club. For a time it was housed on the second floor of the Palmer Building on Federal Street above the Milton Post Office. In 1920 the library was moved to the Odd Fellows Building on Chestnut Street, where it continued to operate until moving to the current location on Union Street.

In desperate need of additional space, efforts to obtain a new facility were initiated in the 1970s. With the assistance of Federal funds, the Conwell Building was purchased by Sussex County on September 15, 1978. Built by William W. Conwell, the structure had housed a variety of businesses since its construction in 1912-13. Following extensive renovation, the library was opened under county management in July 1980.

Disaster struck during 1993 when the library was forced to close due to damage from the Union Street bridge replacement. Library services were provided for almost a year in the Milton Civic Center building next door with the library reopening in September 1994. Responding to a growing demand for services, adjoining property was purchased in 1998, and plans to construct a major addition were begun.

Funding for the project was provided by Sussex County, the State of Delaware, and the Friends of the Milton Public Library. The expanded facility was opened in December 2004. Since then the original building has been extensively renovated to house staff offices, children's area, and Friends of the Milton Public Library area. Plans for completion of the second floor of the addition are currently in progress.

Key Individuals

The original officers of the Milton Library Association included:
President John Cord Hazzard; Vice President Noah W. Megee; Secretary John Ponder; Treasurer Dr. James A. Hopkins.  Mary Catherine Hopkins has served as Director since 1989 when Ruth R. Marvel retired.  The Friends of the Milton Public Library was established in 1988 with Charles Fleetwood as the first President.