Baltimore County Public Library


Baltimore County Public Library

Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL), established in 1948, is a public library system located in central Maryland. BCPL serves Baltimore County, Maryland which surrounds but does not include the city of Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore City is served by the Enoch Pratt Free Library. BCPL is ranked in the top 5 library systems in the United States according to the library industry's HAPLR (Hennen's American Public Library Ratings) index.

BCPL offers a wide variety of services in both the branches and via the web site. The branches offer a collection of current, high demand print and non-print items, including books on tape or compact discs, DVDs, and video games, as well as access to online research databases, downloadable audio books, ebooks and videos, and much more. All branches provide public computer access and are Wi-Fi accessible. Branches offer free programs and activities for all ages.

Librarians are available at each branch to respond to the information needs of customers who walk-in or phone-in with questions. BCPL also provides [http://www.bcpl.info/libpg/lib_ask.html Ask A Librarian,] an email reference service and participates in the [http://www.askusnow.info/ Maryland AskUsNow!] chat reference service staffed 24/7 by Maryland librarians or librarians nationwide.

Branches

BCPL has 17 branch locations. BCPL's Mobile Library Services operates 4 bookmobiles. The branches are [http://www.bcpl.info/libpg/aboutyourlibrary.html#map strategically located] around Baltimore County. Baltimore County has no incorporated towns or communities. Yet the unincorporated areas have names and are considered communities by many residents despite having no clear cut boundaries. Many of these communities have a BCPL branch located within them.


* [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_ar.html Arbutus Library]
* [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_ca.html Catonsville Library]
* [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_co.html Cockeysville Library]
* [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_es.html Essex Library]
* [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_he.html Hereford Library]
* [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_la.html Lansdowne Library]
* [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_lo.html Loch Raven Library]
* [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_mls.html Mobile Library Services]
* [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_no.html North Point Library]
* [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_pa.html Parkville Library]
* [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_pe.html Perry Hall Library]
* [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_pi.html Pikesville Library]
* [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_ra.html Randallstown Library]
* [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_re.html Reisterstown Library]
* [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_ro.html Rosedale Library]
* [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_to.html Towson Library and BCPL Administrative Offices]
* [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_wh.html White Marsh Library]
* [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_wo.html Woodlawn Library]

Vision, Mission & Values Statements

Statements used with permission from http://www.bcpl.info

Baltimore County Public Library Vision Statement

We expand our communities' possibilities by touching one mind at a time.

Baltimore County Public Library is the best place to learn, to discover, to imagine, to smile.

Baltimore County Public Library Mission Statement

Baltimore County Public Library will provide innovative, quality services responding to the needs of our diverse community as we:

*Promote the love of reading.
*Excel at providing resources to customers of all ages.
*Create welcoming spaces for our community.

Baltimore County Public Library Values

We value our customers and strive to:

*Treat them with courtesy and respect.
*Provide fair and equitable access to information.
*Provide materials, information, and services which anticipate and respond to the needs of our communities.
*Provide a sufficient level of well-trained staff.

We value the people who work with us and strive to:

*Attract, develop, reward and retain outstanding staff.
*Create an environment of teamwork and participation, encouraging the expression of a variety of ideas and constructive disagreement.
*Be a learning organization.
*Treat each other with courtesy and respect.
*Celebrate achievements.

We value diversity and strive to:

*Recognize and celebrate the differences that strengthen our community and our library.
*Identify and respond respectfully to the differing needs of our communities and our individual customers.
*Create an organizational culture wherein all may thrive and contribute.
*Pursue diversity in the recruitment and development of staff.
*Make full use of the talents and experience of our staff.

We value cooperation and strive to:

*Identify opportunities to collaborate with others in the community.
*Build partnerships to enhance resources.
*Identify opportunities to collaborate within the organization.

We value innovation and strive to:

*Identify and adopt technology which enhances service.
*Examine new ideas for relevance to library service.
*Embrace constructive change.

pecial Collections

Community Information

Baltimore County Public Library identifies local organizations that can assist Baltimore County residents through an online Community Information database. This community information and referral tool serves those needing local food pantries, housing, low-cost legal aid, education, counseling, health care, family support, recreation, business assistance and more. Customers can search the database themselves from the BCPL web site.

Foreign Language Collections

*Korean fiction and non-fiction books for adults and children are available at the Cockeysville, Towson and Parkville libraries.
*Russian materials for adults and children can be found at the Pikesville, Randallstown and Reisterstown libraries. A small collection of entertainment or feature DVDs in Russian for adults are available at the Pikesville and Reisterstown libraries.
*Spanish children's books, mainly picture books, in Spanish and bi-lingual Spanish and English can be found at all branches. The Catonsville, Essex, North Point, and Towson libraries have collections of fiction and non-fiction for adults and older children in Spanish.
*Books, tapes and CDs for learning foreign languages are available at all branches and can be found in the non-fiction section of the library.

Legacy Web - Historic Photographs

A growing collection of more than 17,000 local historic photographs with annotations are included in [http://www.bcpl.info/legacyweb/ Legacy Web,] Baltimore County Public Library's online photo archive. The photographs cover most aspects of life in Baltimore County for the last 130 years.

Local History Rooms

The Arbutus, Catonsville, Reisterstown and Towson libraries house historical archives on the local communities they serve. The local community history information may include rare and out-of-print books, newspaper clippings, and historical prints of local sites. These materials are available for in-library use only and in some cases are accessible by appointment with the appropriate library.

Research Databases

BCPL provides a variety of [http://www.bcpl.info/databases.html online databases,] which include information on health, business, homework topics, test preparation, and local community organizations. Most databases provide access to articles in magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias and more. They are useful for research, schoolwork or simply for pleasure. All databases are accessible at a Baltimore County Public Library branch and most are available from home, work or school through the Baltimore County Public Library web site with a Baltimore County library card.

Zines

A Zine, pronounced "zeen", like "bean", is a self-published magazines usually written by one person or a few individuals. Zines can be informative, obsessive, hilarious, sad, rude, inspirational, hand-scrawled, or neatly typed. They can be on any topic often representing points of view missed by mainstream media or publishing houses. The Cockeysville Library oversees a collection of over 300 zines covering a wide range of topics with an emphasis on local zine authors.

History

A complete history of BCPL is available on the [http://www.bcpl.info/libpg/lib_facts.html Facts About the Library] page on the BCPL web site.

;1948:Baltimore County Public Library system established with a Board of Trustees. The first Board is appointed to consolidate independent libraries at Arbutus-Halethorpe, Catonsville and its Banneker High School branch, Cockeysville, Dundalk and its Turner Station branch, Essex, Middle River, Pikesville, Relay, Sparrows Point, and Towson.

;1948 October:Administrative Office opens in temporary quarters at 120 West Pennsylvania Avenue, Towson, Maryland.

;1949 January:Richard D. Minnich, previously director of the Easton, Pennsylvania library, becomes first county librarian to direct the system.

;1949-1950:Central ordering and cataloging results in weekly delivery service to libraries and eliminates duplicated work in the branches.

;1951:Interlibrary loan department established to provide customers with books from another Baltimore County Public Library branch or from Enoch Pratt Free Library's Division of Library Extension.

;1952 September 8:Bookmobile service begins with one vehicle and headquarters in the building previously occupied by the Pikesville Memorial Library.

;1954 February 23:Dundalk Library moves to a building acquired from Bethlehem Steel in the heart of Dundalk, Maryland on Center Place. This is the first library building owned by Baltimore County.

;1956 January:Bookmobile service expands with second vehicle to cover the eastern area of Baltimore County. It is housed at the Essex Library and carries 3,100 volumes. It is a 32 foot 10 ton vehicle with air brakes, power steering, electrical generator. This is the first branch responsible for combined bookmobile and branch operations.

