Readers adjust to Elkton library parking lot closure
YMCA sees uptick as Elkton branch drops
— With the parking lot of the Elkton Central Library closed until October, library patrons have been coming to the bookmobile at the YMCA of Cecil County for all their reading needs.
Arne Anderson, bookmobile operator, said on Wednesday afternoon that 63 people came to the bookmobile on Monday, and an-
other 64 came on Tuesday.
“Yesterday when I was driving up, people were standing outside waiting,” he said. “Lots of people are using (the bookmobile) right now. They seem to really appreciate us coming up here so far.”
The Elkton library parking lot closed on Monday, meaning patrons have to walk or take Cecil Transit to get to the building on Newark Avenue. As an alternative, the library has moved its book drop to the YMCA of Cecil County, and the bookmobile has set up in the parking lot there from 3 to 8 p.m. Mon- day through Wednesday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Library patrons can turn in their summer reading logs at the bookmobile or pick up holds and on Wednesday, Anderson had three shelves full of holds plus many more still in boxes on the floor.
“Some people just pull up, don’t even turn off their car, grab their books and then get back in,” he said.
Frazier Walker, Cecil County Public Library communications specialist, said
the Elkton branch, which typically gets about 800 people a day, has seen only about half that since the parking lot closure. But at the same time, reception at the YMCA has been good and the book drop has been
full, she said.
“Three days in, we’re pretty happy with how it’s going,” Walker said on Wednesday.
The two-month long construction project will lay the groundwork for the library to add 100 additional parking spots in 2018 when the new Gilpin Manor Elementary School opens next door. Construction on the new
school is slated to start this fall and, once completed, the school and library parking lots will be joined to allow for more library parking in overflow situations.
The construction will also include installing a solar canopy in the library parking lot to generate energy and provide shaded parking, adding two electric vehicle charging stations, improv-
ing stormwater management, creating a right turn exit lane, re-paving and restriping the lot and making improvements to the drivethrough book drop.
Eileen Smith, of Elkton, is a regular customer at the Elkton branch but stopped by the bookmobile instead on Wednesday. Though she didn’t mind going to the bookmobile, she admitted
she’s “spoiled” and misses going into the Elkton branch.
“I’ve practically lived there since my son was a toddler,” she said. “My son was potty trained from a book at the library.”
But Smith said she’s willing to go to the bookmobile for a few weeks if that means the Elkton library will get renovations.
“I will give up the parking for the improvements,” she said. “The library is the place to be.”
George Patchell, executive director of the YMCA
of Cecil County, said none of the YMCA’s services or activities have been disrupted by having the CCPL resources there. Both the book drop near the main entrance and the bookmobile have been busy, he added.
The YMCA is happy to be able to help out the library, and Patchell said everything seems to be going well so far.
“The library and the YMCA, we’re all community organizations and we’re all in this together,” he said. “It’ll come back to us in the end.”
The Elkton Central Library parking lot will be closed until November, with the bookmobile moved to the YMCA of Cecil County parking lot.
Inside one of two poultry houses on the Meck Farm near Earleville, these 3-week-old chickens run about freely.