Legacy Society

Community support is critical to our continued growth and vitality as a public resource. You can make a difference and help ensure a bright future for generations to come by making a gift to the library. Please read on to learn more about how you can help.

The Lewes Public Library is an “independent library” within the Delaware Division of Libraries consortium. As such, the Library must raise over half of its annual operating funds each year. The Library has two sources of governmental funding: Sussex County and the State of Delaware. The remaining funds needed each year must be raised through our own efforts of soliciting grants and donations, collecting fines and fees, and holding fundraising events, as well as through the efforts of the Friends of Lewes Public Library.

Library Funding FY 2024:


Last year, over 150,000 people walked through our doors. Many more accessed our services online. We are the busiest library in Sussex County, and in the past year we saw a 40% increase in visitors and a 24% increase in program participation.

Along with this exciting growth come growing expenses as demand for our services increases. Since we are an independent public library, we must raise nearly half of our operating funds each year through fundraisers, special events and sponsorships.

We hope you will help us continue to be a welcoming center for the exchange of ideas and a space for education, growth, and social interaction in our community. Your support of the Lewes Public Library is critical to ensure our growing community has continued access to free programs, workshops, and resources. This ensures financial barriers never get in the way of your family, friends, neighbors, and fellow community members accessing everything the library has to offer.

Library Usage & Community Engagement
Fiscal Year: July 1 – June 30


The Legacy Society is comprised of supporters who have remembered the library in their wills as well as all those who have made significant lifetime donations of $25,000 or more. View the list of current Legacy Society members.

We recognize and honor these very important donors in a variety of ongoing ways:

  • Society members are listed on a special display in the library lobby
  • Society members are invited as our guest to special events at the library, including our fundraising events
  • Society members receive a Legacy Society pin. If you are a member and have not received your pin, please contact the library’s Director at (302) 645-2733 or by email

View the Legacy Society Brochure or meet some of our Legacy Society members.

Most Legacy Society gifts are made by including a simple paragraph in donors’ wills. To execute a bequest, simply ask your attorney to make an addition to your will, then let us know – we will be pleased to welcome you to the Legacy Society. If you need assistance preparing a will, we can help.

There also are planned gifts that can pay you income during your lifetime(s) before eventually being received by the library. If you would like to explore other types of charitable giving instruments, we can arrange a consultation for you at no charge.

If you have already named the library in your will or estate, please let us know by completing this form so we may add you to our Legacy Society listings and invitation lists. You also may use this form to indicate you would like to speak with someone about adding the library to your estate plans.

View sample bequest language.

Individual donors may dictate the specific purpose/use for donations – which must be acceptable to the library. The Gift and Donation Policy may be found here.

For beneficiary designations, please use the legal name Lewes Public Library and the library’s federal tax ID #: 51-0350650. Thank you!

Do you have questions or need more information?
Please contact the library’s Development Director at (302) 645-2733 or by email.

The history of libraries in Lewes is long and rich. For the full story, read about Three Hundred Years of Generosity in Lewes.