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Smithsburg celebrates new library

August 10, 2006|by ERIN JULIUS

SMITHSBURG - Elected officials, library staff and members of the public gathered Wednesday morning for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Smithsburg's new library atop a hill in Veterans' Park.

"Take a look at the future in Smithsburg library," said U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., who called libraries an entre into the world of ideas.

Mikulski secured $300,000 of federal money for the library, which boasts 8,742 square feet, 10 computers with Internet access and a large reading area with a working stone fireplace.

It is also a "hot spot" with wireless access.

Mary Baykan, director of Washington County Free Library, said that Maryland is known as a "library heaven" because both Mikulski and U.S. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, D-Md., are "always there championing" she said.

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Kim Eichelberger sat in the children's room with her 10-month-old daughter, Camryn, on her lap as dignitaries toured the new library.

"This is the third time we've been out here in five days," she said. Her two other young daughters love the library because it has plenty of Berenstain Bears books, which are their favorites, she said.

The Berenstain Bears are joined by 1,500 new books, said Patricia Monahan, the branch manager.

The library has been open since July 26.

Smithsburg needed a library because of its growth, said John Hershey, president of the Washington County Free Library board of trustees.

"Just look out the back door of the library ... there are hundreds of homes in the background. There's a real need for a community library," he said.

A community room also offers a place for the Girl Scouts, nonprofit groups and knitting classes to meet, Monahan said.

The library system will break ground for a new library in Boonsboro sometime in the fall, Hershey said.

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