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New Thurmont Regional Library opens
 after 10 years

Stephanie Long
Thurmont Dispatch

(8/7) When the Thurmont Library on Main Street opened 52 years ago, Gloria Angleberger was the first storyteller to read to a group of children in the new library. But history has a way of repeating itself, as Angleberger experienced first-hand whilst surrounded by 30 children at the recent opening of the new Thurmont Regional Library on East Moser Road on Aug. 2.

Once again Angleberger became the first storyteller to read to a group of children in the new Thurmont library, an event she was honored to participate in, despite her nerves.

“I felt nervous at first, but it felt good once I got going,” Angleberger said after the reading. “I love reading to kids.”

The making of the library

“Ten years ago we started talking about it [a new library] and looking for land,” said Thurmont Librarian Erin Dingle.

Finding affordable land proved in some ways to be the hardest part of the project. But a two-acre donation from the town moved the project one step closer to completion. With a place to build, plans for the library could be made.

“It was very much a group effort,” Dingle said. “Frederick County helped, the users helped… the community worked together.”

Community representatives spoke with the architectural firm about building a library that would represent the community and they spent hours planning to ensure that the library was exactly what was originally intended.

Darell Batson, director of the Frederick County Public Libraries, said that the community support truly helped the project come to fruition.

“The steps aren’t complicated, but they’re long,” Batson said. “I love that the people in town have always supported the library.”

After all of the hard work, Dingle said that everyone got exactly what they wanted and then some with the new library that opened on East Moser Road.

“It’s pretty perfect,” Dingle said, looking around the library with a huge smile on her face, “I’m thrilled.”

New Features

The new library was built to resemble the Catoctin furnace and boasts 40-foot high ceilings.

Inside, the Thurmont Lion’s Club donated a handicapped-accessible technology station, which magnifies and reads text to people with vision problems. A Lock-A-Shelf system protects the DVD collection and wireless internet.

Two meeting rooms can be booked for community use online at FCPL.org. The children’s library has early literacy stations, a puppet stage, covered bridge, computer stations and more. An agricultural library boasts rare, local volumes pertaining to agriculture in the area. For those on the run, a drive through, which is open until ½ hour before the library closes, can be used to drop off items or pick up items on hold. Outside, a large deck runs along a tree-lined area, with tables, chairs and wireless internet access available where users can bring their lunch or snack to eat.

Comfortable chairs, internet stations, and tons of relaxing areas are tucked all around the library, giving users a place where they can truly relax and partake of all the library has to offer, which is something Dingle expects to happen.

“We really expect to see usage increase,” Dingle said. “There’s plenty of parking, easy access, a lot for kids… there’s just so much.”

Public Reaction

Hundreds of visitors attended the grand opening and were pleased and in awe with what they saw.

“We like it a lot more that the old library,” said Raymond Barry, of Thurmont.

Jadia Clem, 5, enjoyed the new computers in the children’s library so much that she couldn’t be bothered to explain exactly why she liked the new library, except to say she enjoyed it “because it’s so fun.”

Even non-Thurmont residents were enjoying the new library. Sarah Harrison, of Hagerstown, was visiting family in Thurmont and decided to stop on in.

“I think it’s the most-beautiful library,” Harrison said. “It’s so personal, homey, inviting. I needed help and the staff was so eager and helpful.”

Harrison was especially impressed with the children’s section.

“I thought the kids section was adorable, neat and interactive,” Harrison said. “You don’t see that a lot in a small town. It’s a good step for Thurmont.”

PHOTOCAPTION:

Gloria Angleberger conducted the first storytime when the library opened on Main Street 52 years ago and she conducted the first story time in the new library on East Moser Road.

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