Better libraries a key part of Smith's legacy

December 07, 2010

I enjoyed reading your recent article, "Baltimore County Executive Smith reflects on past, future" (Dec. 3). Looking back over the past eight years, there is a great legacy of accomplishments that Jim Smith will leave behind.

In particular, Mr. Smith's stalwart support of the Baltimore County Public Library system deserves special attention. I can think of no other local government leader who has done so much to advance the cause of libraries. Thanks to Mr. Smith's leadership, Baltimore County has new branch libraries in Perry Hall and Arbutus, expanded and improved facilities in Cockeysville and Randallstown, and two new branch locations on the way, in Turner's Station and Owings Mills.

I have often heard Jim Smith say that "if schools are the heart of a community, then libraries must be its soul." If that is true, County Executive Smith's lasting legacy will be how his advocacy for libraries has uplifted the soul of Baltimore County.

Jeffrey Smith, Nottingham

The writer is treasurer of the Baltimore County Board of Library Trustees.

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