Address & Contact
1134 Main Street
Darlington, MD 21034
Branch Phone: 410-638-3750
|Mon, Tue, Wed||3:00 pm - 8:00 pm|
|Thu||noon - 5:00 pm|
|Fri||1:00 pm - 5:00 pm|
|Sat||10:00 am - 2:00 pm|
Strengths of the Community
Darlington is a stable, close-knit rural community with many long-time residents. There is a strong feeling of community pride in the town’s history, its buildings, its ancestors, and its ability to work together for common goals, the renovation and opening of the Wilson Community Center, the establishment of the Tommy Kelly Fund (to purchase necessary equipment for a young resident paralyzed in an automobile accident), and the establishment and continuance of the Darlington Apple Festival.
Through the Darlington-Dublin Community Association, the community maintains an awareness of and takes an active role in county and state issues. The residential pool has a mix of political activists, grant-writers, professionals, educators, authors, as well as farmers, mechanics, government employees and small-business owners.
History of the Branch
The Darlington Library was begun in 1948 in one room of the residence of Mrs. Cornelia Kirk at 1034 Main Street. The branch was open a few hours per week and the rent appears to have been paid by the Lions Club and the PTA. In 1965, the library (by this time part of Harford County Library) moved to a small room in the Equitable Trust Bank, where it stayed until the bank expanded and needed the library space. Faced with the possibility of losing the library, the original Friends of the Darlington Library consisting of 71 families and 12 businesses found a new site on Shuresville Road across from the elementary school. The building there was in poor condition, but the Friends were undaunted. They went to work patching plaster, painting, anchoring bookcases, and actually moving the collection to the renovated site. The branch opened at this site in mid-1969.
The library moved again in 1978 to a room in Darlington Elementary School as a temporary measure to await county purchase of the permanent branch site at 1134 Main Street. On December 12, 1979, the Darlington Family Reading Center as it was then called, opened at its present location. During the 15 hours of operation each week, one librarian and one page served the community. Reference sources and reading materials were necessarily limited by the size of the branch.
With the advent of computers and the Internet, the reference capability of the Darlington Branch became comparable with larger branches. Addition of different types of materials, an increase in hours of operation, and a larger staff all contributed to making the branch what it is today. In 2003, the branch moved into a redesigned modular building with a larger collection and more public computers.
The Darlington Branch has established a strong relationship with the Wilson Community Center. Because of the limited space in the library building, most library programming expected to attract large audiences is held at the Wilson Center. In addition, publicity for library events is featured in the bi-monthly Wilson Community Center newsletter, which is mailed to all local residents. The library in turn helps to publicize Wilson Center events, provides Rolling Reader visits to Summertime in the Park, presents story times at the after-school program, and supplies used books for cooperative book sales.
The Darlington library branch also has ongoing and successful partnerships with Darlington Elementary School, the Karma Dog organization which holds regular HEARTS (Help Encourage All Readers to Succeed) programs in which children practice their reading skills by reading to a therapy dog, and the Warped Weavers who provide annual demonstrations of spinning and weaving.
The Darlington Branch has a vital group of Friends who hold monthly book sales and support branch needs generously as well as providing branch advocacy. Friends also remain active volunteers within the branch.