The Takoma Park Maryland Library is the only municipal community public library in Maryland. Throughout its nearly 80 year history, it has surmounted many challenges. It has evolved from a neighborhood Library sustained through donations and staffed by volunteers – to one that embraces emerging technology and educates a diverse community through an abundance of programs, with experienced and professional staff. It strains against the confines of a small and aging building – but has developed and managed a computer center, organized public discussions around open online university courses, and engaged the community with book discussions, resume building workshops and other public programs in the adjacent Community Center.
Nonetheless it remains an anomaly – a small independent library in an urban setting surrounded by large county systems – and supported mainly by City taxes. It maintains close ties with neighborhood families and students of the five schools that are within walking distance. Because it has continuously evolved, and used its flexibility to adapt, and to identify and respond quickly to community needs, it has retained a supportive constituency.
What then is the next step?
If you are interested in the Takoma Park Library, and would like to help in planning its future, you are invited to participate in one of a series of focused community conversations this coming Fall. The time commitment is minimal – but your participation is potentially of great value to the Library. With the guidance of a trained facilitator, we will be seeking answers to these questions: