New Washington Co. Free Library Popular Since Opening


HAGERSTOWN, Md. - It has been about eight months since the new Washington County Free Library opened in downtown Hagerstown, and library administrators are saying it has been a success.

When the newly renovated library was unveiled in October, more than 2,000 people showed up in just two hours. Now the numbers are just as impressive. Since its opening, the library has gained about 6,000 more patrons.

"Every day there's at least a couple of new people I see who come in and look around and go wow and are so amazed that we have this asset,” said Mary Baykan, director of the Washington County Free Library.

Those who work at the library say its' popularity is a testament to the improvements they have made.

"The old library had reached its lifespan,” said Baykan.

The new library has more computers, going from just 12 to 40. The building itself is also double the size of the old library, with study spaces and meeting rooms. They are improvements that have not gone unnoticed.

“I like the library because has a lot of good books and it's a lot more organized than the old library,” said library patron Luke Miller.

"There's lots of spaces to use outside of just checking out books. I've used it before for schoolwork,” said library patron Brenda Thiam.

"I like this [library] better because it has nice new furniture and it's comfortable,” said library patron Jaden Jackson.

Library administrators are hoping the new facility will be known as place residents can come to not just for books but also for community engagement.

"It belongs in Hagerstown and for the people who live here and work here,” said Baykan. “We are just so pleased that it's here for them."

Librarians say their summer reading program has also been a success this year, with twice as many kids signed up compared to last year.

To get involved in the summer reading program, click here.

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