Union Bridge library story has bleak ending Facility is needed, but 'there is no money in the budget' NORTHWEST -- Taneytown * Union Bridge * New Windsor * Uniontown

July 29, 1993|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

Union Bridge officials would like to see their residents reading in their own local branch of the public library. But the county commissioners say the writing is on the wall: The county can't afford it.

"There is no money in the budget for the local library at Union Bridge," Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy said.

"There was stressed a legitimate need for one in that area, but the truth of the matter is, it awaits money available in the budget."

Union Bridge Mayor Perry L. Jones Jr. voiced concerns about local library services to the three county commissioners during their quarterly meeting Monday with the Town Council at the Union Bridge Community Center.

"I think the library is something that is much needed. There are just so many things in school that you need a library for," Mayor Jones said.

"And there are a lot of adults in the area that travel to Taneytown or Westminster for books and things too," said Councilwoman Bonnie M. Hyde. "They would probably like to see a branch in town as well."

"We're not worried about getting video rentals or anything like that," Mr. Jones said. "We just want the basic services."

Mr. Lippy agreed that there is a need for a local library in Union Bridge.

"There is a good case for it even beyond the obvious reasons," Mr. Lippy said. "For example, geographical location. It would fill in a blank space for that area."

The town has never had a library, according to Gail Griffith, associate director of the Carroll County Public Library.

Residents desiring more material than is carried by the CCPL Bookmobile -- which visits the area every three weeks -- usually go to the Taneytown branch, the regional library for the area.

Councilwoman Hyde told the commissioners the town was prepared several years ago to rent a building to use a local branch, but funding fell through.

Ms. Griffith said the library system also has been working to put a community library in Union Bridge.

The county currently has regional libraries in Westminster, Taneytown, North Carroll, Mount Airy and Eldersburg.

These full-service libraries are open about 60 hours a week, have a greater range of reference materials and create their own reading and study programs.

As proposed, the Union Bridge branch would be open 32 to 35 hours a week, carry mainly popular literature and conduct programs prepared by the headquarters staff. It would have a reference section capable of answering "homework questions," Ms. Griffith said.

Ms. Griffith said the proposed Union Bridge library could become part of the Carroll County Library Board of Trustees' five-year plan. The board was scheduled to begin discussing future projects last night at its monthly meeting.

"Things had gone back and forth," said Ms. Griffith. "The last time a rental facility for Union Bridge was requested was in the fiscal year 1992 request.

"Last year [fiscal year 1993], there wasn't a separate facility requested, but for several years before we did ask for it."

Although CCPL will continue to push for a local branch for Union Bridge, she said, there are some more urgent projects.

Library officials have requested money over a five-year period to expand and renovate the Eldersburg branch; rent space for a store-front library in Sandymount, to be replaced later with a full-service library; build small "study-center"-sized libraries in New Windsor and Silver Run; create a new headquarters building; and expand the Westminster branch.

"The library board has to recommend things to the [county] commissioners in priority order. Not all projects can be finished," Ms. Griffith said.

"It's just a matter of looking at a number of projects and seeing which can be funded."

Mr. Lippy said the proposal has not been forgotten and Union Bridge residents shouldn't lose hope of getting a library in town.

"I believe it is something we will give priority to," Mr. Lippy said. "But unfortunately there is always that nasty question of money that faces us."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.