South County Branch Library to Be Renamed ‘Deale Community Library’
Beginning January 26, the Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL) will expand its schedule so that all 15 branches of the system will offer the same weekly operating hours.
Each county library will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Monday through Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
“This will mark the first time that libraries throughout Anne Arundel County all will have the same schedule,” said Hampton “Skip” Auld, AACPL Executive Director. “No longer do you have to scratch your head and ask, ‘Is the library open this morning?’ or ‘Is the library open after work today?’ We are truly pleased.”
Additionally, the library branches in Crofton and Severna Park will open on Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. The change brings the number of libraries with Sunday hours up to five, with the other three being the Annapolis, North County and West County Area Libraries.
In total, the new AACPL schedule will amount to an increase of 168 operating hours per week from September through May. All library branches will continue to be closed on Sundays during the summer months of June, July and August.
Among other benefits, the new morning hours will allow AACPL to expand programming that fosters early literacy for children from birth to five. These focus of these programs will be to build a foundation for literacy, not teaching children to read. Beginning in March, each of the 15 county libraries will host events for this age group and their caregivers every week throughout the year. A complete list can be found in the Spring issue of Library Happenings which will be available in the libraries and online at www.aacpl.net in mid-February.
The upcoming expansion of library operating hours can be credited to County Executive Laura Neuman and the County Council, who in June agreed to a substantial funding boost for AACPL for fiscal year 2014. The bolstered budget, coupled with committed funding increases in future budgets, has allowed the county library system to hire the new employees necessary to keep the libraries open longer.
The Provinces and South County Branch Libraries will have new names to go along with their extended hours, becoming the Severn Community Library and the Deale Community Library, respectively. Furthermore, all of the system’s 12 “Branch Libraries” will be referred to as “Community Libraries.”
“We want this idea of a community gathering space to apply to all of our libraries,” said M. Hall Worthington, Jr., President of the Library’s Board of Trustees. “To reinforce this goal, we are adding the words “community library” to 12 of our branch names and will be making changes, both dramatic and subtle to add to the appeal of these libraries.”
Sometime in the future, the Annapolis, North County and West County Area Libraries will be redesignated as “Regional Libraries” to reflect their status as larger, better-appointed facilities designed to serve a population beyond their immediate neighbors.
For more information on library hours or changes to library names, please call Laurie L. Hayes at 410.222.7371 or go to www.aacpl.net.