;1956:Board authorizes survey to produce plan for future development of library services in county. Consultants were headed by Dr. Lowell Martin, dean of Graduate School of Library Services at Rutgers University.

;1956 December:"Long playing recordings" added to all libraries and both bookmobiles. The collection included classical, vocal, children's, drama records. The first phonograph collection was started at the Middle River Library.

;1957 March 4:Towson Library and Administrative Offices share rented quarters at 28 West Susquehanna Avenue, Towson, Maryland. Previously the Towson Library was located in a six room apartment at 25 West Pennsylvania Avenue. It was so crowded that even the bathtub as well as closets and kitchen housed the collection!

;1957:Lowell Martin survey report prompts growth plan which is adopted by Board of Library Trustees. Branches are to be spotted around beltway and designated as "area" or "community" in size. "Area" libraries are to serve as resource centers for "community" size libraries.

;1959 January:Charles W. Robinson arrives on the scene as Assistant County Librarian.

;1959:Machine charging (checkout materials): Towson Library is the first in county to use photocharging. A photograph was taken of each patron card transaction using RECORDAK and McBee Keysort process. The results were stored on microfilm.

;1961 October 16: [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_re.html Reisterstown Library] moves to 21 Cockeys Mill Road, Reisterstown, Maryland into an historic building dating from 1820s. The building first was known as the Franklin Academy, later it became the first high school in Baltimore County.

;1962:Library Associate Training Program: "To help meet the pressing need for trained, knowledgeable people to assist the public in the use and enjoyment of materials available in library collections", Baltimore County Public Library created a new job classification and started a training program for "Library Aides". This program eventually went statewide.

;1963:Charles W. Robinson named Director after death of Richard D. Minnich.

;1963 September 9: [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_pe.html Perry Hall Library] opens at a leased location at 9440 Belair Road, Perry Hall, Maryland. The building was privately constructed to library specification and leased by Baltimore County. It replaced bookmobile service to the area.

;1963 December 9: [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_ca.html Catonsville Library] moves into present building at 1100 Frederick Road, Catonsville, Maryland. Library is first "area library" to be constructed according to Martin Plan concept devised in 1958. It was the first library building actually built by County as a library.

;1965 July 15:Baltimore County Public Library is first library in country to replace the card catalog with a computer generated catalog in book form. This allowed customers to see the holdings of all the branches in the system for the first time.

;1965 April 15:Baltimore County Public Library Board considers closing Relay Library within one year.

;1965 March 15: [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_no.html North Point Library] opens as the second "area branch" at 1716 Merritt Boulevard, Dundalk, Maryland and the first of several libraries placed in a shopping center.

;1966:BCPL established first collection of 8 mm film in the metropolitan area.

;1966 March 21:Randallstown Library supplies library service from a temporary convert|50|ft|m|sing=on trailer, fondly called the RAT.

;1966 December 19:Lansdowne Library, a convert|5100|sqft|m2|sing=on white concrete block library, was dedicated at 500 Third Avenue, Lansdowne, Maryland. The library branch was the first built by County under aid provisions of the federal Library Services and Construction Act.

;1967 October 23:Randallstown Library moves from trailer to an expansive new building at 8604 Liberty Road, Randallstown, Maryland.

;1968 May 13:Loch Raven Library opens between Towson and Parkville, Maryland in an attractive wooded site located next to a shopping area. It was necessary to place the library building on one side of a stream bed and the parking area on the other side. Crossing the stream is a foot bridge.

;1969 April 6:Loch Raven Library wins a Maryland Best Design Achievement Award from Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Baltimore and American Institute of Architects, Baltimore Chapter.

;1969 June 16: [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_es.html Essex Library] dedicated at 1110 Eastern Boulevard, Essex, Maryland.

;1970:A small bookmobile serves as a summer book van for children in summer camps and recreation centers. During the winter the vehicle stopped at institutions such as nursing homes and retirement communities.

