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Allegany County Library System Directors

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Allegany County Library System Directors

In 1958, the Allegany County Board of Commissioners signed an appropriation that enabled Allegany County to become the 20th library system in Maryland. In 1945, the State of Maryland had enacted a public library law whereby the state and participating counties would share the operating expenses of public libraries.

On July 1, 1960, the public libraries located in Cumberland, Frostburg, LaVale, South Cumberland and Westernport became the Allegany County Library System. The Library located on Washington Street became the Main Branch and administrative headquarters and the remaining libraries became branches of the Allegany County Library System. Mary Walsh, director of the Cumberland library, became the first director of the county-wide system.

In July 1963, Miss Walsh retired as the Director of the Library system after 39 years of service to the community. Hired in 1924 by the City of Cumberland, she built and merged the libraries of Allegany County into the Allegany County Library System.

Rollin Marquis served as Director from July 1963 to 1964. Mr. Marquis valued free library services for everyone. As a scholar and a gifted writer, it was during his tenure that the Maryland Room was renovated.

From July 1964 through June, 1967 Charles Blank served as Director and established incremental wage scales for personnel, standardized open hours, and introduced a new charge out system.

In July 1967, Assistant Director Robert Neal took over as Director and embarked on an ambitious plan to extend library service throughout the community. Mr. Neal oversaw the construction of the current LaVale, South Cumberland, and Westernport branches in addition to introducing bookmobile service to our community. In September 1969, the Main Branch was opened to the public on Sunday's from 1 to 5:00 PM, becoming the first public library in the state to offer Sunday hours.

In 1993, the Library Board of Trustees appointed Jane Rustin to serve as the Director. Ms. Rustin began the process of automating the library system as well as starting the new Frostburg and George's Creek library branches.

In January 2000, John Taube was appointed Library System Director. Mr. Taube has brought many new innovations to the library system. He expanded the library’s services to include public computer classes and free public computers at every branch, as well as introducing the public to new collections. In addition, Mr. Taube was responsible for the renovations of the Washington Street Library in 2005 and the Westernport Library in 2008.



The photograph of Rollin Marquis is courtesy of Maryanne Bartles of the Dearborn Public Library.

Collection Location:

Public libraries, Maryland, