New Annapolis Library Would Triple Current Size
The current Annapolis library was built in 1965—before man walked on the moon.
Money to fund a plan laying the groundwork for a new, two-story Annapolis Regional Library is in the proposed fiscal year 2014 budget for the county library system. But will it make the cut?
Skip Auld, the executive director of the Anne Arundel County Public Library System, gave a presentation Thursday night at the Broadneck Library on the library system's 2014 budget.
Among other improvements, next year's spending plan calls for $3.5 million for the planning stage of the proposed new library in Annapolis, and $78,000 for a feasibility study on a new Glen Burnie library .
The proposed Annapolis building would be 65,000 square feet—effectively tripling the existing building on West Street—and would include a large, 250-person meeting room and 10 study rooms, provide 74 public computers and have room for 160,000 items in the physical collection.
It would be an ambitious project, but Auld said it's time the county made an investment in the future. The Annapolis library was built in 1965, which he joked was before man walked on the moon. Library officials have requested funding for the new library since 2008, but so far have struck out come budget season each year.
"We as a county have got to come behind the idea that we will make a multi-year commitment to get those libraries to be what they should be," he said.
Auld said the proposed Annapolis building may have a future on Rowe Boulevard, at a site near the District Courthouse. Expanding the existing West Street site is still an option, but Auld said, "that may not be in keeping with that neighborhood."
Auld told the meeting's attendees that if they wanted to see these kinds of improvements at libraries, they should advocate for the proposed budget to new County Executive Laura Neuman and to Anne Arundel County Councilmen during their upcoming budget public hearings in May.