;Late 1970s:BCPL studied retail store design, particularly store layout and merchandising strategies. This resulted in library layouts being set up to encourage browsing and to the purchasing of "book store" display shelving.

;1971 January 10: [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_pa.html Parkville Library] moves into brand new quarters at 9509 Harford Road, Parkville, Maryland and is sometimes called the Parkville-Carney Library.

;1974:Volunteer program begins systemwide in 1974 with four volunteers.

;1974 May 12: [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_to.html Towson Library and Administrative Offices] move into new building at 320 York Road, Towson, Maryland.

;1974 June 23: [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_ro.html Rosedale Library] opens in angular building at 6105 Kenwood Avenue, Rosedale, Maryland.

;1975:Centralized selection of material begins. Monthly book selection where all the librarians drove from their libraries to look at the titles displayed for selection no longer occurs. A Materials Selection Department was set up to handle new purchasing and replacement buying.

;1975:Microfilm format for catalog replaces book catalog.

;1975 February:Community Information File debuts as a paper file at the Catonsville Library. It becomes available to the public systemwide in June 1975.

;1976:Towson Library passes 1,000,000 mark in circulation.

;1977:Towson Library is first branch to go on line with CLSI, an automated circulation system. All branches converted to CLSI by 1987.

;1977:"To Satisfy Demand: a Study Plan for Public Library Service in Baltimore County", Baltimore County Public Library's first strategic plan, became the model for the Public Library Association/American Library Association's "Planning Process for Public Libraries".

;1977 October 17: [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_ro.html Woodlawn Library] opens at 1811 Woodlawn Drive, Woodlawn, Maryland.

;1978:Baltimore County Public Library initiates Generalism. All librarians serve all customers. This eliminates separate Children and Adult Departments in Baltimore County Public Library.

;1978:"Mini Library" concept established when communities sought libraries that could not be justified in the library's physical facilities plan for the county. The County Executive promoted the idea of volunteer-run libraries for which the county would provide leased spaces and the library would provide a collection. They were stocked for quick pickup of popular adult and children's materials and were based in small neighborhood shopping centers. Four minis were set up in the Edgemere, Maryland, Jacksonville, Maryland, Owings Mills, Maryland, and Wellwood communities. They were administered by nearby full-service libraries. Full service libraries provided the full range of information and programming services with salaried librarians and circulation staff.

;1979:By 1979 all of the general service bookmobiles were gone from the system.

;1980:Clearinghouse office, now the Information Services Department, began using an online DIALOG database to answer patron information queries.

;1982 February 16: [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_co.html Cockeysville Library] opens at 9833 Greenside Drive, Cockeysville, Maryland. It is one of the first library facilities in the nation featuring bookstore display shelving and neon signage.

;1982 February 16: [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_pi.html Pikesville Library] moves to quarters in brand new Pikesville Community Center at 1301 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, Maryland. The building is shared with the Pikesville Senior Center.

;1986:Sneaks the Cat became the Summer Reading Club Mascot and as of 2008 is still making annual appearances.

;1986:Compact discs added to the collection.

;1986:Baltimore County Public Library's first CD-ROM database available to public. It was Information Access Company's Magazine Index Plus.

;1988:S.T.A.R. (Shortcuts to Accurate Reference) was adopted requiring extensive reference interview training for all information desk staff using an adaptation of the Maryland model developed by the Division of Library Development and Services of the Maryland State Department of Education. Trainers introduced staff to the key model reference behaviors still in use today.

;1988:Videotapes added to collection.

;1988 January 25: [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_wh.html White Marsh Library] , a convert|15000|sqft|m2|sing=on building, opens in the expanding community of White Marsh, Maryland at 8133 Sandpiper Circle.

;1988 February:Phonograph records no longer being purchased.

;1988 October 3: [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_he.html Hereford Library] opens at 16940 York Road, Hereford, Maryland serving the Hereford Zone, Maryland.

