Public Libraries and State Networking Branch
Origins of the Public Libraries and State Networking Branch trace to 1902 when the State Library Commission was created. Commission responsibilities for public library development were assigned to the Office of Public Libraries under the State Board of Education in 1935, and to the Division of Library Extension from 1947 to 1971. Within the Division of Library Development and Services, the Public Libraries Branch was formed in 1971 and renamed the Public Libraries and State Networking Branch in 1988. The Branch provides leadership and technical assistance to improve library service.
Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
415 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201
The Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped opened in 1968. The Library serves eligible blind and physically handicapped residents of Maryland. It is the Maryland regional library under the National Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress.
The State Library Network
The Branch also oversees the State Library Network through which Maryland residents obtain library materials and gain access to information not available in their local library. The Network provides interlibrary loan, direct lending of materials, technical assistance to libraries, and staff training. More than 400 Maryland libraries participate in the State Library Network. These include public, university, college and community college libraries. The Network is centered at Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore.
The Network is aided by several regional resource centers:
the State Library Resource Center (Baltimore City)
the Eastern Shore Regional Library, Inc. (Salisbury)
the Southern Maryland Regional Library Association (Charlotte Hall), and
the Western Maryland Regional Library (Hagerstown).
State Library Resource Center
Enoch Pratt Free Library
400 Cathedral St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
In 1971, the Central Library of the Enoch Pratt Free Library System was designated as the State Library Resource Center. The Center lends books and other materials to libraries in the State Library Network from sources within Maryland and out of State via the Maryland Interlibrary Loan Organization. It also provides information to State government through the Government Reference Service.
The Center administers Sailor, Maryland's online electronic information network. Overseen by the Division of Library Development and Services in conjunction with the Center, Sailor connects Marylanders to information resources within the State and worldwide. It also provides access to Internet resources. Sailor allows users to identify and locate books; articles in magazines, newspapers, and journals; answers to specific questions; or information on a particular topic. It gives information about services of public and private agencies; and government information, such as proposed legislation, job listings, and census data. Sailor is available without charge through all public library systems and by dial access on modem-equipped computers.
Page updated: 07.28.10