Selbyville Public Library


11 Main & McCabe Streets P. O. Box 739
Selbyville, DE 19975

Phone Number: 

(302) 436-8195


(302) 436-1508

Hours of Operation: 

Monday and Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. / Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. / Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. / Sunday CLOSED


Kelly Kline

History and Information: 


The idea for a library in the community of Selbyville, Delaware was conceived in 1931. With the delivery of 22 books from the State Traveling Library to Mrs. Inge Tubbs, President of the Selbyville Community Club, the library was born on April 21, 1932. Originally set up in the club room of Redman's Hall; Club members volunteered to run the library every Friday afternoon from 4 to 5 PM. The Selbyville Free Public Library began on February 19, 1939 after the club raised $225.00 over a five-year period, which allowed them to qualify for state aid and to purchase 1,000 volumes. The library moved in the late 1940s to the Sunday school room of the Salem Methodist Church. The library's current location in the former home of Senator John G. Townsend, Jr., became available in 1966. The original house was built in 1906 and was donated to the Trustees of the library by Senator Townsend's family after his death in 1964. An addition, which currently houses the adult literature and reference collections, was dedicated in 1990. In spring, the library joined the Sussex County Delaware Hollinet System, which allows library cardholders to access library catalogs throughout the state and to conduct research on the Internet.

The need for additional space was evident soon after the 1990 wing was dedicated. Funds were raised and on June 19, 2004, Governor Ruth Ann Minner dedicated the Dr. Asher B. Carey Wing. The wing holds the library's juvenile and young adult collections, a quiet study room, a children's activity room, offices for the Director and Assistant Director. The original Townsend House contains Senator Townsend's office, maintained as a small museum as well as the periodical reading room. Additionally, the Townsend House also is site of the Sunroom, a facility that can hold up to 30 people for presentations, meetings and events.

The Friends of the Selbyville Public Library support the many needs of the library. Over their history, they have supported the children's programs, purchased shelving, a 25" TV for educational video presentations and sponsored various reading groups.

Key Individuals

Mrs. Inga Tubbs served as the president of Selbyville Community Club in 1931 and was a major founder of the library. Mr. William Tubbs, grandson of Senator John G. Townsend, Jr., was an important financial backer for the library. Heirs of John G. Townsend, Jr. donated the deceased Senator and former Governor's home to be used as the Selbyville Public Library.