A Century of Reading

Bay Weekly

Colbert, Judy

I was a wide-eyed 12-year-old when I saw a book in my local library with my last name on the spine. The book was by Marvin Mudrick, a distant relative. We never met, but he definitely influenced my life as I promised myself that one day, I’d have a book with my name on the spine.  

I don’t even remember the book’s title, but I vividly recall the library, the light coming in the windows, and the murals on the walls. Much has changed since then. 

A century ago, the radio provided our primary entertainment and if we wanted to stream something, we went to a nearby park or forest to watch a refreshing brook or river. The average family income was about $3,300 a year.  

It was over 100 years ago that the first Anne Arundel County public library opened its doors in the municipal building in downtown Annapolis, on January 8, 1921, says library CEO Skip Auld. At that time, it was open three days a week for two hours a day. Customers could browse about 2,000 books that were donated or funded by local churches and civic organizations.