Membership at Smithsburg library branch steadily growing

December 08, 2010|By DAVE McMILLION |
  • Ashley Hutson is branch manager of the Washington County Free Library's Smithsburg branch, next to Veterans Park.
Joe Crocetta | Staff Photographer

SMITHSBURG — For many, it’s the view from the Smithsburg branch of the Washington County Free Library that has attracted patrons.

An afternoon at the library can be enjoyed sitting behind large windows looking over Smithsburg’s valleys and mountainous terrain.

A large gas-log fireplace sits at one end of the main center section of the library and a picture of the old library, which used to be on Water Street, sits on the mantel.

Opened in 2006, the library offers adult and children’s book collections, public computers, a “quiet study room” and a 50-seat community room where story-time events and movies are offered.

Ashley Hutson, branch manager of the library next to Veterans Park along Water Street, said she is happy with operations at the library since it opened, adding that membership is steadily growing.

The library is averaging about 30 new members a month and is more people are showing interest, especially since the Washington County Free Library closed in Hagerstown as plans proceed for a new facility there, Hutson said.

The Smithsburg library has a children’s room, which is partitioned off from the rest of the library. The library, which has about 20,794 circulating items in its collection, also offers a young-adult section, and an adult fiction and nonfiction area.

The library has regular story times for children, and there often are special events for children and adults.

This month, the library will show “The Polar Express,” a magical tale about a boy who still believes in Santa Claus. The library will also feature a Starlab Extravaganza, which is a portable planetarium that will be available to youths and adults.

The library offers a Rosetta Stone Spanish-learning program and it has 10 computers for the public.

“Those have really seen a lot of use,” Hutson said of the computers.

Individuals can use one of the computers for one hour if they have a library card, Hutson said.

Hutson said the library has some offerings about which some people might not be aware, such as a loan program for XBox, Wii and PlayStation games, Hutson said. The loan program is offered for library card holders, Hutson said.

The library also has books on compact disc, which are popular among commuters and those who are visually impaired, Hutson said.

The library is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. It is closed on Sundays.

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