Information on events now available on-line

May 18, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

Carroll is the first county in the state to make its calendar of events electronically available through its public libraries.

"You will be able to walk in and plug in to see what is going on in Carroll County," said Joan D. Meekins, tourism administrator, at a meeting of the Carroll County Tourism Association in Mount Airy yesterday.

"People all across the nation and the world can eventually hook up. It may sound far-fetched, but somebody in Australia could look up events in Carroll County."

While the printed calendar must adhere to a deadline, the tourism staff will be able to update events continuously in the library's data base.

"Educate everybody out there on the availability of the new system so that as many users as possible can access it," Ms. Meekins told about 20 association members at the bimonthly brunch meeting.

"It is not meant to take the place of the printed calendar, but to add to it."

Ms. Meekins had to cut the meeting short to join her staff at Expo 2000, a three-day promotion for the state tourism industry.

"Tourism is recognized as one of the largest industries in the nation," she said. "By the year 2000, it will be the largest in the world."

The exposition, which began in Timonium yesterday, offers an excellent opportunity to promote Carroll County, she said.

"We are out there promoting for you, supporting you and your businesses," she said. "The expo is a really good place for us to be."

The county and area businesses shared the $900 fee for the booth.

Ms. Meekins expects more promotional help as a result of a newly signed bill that allocates $3 million for advertising to the state Tourism Office.

"Before the bill, Maryland had one of the lowest tourism advertising budgets in the country," Ms. Meekins said.

She urged association members to send information on their events to the state office.

"We are glad to help you, but it is virtually impossible for our office to send the state information on all your events," Ms. Meekins said.

She also asked members for pictures of their events.

"When you are taking pictures for yourselves, be aware we can use them, too," she said. "We get calls requesting pictures of your site or your organization all the time."

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