The Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL), marked its centennial birthday last week by announcing its yearlong celebration of the milestone.
On January 8, 1921, the first public library in the county opened its doors in the municipal building in downtown Annapolis. The library was open three days a week for two hours a day. Customers could browse more than 2,000 books that were donated or funded by local churches and civic organizations. Borrowers had to pay ten cents for an identification card.
The Annapolis Library moved around the city eventually landing at Reynolds Tavern in 1936 and stayed there until 1965 when it relocated to West Street where it remains today. Currently, AACPL has 16 locations across the county and served more than 1.3 million customers in FY 20.
“We are delighted to kickoff celebrations today for the library’s 100th anniversary,” said Anne Arundel County Public Library CEO Skip Auld. “Residents can expect a year full of reflection and excitement as we mark our past, celebrate our community impact and imagine our future.”
A special virtual birthday storytime on Facebook Live kicked off the day’s festivities featuring preschoolers singing, dancing and enjoying The Backwards Birthday Party. Sneaks the Library Cat made a special visit.
Also on the AACPL Facebook Library CEO Skip Auld unveiled special promotional banners that are currently displayed throughout downtown Annapolis until February 8 and officials launched a new video series of customers sharing their special library stories and memories. County Executive Steuart Pittman told the first story about his childhood memories at the Annapolis Library and taking his twin boys to the Edgewater Library. The videos will be available on the library’s YouTube page.
A series of virtual events are planned as part of the celebration including:
Generations: Music and the Black Family Concert
Thursday, February 18 at 7 pm
Family-based classical music, negro spirituals, folk tunes, jazz, and sing-alongs performed by black classical musicians.
Celebrating our Library Stories
Thursday, March 4 at 7pm
Leadership Anne Arundel alumni and partners with their library stories and hear how libraries are essential now more than ever.
Wild Women of Maryland: Grit and Gumpt in the Free State
Thursday, March 18 at 1 pm
Daring women of Maryland made their mark on history as spies, would-be queens and fiery suffragettes. From famous figures like Harriet Tubman to unsung heroines like “Lady Law” Violet Hill Whyte, author Lauren R. Silberman introduces Maryland’s most tenacious and adventurous women in this virtual program.
More events and giveaways will be announced in the coming months. For more information about the library’s history and plans to mark its centennial, visit www.aacpl.net/100years.