New Selbyville library director sees history and potential

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Kelly Kline is the new director of the Selbyville Public Library.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Kelly Kline is the new director of the Selbyville Public Library.Returning to serve her childhood library as its director, Kelly Kline sees the past and future coming together at the Selbyville Public Library.

“I see a town that’s really proud of its history and wants to be involved. I’d like to give them the chance to have lots of things to be involved in,” she said.

“I’ve always wanted to work in a library. I’ve always wanted to be a librarian,” said Kline, whose dream finally came true with this position. She had been an event planner at Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club, having graduated from Indian River High School and then from the University of Delaware, with an English degree.

She now brings both planning experience and love of literature to Selbyville.

“I want to plan events … start bringing more patrons in and have more things for people to enjoy,” especially for teens and adults, she said.

“We have a very active children’s program. Shelly Purnell has really taken the ball and run with it. I’d like to continue [and] double our efforts for next summer,” Kline added.

Inspired partly by the Frankford Public Library, Selbyville’s revamped adult program will begin with the Stitchers needlecraft group (Aug. 6 at 1 p.m. — pre-register with the library and bring materials).

“We hope to branch out from there,” Kline said.

She offered thanks for the dedication and patience of the “wonderful” library staff, who helped ease her into the job.

Kline is also brainstorming a math and science program with her husband, a physics major-turned-brewer at Dogfish Head Brewery.

The library website is also being upgraded. Until then, programs are listed at (click “Selbyville”).

Kline said she loves the dialogue that always accompanies a library, “What are you reading?”

She goes for a “nice long saga,” such as Harry Potter and the Game of Thrones/A Song of Fire and Ice series.

“I like getting to know characters, even if they’re going to die (thanks, George R.R. Martin),” she said, calling out the author known for killing of many of his characters, including major ones.

When not in the library, Kline competes in roller derby. Although claiming not to be athletic, she is a former captain for the Salisbury Roller Girls.

“It’s a very rewarding sport. I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t see a roller derby demo in the future in Selbyville,” she added.

“I’m bringing a lot of Delaware pride, and of course this is what I’ve always wanted to do, so I’m bringing a strong sense of determination to make it the best library it can be.”

“We’re pleased, and she brings a lot of enthusiasm and brings a lot of new ideas to the library,” said Sue Nilsson, library board president.

“What I see is a library that is … a historic building. It was someone’s home. I would like it to be a home for the community. I would like people to walk into this … great old building, but find new materials and new technology that brings it all together.”

In her first month at Selbyville, Kline has kept the handyman busy with repairs.

“You see this really great piece of architecture,” she said of the former private residence, but it’s still over a hundred years old. “I have to do right by the building.”

Built around 1904 as home to Gov. and Sen. John G. Townsend Jr., the historic house shows its age on the second and third floors, closed to the public.

Kelly Kline and the Selbyville Public Library can be reached at (302) 436-8195, and at the corner of Main and McCabe streets.