Havre de Grace Branch
Address & Contact
120 N. Union Ave.
Havre de Grace, MD 21078
|Mon & Wed||10:00 am - 8:00 pm|
|Tue & Thu||1:00 pm - 8:00 pm|
|Fri & Sat||10:00 am - 5:00 pm|
Founded in 1782, Havre de Grace is the county’s oldest city and prides itself with a rich history of local agriculture, fishing and hunting (hence the popularity of duck decoys that are displayed year round at the Decoy Museum). There are nearly 800 historic structures in town and a multitude of museums, parks, and marinas. The city by the Susquehanna is the heart of the county’s tourism industry and in the summer months, its waterways are filled with vacationing boaters and tourists. Festivals abound including the Seafood Festival, the Arts Festival, and the Graw Festival, each drawing thousands of tourists to the area. The library is situated in the heart of this activity.
Today, Havre de Grace has a population over 16,000 inhabitants. There has been an influx of new residents who were part of the BRAC (Branch Relocation and Closures) at APG. Waterfront properties and vacation homes have sprung up quickly. Sports have become a priority for children of all ages, particularly through the robust Parks & Recreation programs. The city has two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. There is a large and vibrant Community Activity Center that houses both senior citizen groups as well as Big Brother and Big Sister programs. Although BRAC has contributed to the rise in the population’s income levels, households below the poverty line have also increased in the past ten years making Havre de Grace a culturally diverse community.
The Havre de Grace Branch began 50 years ago as a volunteer based library in the old Opera House along with a second volunteer library. Eventually, as Harford County Library was established, they asked the Havre de Grace libraries to merge with them. Although there was resistance, eventually, the libraries did become affiliated with the county library and moved into a building on Pennington Avenue (1960) that has since become the Havre de Grace Tourism Office (408 Pennington Avenue). In 1987, a new building was erected on the branch’s current site at 120 N. Union Avenue. This 8,520 square foot building (designed by Frederick Ward Associates, Inc.) served the community very well but local population increases outgrew the library quickly. In 2003, the building was renovated again to accommodate ADA mandates as well as an interior spruce-up which moved the service areas (Reference closer to the Union Side of the building and Circulation or Customer Service to the parking lot side). The Havre de Grace Branch 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 Branch of Harford County Public 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 a newly released DVD.
In addition to a busy information desk fielding approximately 5,000 information questions a month, the branch offers a wide range of programs and educational entertainment for both families and specific age groups. Some of the more popular programs include special presentations from the Baltimore Zoo, The National Aquarium in Baltimore, Sweet Adelines, an All Around the World Fair (featuring 18 different countries), the annual Black Gospel Music Experience, “edutainment” presentations like Delaware Valley Mad Science, and quarterly Scrabble tournaments. Groups such as Coupon Secrets, Digital Photography Club and the Books by Night Book Discussion Group meet monthly and draw a loyal audience. Teens socialize at monthly volunteen meetings and enjoy a specially designed teen room equipped with computers, a 52" widescreen TV, and gaming systems. Parents and caregivers enjoy weekly drop-in storytimes and Babies Love Books programs. Many programs are supported financially by the Friends of the Havre de Grace Library.
The Havre de Grace Library strives to accommodate many types of information and recreation needs of its community. It is 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. Currently, the library has 12 adult computers, 4 teen computers, and 4 children’s computers. Monthly circulation is around 25,000 items.