Grand opening for new Central Library in Hagerstown scheduled for Oct. 5

August 15, 2013|By CALEB CALHOUN |
  • The Washington County Free Library's central library, closed for more than 33 months for reconstruction, will officially reopen on Saturday, Oct. 5, officials said Thursday.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

The Washington County Free Library’s central library, closed for more than 33 months for reconstruction, will officially reopen on Saturday, Oct. 5, officials said Thursday.

In advance of the opening of the library at the South Potomac Street site where the previous library was located, temporary branches at North Pointe and downtown will close on Saturday, Aug. 24, at 2 p.m., said Elizabeth Howe, reference librarian and Western Maryland Room archivist.

 All the items in the two temporary branches will be moved to the new Potomac Street building, Howe said.

“We will start shelving them, which is quite a large job,” she said.

Collections in storage at the library’s temporary administrative offices on Tandy Drive also will be returned to the central library, she said.

Any books checked out from the temporary locations between Thursday and Oct. 5 will be due Oct. 16, Howe said.

However, she said that items can be returned to one of the other branches at any time.


DVDs will be subject to the same policy beginning Saturday, Aug. 17, according to information on the library’s website at

The bookmobile will accept returns at the parking lot of the North Pointe location from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29, Wednesday, Sept. 4, and Wednesday, Sept. 11, the website said.

Items put on hold will have to be picked up at one of the branches or at the new library when it opens, Howe said.

The Washington County Library branches around the county will operate as normal, with items put on hold and due dates for items checked out.

The Western Maryland Room, which is open every Wednesday at the downtown location, will close at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21, Howe said.

Materials from of the Western Maryland Room and the Business and Government Information Center that have been in the downtown location will be unavailable while they are being moved to the new location, the library website said.

Interlibrary loans will be unavailable beginning Monday, Aug. 19, but will be offered again in early September, the website said.

“There’s a lot of other things that have to happen,” Howe said. “One very large job is all the IT (information technology) things that have to happen, setting up all the computers.”

Howe said that the move is “very exciting.”

“We’ve done the best we can, and I know people worked hard to work out the best situation they could come up with for the temporary time that we were waiting for the new library to open,” she said. “Parking here at this location has been difficult for our patrons that need parking, and so we’re looking forward to that not being a problem.”

The central library closed Nov. 9, 2010, for the $24 million reconstruction, with the two temporary library branches opening about a week later.

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