Updated: Oct 1, 2021
The Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL), marked its centennial birthday today with a series of both children's and adult virtual events, and officials also announced a planned year-long celebration of the milestone.
“We are delighted to kickoff celebrations today for the library's 100th anniversary,” said Anne Arundel County Public Library CEO Skip Auld. “Residents can expect a year full of reflection and excitement as we mark our past, celebrate our community impact and imagine our future.”
On January 8, 1921, the first public library in the county opened its doors in the municipal building in downtown Annapolis. The library was open three days a week for two hours a day.
Customers could browse more than 2,000 books that were donated or funded by local churches and civic organizations.
It cost 10 cents to get a library card back then, said the library's communications director, Christine Feldmann. She joked it was the only place where something that cost money in 1921, actually costs less 100 years later.
The Annapolis Library moved around the city eventually landing at Reynolds Tavern in 1936 and stayed there until 1965 when it relocated to West Street where it remains today. Currently, AACPL has 16 locations across the county and served more than 1.3 million customers in FY 20.
"It's a great time," she said of the celebration. "People are really nostalgic about their library, which is a lot of fun."
She said both patrons and staff had enjoyed the events so far.
"It's been a great day," Feldmann said.
A special virtual birthday story-time on Facebook Live kicked off today’s festivities, featuring preschoolers singing, dancing and enjoying The Backwards Birthday Party. Sneaks the Library Cat made a special visit.
Also on the AACPL Facebook page, Library CEO Skip Auld unveiled special promotional banners that are currently displayed throughout downtown Annapolis (image below) until February 8, and officials launched a new video series of customers sharing their special library stories and memories.
The library will be collecting and sharing stories of the Anne Arundel County Public Library over the course of the year. The public is invited to submit their own local library tales online. Submissions can be in English or Spanish.
The videos will be available on the library’s YouTube page.
The communications director indicated there may be cake at an in-person send off to the library's anniversary at the end of 2021. But during the pandemic, so far, a series of virtual events are planned as part of the celebration including:
Thursday, February 18 at 7 pm
Family-based classical music, negro spirituals, folk tunes, jazz, and sing-alongs performed by black classical musicians.
Thursday, March 4 at 7 pm
Leadership Anne Arundel alumni and partners with their library stories and hear how libraries are essential now more than ever.
Thursday, March 18 at 1 pm
Daring women of Maryland made their mark on history as spies, would-be queens and fiery suffragettes. From famous figures like Harriet Tubman to unsung heroines like "Lady Law" Violet Hill Whyte, author Lauren R. Silberman introduces Maryland's most tenacious and adventurous women in this virtual program.
More events and giveaways will be announced in the coming months. For more information about the library’s history and plans to mark its centennial, visit www.aacpl.net/100years.
--compiled from AACPL press release as well as 1 interview