;1988:Hereford Library was the first Baltimore County Public Library with a Local Area Network (LAN) that included a 4 station CD-ROM network for electronic reference material.

;1992 September 14: [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_ar.html Arbutus Library] moves to Arbutus Business Center, 1581 Sulphur Spring Road Suite 105, Arbutus, Maryland. The library doubles in size to convert|15800|sqft|m2|sing=on.

;1992:"Give 'Em What They Want! Managing the Public's Library" is written by Baltimore County Public Library staff (Blue Ribbon Committee) and published by the American Library Association. The book described the Baltimore County Public Library's "Give 'Em What They Want" philosophy of service.

;1993 February:Dundalk, Edgemere, Jacksonville, Lansdowne, Loch Raven, Middle River, Owings Mills, Turner Station, Wellwood libraries closed due to budget cuts and resulting layoff of 21 staff.

;1993/1994:Baltimore County Public Library changes circulation system to CARL. Customers interact with a GUI (graphical user interface) catalog called "Everybody's Catalog" and have access to online databases.

;1995:Baltimore County Public Library began offering an Internet provider service, called BCPL.NET, to customers.

;1995: [http://www.bcpl.info Baltimore County Public Library web site] is launched with several databases mounted to expand information resources. It was first called the BCPL "WOW (Window on the World) Web".

;1996:Charles W. Robinson retires after 33 years as Library Director.

;1996 September:James H. Fish becomes Director of Baltimore County Public Library.

;1996 March:Essex Library's Libraries Online Family Learning Center: Microsoft Online Grant provided the library system's first computer learning center offering public access to computer software and the Internet. Baltimore County Public Library was one of nine libraries nationwide to be involved in Microsoft's pilot project to make computer access available to the public. Other library computer centers followed.

;1996 November:Ask A Librarian email service begins with each library as well as the Information Services Department responding to queries directed to their agency by email.

;1998:Baltimore County Public Library's 50th Anniversary introduces a new logo/slogan, "Where you find it". The logo and slogan appear on banners, billboards, and as eye-catching designs on delivery vans.

;1998 May 1:Baltimore County Public Library begins the [http://www.bcpl.info/centers/library/bookclub.html Virtual Book Club,] a book club email discussion group.

;1998 June 22: [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_lo.html Loch Raven Library] reopens in its original building which was opened as a library in 1968 and closed in February 1993. It is located at 1046 Taylor Avenue, Towson, Maryland.

;1998:Express self-checkout machines first installed at Catonsville, Cockeysville, Towson libraries.

;1999: [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_mls.html Mobile Library Services’s] Read Rover (RR) and Special Delivery (SD) combine to form a new department, formerly called Institutional Services.

;1999 May: [http://www.bcinfobank.com/ Infobank] , a joint project of Baltimore County Public Library's Information Services Department and Baltimore County's Department of Economic Development, goes live. The content is geared toward encouraging business relocation or expansion in Baltimore County.

;1999 April: [http://www.bcpl.info/legacyweb/ Legacy Web] began a web presence for BCPL’s collection of historic photos as a result of a grant from Maryland Division of Library Development and Services (DLDS).

;2000 February:First coffee bar in Baltimore County Public Library opens for service at Pikesville Library.

;2000 July 20:Unique Management Services Collection Agency contracted to provide help in recovering long overdue items and fines.

;2001 January:Third bookmobile dubbed 'Library on the Go' is added to Mobile Library Services. The convert|30|ft|m|sing=on bookmobile holding up to 3,000 items, has 4 public computers with Internet access and a lift for persons with disabilities.

;2001 May 5:Randallstown Library Fire: early morning one-alarm fire damages work rooms and roof. The stack areas had mainly smoke and water damage.

;2001 July 6: [http://www.bcpl.info/libpg/lib_ask.html Ask a Librarian] email reference service replaces individual branch service with a centralized response coming from the Information Services Department.

