At Kennett Library, new logo, displays, energy

Tom Swett, president of the Kennett Library Board of Trustees, enjoys showing off the library's new tribute to Bayard Taylor, the library's former namesake.

A place for encouraging colorful, creative ideas? The inspiration for an exciting, intellectual flight of fancy? A representation of a transformative experience?

The Kennett Library's new logo is displayed prominently in the front windows of the building.

The Kennett Library's new logo is displayed prominently in the front windows of the building.

Those are just some of the connotations that the Kennett Library hopes to reinforce with visitors through its new brand logo, which was unveiled on Monday, Sept. 19.

Tom Swett, the library board’s president, said he has been constantly surprised that people could look at the same design and see so many different things. But Carl Francis, a strategist hired by the board to help map out the library’s long-range plans, said that’s precisely why it works.

“Everybody’s experience with the library is different and so each one brings something different to the interpretation,” Francis said during festivities to celebrate the new look.

Swett said he associates the logo with transformation; however, he might be guilty of some bias. One of the board’s most ambitious long-term goals is to oversee the construction of a new facility. Growth has rendered the present location in the 200 block of East State Street in Kennett Square inadequate.

The logo inspires different interpretations, which is what it should do, its creators said.

The logo inspires different interpretations, which is what it should do, its creators said.

“We believe that this new brand will become a key element in laying the foundation for a multi-year program to plan, finance and build a new library center,” Swett said.

In addition to the new logo, featured prominently in the library’s front windows and throughout the interior, a new lobby display features Bayard Taylor, a well-known local literary figure from the 19th century and the library’s former namesake. The commemoration is literally anchored by a large rock that Taylor acquired in 1844 during his many travels.

“I like it,” library patron George Harper said of the logo. “Green is a restful color, and it’s not busy. It reminds me of seagulls.”

Harper, an acknowledged history buff who lives in the borough, said he also appreciated the tribute to Taylor. As Harper read about Taylor’s accomplishments, he shook his head. “I’ve traveled a lot and I’m 78, but I haven’t done half of what he did,” Harper said, pointing out that Taylor died at the age of 54.

Tom Swett, the Kennett Library board president, shows off an 1844 rock that is part of a tribute to Bayard Taylor.

Tom Swett, the Kennett Library board president, shows off an 1844 rock that is part of a tribute to Bayard Taylor.

Swett said that even though the board made a decision recently to simplify the library’s name, it had no intention of losing its connection to one of the borough’s most famous citizens, the author of 64 books who served as a diplomat and ambassador. In fact, that’s why the building still bears Taylor’s name, Swett said. He added that once a new location is selected, it would include a strong Taylor presence.

In the meantime, Swett said he’s thrilled with the progress that has occurred since the beginning of the year. He described the mostly new 15-member board as qualified, committed and collegial. He said the library is pursuing the possibility of building a dual-purpose facility that would house borough offices as well as the library in a downtown location.

The Kennett Library serves residents in East Marlborough, Newlin, New Garden, Kennett, Pennsbury, Pocopson and West Marlborough townships and Kennett Square Borough. In 2015, 116,217 residents visited the library, checking out a variety of materials that totaled 178,484, according the library’s 2015 Annual Report, the first annual report in many years, Swett said.

Swett said as the library continues to move forward, he hoped the public would continue its much-needed support. He said visits, volunteer hours, and donations would advance the effort to build a new facility that would ultimately make the community proud.

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About Kathleen Brady Shea

Kathleen Brady Shea, a nearly lifelong area resident, has been reporting on local news for several decades, including 19 years at the Philadelphia Inquirer. She believes that journalists provide a vital watchdog service in the community, and she embraces that commitment. In addition to unearthing news, she also enjoys digging up dirt in her garden, a hobby that frequently fosters Longwood Gardens envy. Along with her husband, Pete, she lives in a historic residence near the Brandywine Battlefield, a property that is also home to a sheep, a goat, and a passel of fish.

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