MARYLAND STATE LIBRARY AGENCY

ORIGIN & FUNCTIONS


22 South Calhoun St., Baltimore, MD 21223

The Maryland State Library Agency began in 1935 as the Office of Public Libraries under the State Board of Education, and became the Division of Library Extension in 1946. It reorganized as the Division of Library Development and Services within the State Department of Education in 1969. Formerly directly under the Office of State Superintendent of Schools, the Division transferred to Teaching and Learning in July 2013. In July 2017, it was established as an independent agency (Chapters 337 & 338, Acts of 2017).


[photo, Bowie Branch Library, 15210 Annapolis Road, Bowie, Maryland] The Maryland State Library Agency administers federal and State programs to improve library services in public schools and libraries throughout the State (Code Education Article, secs. 23-101 through 23-105).

Appointed by the Maryland State Library Board with Senate advice and consent, the State Librarian heads the Maryland State Library Agency (Code Education Article, sec. 23-104).

Bowie Branch Library, 15210 Annapolis Road, Bowie, Maryland, September 2017. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


Under the Agency are the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped; and Public Libraries and State Networking Branch. The Agency also is responsible for the Deaf Culture Digital Library. The Maryland State Library Board advises the Agency.

DEAF CULTURE DIGITAL LIBRARY

In October 2014, the Deaf Culture Digital Library was authorized (Chapter 606, Acts of 2014).

The Maryland State Library Agency supports the Deaf Culture Digital Library as the primary information center on deaf resources for library customers and staff in Maryland.

MARYLAND STATE LIBRARY FOR THE BLIND & PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED

415 Park Ave., Baltimore, MD 21201 - 3603


[photo, Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, 415 Park Ave., Baltimore, Maryland] Opened in 1968, the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped serves eligible blind and physically handicapped residents of Maryland. Those who are legally blind, visually limited, physically limited, or reading disabled may borrow books and recordings from the Library. These include books in braille or with large type, and recordings on discs and cassettes.

Some 13,000 blind and disabled patrons use the Library.

Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, 415 Park Ave., Baltimore, Maryland, December 2007. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


The Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped is the Maryland regional library under the National Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress.

Under the Library is one subregional branch: the Special Needs Library.

SPECIAL NEEDS LIBRARY
6400 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda, MD 20817

Serving the blind and physically handicapped residents of Montgomery County, the Special Needs Library started in 1972. It is closed on Wednesdays and Sundays.

PUBLIC LIBRARIES & STATE NETWORKING BRANCH

Origins of the Public Libraries and State Networking Branch trace to 1902 when the State Library Commission was created (Chapter 47, Acts of 1902). Commission responsibilities for public library development were assigned to the Office of Public Libraries under the State Board of Education in 1935, and to the Division of Library Extension from 1947 to 1971. Within the Division of Library Development and Services, the Public Libraries Branch formed in 1971 and was renamed the Public Libraries and State Networking Branch in 1988.

To improve library service, the Branch provides leadership and technical assistance.

The Branch oversees the State Library Network through which Maryland residents obtain library materials and gain access to information not available in their local library. The Network provides interlibrary loan, direct lending of materials, technical assistance to libraries, and staff training. More than 400 Maryland libraries participate in the State Library Network. These include public, university, college and community college libraries. Centered at Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, the Network is aided by three regional resource centers: the Eastern Shore Regional Resource Center (Salisbury); Southern Maryland Regional Library Association (Charlotte Hall); and the Western Maryland Public Libraries Regional Resource Center (Hagerstown) (Code Education Article, secs. 23-201, 23-202).

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