;2001 July 16:Following a May fire, Randallstown Mini Library opens in a trailer parked in the Randallstown Library parking lot with full time service, adult and children's fiction and non-fiction, audio visual materials, and 10 public computers.

;2001 October:Opening of the "Kid's Kingdom", a castle with dragons for the children of the Towson Library.

;2001 December:Essex Library 'hooks' fish for its Chesapeake Bay themed renovation. Essex reeled in one of Baltimore's "Fish Out of Water" sculptures when it was auctioned on E-bay. "Holy Mackerel" a brightly colored 40-pound creation by artist Bennard Perlman first resided in front of the Baltimore Basilica across the street from the Enoch Pratt Free Library in downtown Baltimore.

;2002 January:AskUsNow! Virtual Reference: Baltimore County Public Library and Harford County Public Library provides first LIVE online reference service to Maryland students as part of a state grant. The target audience was "high risk" students needing help with homework related assignments. Eventually the service went statewide, as [http://www.bcpl.info/askusnow/ Maryland AskUsNow!] , to serve the Maryland public with many other public and academic libraries participating.

;2002 April 29: [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_ra.html Randallstown Library] returns to full service after fire.

;2004 August 18:White Marsh became the first library in the country to offer Fastrac technology, which enables customers to check out their own materials using specially equipped Fastrac express-checkout machines.

;2005 June 3:Mobile Library Services' Read Rover Plus is dedicated and begins visiting Baltimore County child care providers. The purchase was made possible as a result of a [http://www.foundationforbcpl.org/ Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library] project.

;2005 June 5 and July 12:Downloadable electronic books (ebooks) and audio books made available through a partnership with other Maryland public libraries.

;2005 October:Cockeysville Library hosts a pilot project to circulate [http://www.bcpl.info/centers/library/zines.html zines] , small self-published magazines popular among people in their 20s and 30s. The Library is the first public library in Maryland to circulate zines.

;2005 October 12:First Early Childhood Center opens at North Point Library. This was a multi-agency project named [http://www.bcpl.info/firstyears/ "Focus on the First Years"] . The Center is designed to provide families a "one-stop-shop" for services and a play center with learning activities for their infants and toddlers that encourages reading readiness and child development in their formative years.

;2006 January 12:Woodlawn Library officially opens the library's expanded facilities including an Early Literacy Activity Center. It becomes the first county library branch to provide wireless Internet access (Wi-Fi) via a radio signal.

;2006 March 23:All branches and the Administrative Offices have staff and public wireless networks in operation. The customer with a wireless-enabled laptop or personal digital assistants (PDAs) can access the Internet without plugging into a modem or other device.

;2006 April 5: [http://www.bcpl.info/branches/branch_la.html Lansdowne Library] reopens after being closed since February 1993, occupying the original library building at 500 Third Avenue, Lansdowne, Maryland. Official ribbon-cutting ceremony held on April 8.

;2006 September 12:BCPL introduces a new catalog interface called AquaBrowser (which has been implemented through several other Maryland Libraries) that allows customers to look for library materials using the more familiar search engine model of finding information. The former catalog remains available through the Classic View tab.

;2006 September 26:BCPL launches a [http://www.bcpl.info/index_text.html text-only version] of its web site.

;2006 October 24:Video game collection released to the public. It features a collection of children (EC and E ESRB Ratings) and adult (T Ratings) video games.

;2006 October:The Pikesville branch closes most of its services during a renovation that will last until mid-July. The renovation will cost $4.18 million and includes expansion of the Pikesville Library and Senior Center.

;2007 July 11:The Pikesville branch officially re-opens after almost six months of renovations. The finished library boasts enhancements like a new children's activity center and story time room, a new magazine/newspaper reading area, an enlarged area for browsing new books, a large lounge with assistive reading devices, a young adult lounge, improved checkout and information desks, new carpeting, and other interior improvements.

;2008 January 2:BCPL implements "Floating Collections" systemwide.

