ROCK HALL — On Saturday, July 17, the Kent County Public Library announced the temporary closure of its Rock Hall branch.

“This decision has been made based on the engineering report received about the Rock Hall Municipal Building, which cites concerns about mold, water and termite damage, structural concerns and other issues,” the news release states.

KCPL Executive Director Arnessa Dowell said they are exploring different options for how to proceed with the Rock Hall branch.

“Our goal is to find a way forward that provides the best way of serving the community,” she said in the news release. “We are committed to our vision of broadening connections, expanding knowledge and strengthening our community which includes Rock Hall.”

Despite the Rock Hall branch’s closure, materials can still be requested.

“Items on hold will be available for pick up at the Rock Hall Civic Center on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.,” the news release states.

Materials can also be held at either the Chestertown or North County (Galena) locations and picked up during their normal hours of operation.

In-building and curbside services are available at the Chestertown and North County locations.

Materials can be returned at the Rock Hall branch through the book drop.

In light of KCPL’s bulletin advisory about the Rock Hall branch, Selkie Books of Rock Hall announced via Facebook that “until our wonderful Rock Hall Library can re-open, Selkie Books is restoring the ‘21661 Readers Program.’”

Selkie Books first opened its doors on Aug. 3, 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when the public libraries were closed, so as part of her opening Marta Kumer — the owner, sole proprieter, founder, small businesswoman and only employee of Selkie Books of Rock Hall — decided to have Selkie Books function as not only a book store, but a lending library as well.

Kumer allows for up to 5 pounds of books — which she weighs on her scale — to be borrowed for up to three weeks.

“Even then I had a sense that people here really love their library,” Kumer said during an interview in Selkie Books on Tuesday, July 20. “And this last year, it’s really been extremely clear it’s been a big part of people’s lives.”

She said starting the 21661 Readers Program was a “no brainer.”

Kumer said when she heard the Rock Hall branch of the library would be closed, she thought she would restart the 21661 Readers Program.

Selkie Books also has a free lending library of DVDs, CDs, puzzles, audio books and large print books, which have always been available.

Selkie Books sells mostly good-condition used copies. Kumer said she also accepts donations, buys collections, and does book orders for people at rates competitive with larger sellers like Amazon.

Stop in at Selkie Books — at 6202 Rock Hall Road (state Route 20) — on Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and most weekdays 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Open days and hours are posted weekly on their Facebook page.

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