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Jarrettsville Branch History

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” -Jorge Luis Borges

Bookmobile service was provided to the Jarrettsville area in the late 1970s and early 1980s prior to the opening of the Fallston/Jarrettsville Branch in 1985. In September of 1998, a group of citizens from Jarrettsville petitioned the Library Board of Trustees for a branch library to be located in their community. Due to the strong show of local support and compelling documentation the Board placed Jarrettsville on the library’s capital projects schedule.

Approval was given to form a Friends organization prior to a branch being opened and in November 1998 the Jarrettsville Friends of Harford County Public Library was formed. The organization continued to gain support from the community, reaching 1,575 members by the branch opening day. As a strong advocate for local library service, the Friends lobbied library and county officials for funding of the proposed branch library.

In early 2000 the county purchased the Manorwood Center property in the village of Jarrettsville and in 2001 also acquired additional adjacent land for a library site. The design contract was awarded to Edmeades and Strohmdahl, Ltd. Architects/Planners AIA and the construction contract was awarded to Southway Builders.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on October 30, 2004. In anticipation of completion of the library, the Harford County Public Library Foundation and the Jarrettsville Friends conducted a fundraising campaign that exceeded its goal raising more than $100,000. The Jarrettsville Branch of Harford County Public Library was opened to the public on May 1, 2006 with a grand opening ceremony held May 24, 2006.

The 14,065 square foot library is designed in Arts and Crafts style with an expansive, airy interior, achieved by numerous windows allowing for natural light to enter the building. A hierarchy of ceiling heights creates open spaces. Carrying the Arts and Crafts theme through the interior is a large light fixture affixed to the ceiling center. The branch’s geothermal HVAC system has been awarded the Harford County “Green Star” in recognition of environmental stewardship. The comfortable yet modern facility is a natural fit to its rural community.

The library features a fireside reading area, a glassed-in teen room, public access computers, and a public meeting room accommodating up to 150. Portraits of Luther and Julia Ann Scarff Jarrett grace the Magazine Area. Customer service is enhanced by two self checkout stations and a drive-through window offering service as well as drive-up book returns.

Branch Square Footage: 14,000