St. Mary's County Library Annual Report 2020- 2021 Community Impact

St. Mary's County Library is looking forward to a bright future!

The St. Mary's County Library experienced new challenges and opportunities this year. Shutdowns and limited public service points made way for new services such as curbside pickup, grab bags of Librarian-selected materials, and virtual programs, classes and events. The new Leonardtown Library opened after a difficult move during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic closures. Our digital content usage grew by 23% and we continued to provide excellent customer service and resources for everyone in our community!

767,430 items checked out

Items checked out include children's, teen, and adult books, audiobooks, DVDs, digital content, and so much more. Did you know the St. Mary's County Library even has hotspots and ukuleles to check out?

“The library saved me during the pandemic, thank you!” - Judy, Charlotte Hall Library

"I am so glad you all are open for browsing now, but I just wanted to tell you what a wonderful job you did making things available during the pandemic! Thank you all, so much!" - Customer, Leonardtown Library

Curious what our most popular titles were in 2020? Check out our most 'checked out' books.

  • Adult Fiction: The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
  • Adult Nonfiction: Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
  • Children’s Fiction: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling
  • Children’s Picture Book: That Is Not a Good Idea! by Mo Willems
  • Young Adult Fiction: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

147,143 digital items were checked out in Fiscal Year 2021 - a 23% increase over FY2020

Hoopla and Overdrive provide hundreds of thousands of eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, movies, music, and more all available to stream or download onto your device.

Did you know the Library has online resources beyond just media and books? Next time you are looking for a creative outlet, check out Creativebug! Need some help with a new job skill or hobby? Try LinkedIn Learning (formerly known as Lynda.com). We have access to over 60 online resources including Mango Languages, test preparation and homework help services, and a variety of resources on topics such as genealogy (we even have Ancestry.com!), hobbies, crafts, finance, and auto repair.

1,086 hours of Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning training, 4,000 sessions of language learning on Mango Languages, and over 24,000 searches on Ancestry.com

"Oh, we're so happy! We're in our favorite place again! We so appreciated the grab bags! It was like Christmas every time we got one." - Customer, Leonardtown Library

We went virtual!

80,864 people visited us in-person

We provided over 400 programs that over 8,000 people attended, including free virtual events for all ages. Events included professional performances, classes on topics such as crafting, book discussions, children's programs, and several high profile authors including Nalini Singh and Christina Baker Kline!

20,395 curbside appointments

To meet the needs of our community before we were able to open for browsing, we started curbside service (drive-thru at Leonardtown Library) and grab bags. Both services were very popular and are still available.

Our Meeting Rooms and Study Rooms are now open!

Meeting rooms and quiet study rooms are now back open and available for the public to use for meetings, parties, study groups, tutoring, and so much more! Check out meeting room availability on the Library website.

Referring to grab bags, "Y'all have done AMAZINGLY with the choices so far, thank you so much for the care and time you put in" - Judith, Leonardtown Library

"So very many thanks for the curbside pickup service. What a lifesaver that has been in this time of coronavirus." - Paul, Lexington Park Library

We launched our app and continue to provide vital technology access.

Find our new app on both Google Play and the Apple Store. Check your account, search the catalog, save your library card number directly in the app, check out digital content, and even scan a book’s ISBN to instantly see if we have it in our collection! You can access all of our digital content with quick links to apps from Overdrive and hoopla.

Our free-to-use public computers have internet access and Microsoft Office, and we have a workstation at each location that provides assistive technology to citizens of Maryland protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Our computers had over 12,500 sessions logged and our free WiFi was accessed over 4,000 times.

In addition to computers and WiFi, we have printers at each location that can print full color, scanners, faxing capability, and laptops that can be checked out to use in the Library.

Our friendly and professional staff will help you with your technology questions! Schedule a one-on-one with one of our Public Technology Assistants to learn how to use your device, get computer help, or learn how to use Microsoft Office.

A customer thanked staff for helping him with his job application. "They were so sweet and I ended up getting the job!!"- Dana, Leonardtown Library

"Thank you for working and for being here! The library is so important to so many of us!" - Customer, Charlotte Hall Library

"This place has been my lifeline! I'm very appreciative of curbside service while the library was closed. And now thrilled to be able to come in and browse." - Curtis, Lexington Park Library

St. Mary's County Library has 48,097 card users

Library cards are free and you can apply online or in one of our three locations. We have a full library card which allows you to check out 75 items, a Kids' Cards option with a 5 item limit but no fees or fines, and a Student Card for all students attending a St. Mary's County Public School.

Kids' Cards and Student Cards are special cards available for our youngest residents under the age of 18, to help get library cards in the hands of children and encourage reading. All SMCPS students will receive a student card number (unless parents choose to opt out).

“I moved here in the middle of summer reading last year and I thought this was so great! I've already finished my first challenge for this year! I've been to libraries all over the east coast and this library system is so great, and even more, everyone here is so friendly and helpful." She also loved the self-checkout feature and the ISBN search feature in our app. - Customer, Lexington Park Library

"You have the best selection of Children's books I've ever seen." - Customer, Lexington Park Library

"Best deal in the county!" - Doug, Lexington Park Library

The New Leonardtown Library is Finally Open!

The new Leonardtown Library opened during the pandemic in August, 2020 and the drive-thru was able to open earlier in June 2020. The new Library boasts two large meeting rooms, a children's activity room, 5 study rooms, a makerspace, a computer lab, a full teen area, and a special Maryland Room to hold materials of local interest. Comfortable seating and many new computers stations also add to the welcoming atmosphere.

"This is the most beautiful and child friendly library. I love the decor and it appears no expense was spared to detail." - Helen, Leonardtown Library

"I live farther away from this library but it feels like home to me so I just keep coming back. Thank you for everything you do here." - Gloria, Leonardtown Library

"Thank you for building this library, it's beautiful!" - Customer, Leonardtown Library

COVID-19 Community Caring

We helped our community stay connected! Libraries opened for computer appointments before we were able to open fully. In spring of 2020, we extended the Wi-Fi range from our buildings and hours to be on 24/7 at all Library locations, and we continued to offer our mobile hotspots to those that needed connection.

Utilized our 3D printers to produce COVID aid items such as face shields for the Charlotte Hall Veteran's Home as part of a community partnership.

Our staff answered over 1,500 calls about the COVID-19 vaccine and registered over 400 individuals to help the SMC Health Department

We leveraged grants, such as the CARES grant, to obtain cleaning supplies, personal protection equipment for our staff and the public, and air purifying units to create the safest possible Library environment.

Thank you for an unforgettable 2020 - 2021!

Charlotte Hall Library
Leonardtown Library
Lexington Park Library