The Westminster Branch Library, located at 50 East Main Street, is one of six Carroll County Public Libraries. Reverend J. A. Monroe and Dr. Charles Billingslea founded this library in 1863.
Membership dues and fines supported the library for a long time, with the facility to the public only on Friday afternoons. It has relocated several times, first from the Odd Fellows Hall to the new Times Building, then to the Wantz building. Despite these relocations, the library was still housed in cramped rooms until the 1940s. In 1980, after a county-wide library system was created, The Westminster Branch opened Carroll County’s first modern library facility on East Main Street.
In 2008 the library underwent major interior and exterior renovations. This included a complete redesign of the interior and the installation of a train-themed children’s area.
Mary Lou Dewey Park, located in front of the library was completely redesigned as well. The park gained new walkways, landscaping, and a performance platform for concerts and educational programming called the Booth Memorial Stage. Thanks to private funding, a library-inspired sculpture, labeled Wild Imaginings, by artist Bart Walter was also installed.
The library gives back to the community and strives to be accessible to all. Free Wi-Fi, public computers, copy/fax machines, and even children’s learning games are offered. Events, such as story time and playgroup are held, which are designed to help children of all ages socialize and practice basic skills. The library also holds “Sensory Storytime,” an event for children with special needs or disabilities to enjoy a judgement-free story time.
Along with children’s events, the library offers book clubs for adults and informational sessions for seniors. These sessions seek to educate seniors about things like Medicare eligibility.
The library also has events catering to community members in middle and high school, such as video game and recording software lessons that allow kids to socialize and have fun. Guest lecturers often hold lecture series at the library, talking about anything from music to history.
The Westminster Branch Library makes an impression on kids and adults alike with its fun and modern design. It provides a quite space for studying or reading, as well as spaces to socialize. With a wide range of events, the library can appeal to anyone. As the summer approaches, the library is a great place to consider visiting to learn something new or just socialize with others.