In the summer of 2011, the Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL) contracted with MS&R to examine the adequacy of AACPL facilities to meet the education, technology, and leisure needs of the county’s residents. After careful assessment of the buildings and an examination of county demographics and library use, as well as a study of state and national library trends, the consultants concluded that the existing square footage of the existing AACPL libraries is inadequate to meet the current and future needs of the county’s residents.
Modern library facilities throughout the country are becoming places where people go to find information and recreational materials, to study and work collaboratively, and to participate in community meetings and events. To fulfill these roles, AACPL needs more space to display materials on easy-toreach shelving, increased area to display new and current materials, additional public computers with adequate working space on either side, comfortable furniture for reading and conversing, additional meeting room space for community groups and businesses, increased space for teens’ and children’s areas, new vending areas, and space for tutoring and small group collaborative workspaces. Public libraries have continually evolved to serve the needs of the communities they serve. This master plan can be viewed as a near-term road map for how the AACPL should be updated to allow it to evolve. As the library of the future transitions from the historical repository for books to a vibrant center for technology, learning, recreation, and community interaction, it will need more space to continue to be a first-class library.