South Coastal Public Library


43 Kent Avenue
Bethany Beach, DE 19930

Phone Number: 

(302) 539-5231


(302) 537-9106

Hours of Operation: 

Monday - Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. / Friday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. / Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. / Sunday CLOSED


Sue Keefe

History and Information: 


The South Coastal Public Library started in an extremely small building - only 600 square feet of floor space. In that minute space were contained some 6,000 volumes. The library was so tiny, that patrons even waited in line outside the building, while other members were selecting materials. There was no meeting room, no storage space, and few possibilities for community programs.

The Friends of the South Coastal Library was formed in 1987 to help create a new facility that would make available more materials to the community, plus offer programs for both children and adults. Many individuals and groups were instrumental in shaping the Friends of the South Coastal Library including local landowners' associations, civic organizations, Chambers of Commerce and local dog clubs, golf clubs and aerobic clubs. Even the annual Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral, held to bid goodbye to summer, collected donations in 1991 to help the library project. The resulting new library is truly a community effort.

The South Coastal Public Library benefits the local community in many ways. On a basic level, new educational, informational, and recreational, materials are available to patrons. But with the increase in space, the library has also become a cultural center in the community, offering literary programs, children's programs, film series, book discussions, and poetry readings. The meeting room is used by members and organizations with diverse interests, from painting and quilting, to singing and acting.

Key Individuals

Driving forces behind the financial campaign to establish a larger library include: Betty Frank, Dean Phillips, and Elizabeth C. Baxter. Senator Richard Cordrey was instrumental in advancing the cause of the South Coastal Public Library.