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Havre de Grace Branch History

The Havre de Grace Library began over 50 years ago as two Libraries, both volunteer based: one in the historic Opera House, and one on Pennington Avenue. Eventually, as the county Library system was established, the Libraries were asked to merge. Although there was some resistance to the plan, the Libraries did become affiliated with the county system in 1960. They moved to 408 Pennington Avenue, which is now the Havre de Grace Tourism Office. In 1987, a new building was erected at 120 N. Union Avenue. This 8,520 square foot building, designed by Frederick Ward Associates, Inc., served the community well, but the local population increased and outgrew the Library quickly. In 2003, the building was renovated again to comply with ADA mandates and provide an interior spruce-up. The Havre de Grace Library is situated in the Havre de Grace National Register Historic and the Havre de Grace Main Street Districts.

Located in the heart of historic Havre de Grace, the Havre de Grace Library is a community center where visitors can access the Internet, sit down and read a newspaper, check out a book from the best seller’s list, or borrow a newly released DVD. Children and teens can attend a variety of programs, as well as find the latest movie, book, or video game.

In October 2014, the building at 120 N. Union was closed in preparation for the building of a new Library, designed by Manns Woodward Studios, and was opened in June 15, 2016. Until then, the Library was housed in a retail office space at 203 Market Street.

The Havre de Grace Library strives to accommodate the many types of information and recreation needs of its community. It remains within easy walking distance of the schools, the downtown business center (currently experiencing revitalization through an active Main Street organization), museums, art galleries, and antique dealers. Over 500 patrons walk through the Library doors each day to browse fiction, nonfiction, DVD, and audiobook collections, as well as use the computers for business, gaming, and social networking.

The information desk fields approximately 3,425 information questions a month. Librarians facilitate a wide range of programs and classes for both families and specific age groups. Over the years, some of the more popular programs have included special presentations from the Baltimore Zoo, The National Aquarium in Baltimore, Sweet Adelines, puppet shows for children, and the annual Black Gospel Music Experience. Teens socialize and enjoy a specially designed teen room. Parents and caregivers enjoy weekly drop-in and other story times.

Special Services Provided by the Library:

  • Schooner Cove is an interactive children’s learning center designed specifically for babies and preschool children with hands-on activities to teach both fine and gross motor skills, pre-reading skills, eye-hand coordination, colors, and numbers.
  • Lafayette’s Landing on the mezzanine level is geared toward school-aged children and houses the nonfiction collection, a circular computer station with iPads pre-loaded with educational and creative software as well as LEAP kits. A major feature of this space highlights STEAM activities with 3D printing and materials for making.
  • A designated business center features faxing, copying, and one-on-one assistance with resumes and other job-seeking skills.

Branch Square Footage: 21,164