;2008 February 7: [http://www.bcplstoryville.org/ Storyville] , an interactive early literacy learning center opens inside the Rosedale library.

Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library

The Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing financial contributions to enhance the traditional tax-based funding for library resources, services and programming. The Foundation recognizes that the strength of the library stems from well-trained staff, ample high-quality materials, the latest technology and well-equipped buildings. A strong library system enriches the community by expanding minds and enriching lives; the efforts of the Foundation seek to support this goal.

In 1999, based on the vision of library Director Jim Fish, the Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library was established to provide additional financial and volunteer support that were much needed. Decreased funding had occurred as a result of the economic recession of the early 1990s. Soon after, tax-exempt status was obtained, a board of directors was recruited, a president was named and raising funds began.

Foundation for BCPL Mission

The Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library mobilizes resources to support the Library's commitment to a superior public library system where opportunities for literacy, reading enrichment, and lifelong learning are available to all.

Foundation Objectives

*To provide funding for projects that encourage children and young adults to cultivate a life-long enthusiasm for reading and learning.
*To act as advocates for the library to ensure that library services continue on into the future.
*To raise funds for specific programs or projects that enhance system-wide Baltimore County Library goals and objectives.

What the Foundation Has Accomplished

Between 1999 and 2007, the Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library has provided funding for a large number of projects appealing to the library users and library staff. Some of the largest fund-raising projects include:

*Updated, more comfortable furniture for all library branches.
*The Read Rover Plus bookmobile – a “library on wheels” used for visits to day-care and at-risk communities.
*Updating computer technology in branches throughout Baltimore County.
*My First Library Card Campaign which helped almost 7,000 kindergartners and preschoolers across the county sign up for their first library card and provided a book and a backpack to each child.

Current 2007 Foundation Initiative

[http://www.bcplstoryville.org/ Storyville] at BCPL, designed by [http://www.jamesbradberry.com/ James Bradberry Architects] , is the latest project to be funded by the Foundation for BCPL. This interactive early learning center, located at the Rosedale Branch of BCPL, hosts seven interactive play stations where infants and preschoolers can explore and grow while engaging in developmentally appropriate activities. Books and activities at each site promote cognitive, motor, language and social skills, depending on the age group.

This free, museum-like service encourages children in the greater Baltimore area and their caregivers to explore the interactive exhibits featured in a unique townscape. The townscape features a variety of innovative activity areas such as: a baby garden consisting of manipulative toys, mobiles, and board books; a fully stocked children's library; a theatre, complete with changeable marquee, costumes, and props; and other unique play and learning areas. Appropriate reading materials at different reading levels are placed at each learning area for the children.

This over $500,000 project was funded through a combination of financial pledges from corporate, individual, and non-profit organizations. In addition, as part of House Bill 51, the State of Maryland's consolidated fiscal year 2007 capital budget, a $250,000 allocation was included for the benefit of the Storyville Children’s Learning Center. At the beginning of the 2007 session of the Maryland General Assembly, Senator Kathy Klausmeier (D-8-Baltimore County) introduced Senate Bill 264 and Delegate Todd Schuler (D-8-Baltimore County) introduced a corresponding bill, House Bill 360, in the House of Delegates. These bills requested a grant of $250,000 to the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library, Inc. for the construction of the Storyville Children’s Learning Center at the Rosedale Public Library. The funds received under the provision of HB 51 were added to money that was raised by the Foundation for the Baltimore County Public Library from private sources and individuals to cover the construction costs.

ee also

*List of libraries
*Baltimore County, Maryland
*Maryland
*Public library

External links

* [http://www.bcpl.info Baltimore County Public Library]
* [http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/ Baltimore County, Maryland official web site]
* [http://www.bcps.org/ Baltimore County Public Schools]
* [http://www.ala.org American Library Association]
* [http://www.mdlib.org/ Maryland Library Association]
* [http://www.pla.org Public Library Association]
* [http://www.jamesbradberry.com James Bradberry Architects]


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