Boonsboro Reflections: Library Delivered Books to Communities

Posted on Jul 18, 2017


The Washington County Free Library opened in Hagerstown on August 27, 1901 and the first librarian, Mary Titcomb, was determined that it would truly serve all of Washington County.  She was unusually creative in finding ways to make the library collection widely accessible.  She established “deposit stations,” usually in general stores, post offices, or Sunday schools throughout the county. The books were delivered from Hagerstown in three-shelved wooden cases and loaned out to the citizens. They were exchanged on a regular basis and the service was free. Boonsboro’s first case, containing about 50 books, was deposited at the South Main Street store of Harvey S. Bomberger on November 20, 1901.  What was surely one of the first, if not the first bookmobile in America, the horse-drawn Washington County Library Wagon took books around the county, making scheduled stops in addition to impromptu drop-offs.  This first “bookmobile” served until 1910, when it was hit by a train (no one was injured, though the fate of the books it was carrying is unknown).  From: Western Maryland’s Historical Library

Photo: Washington County Free Library

Next week:  Merger of the Republican Club and Washington County Free Library

 

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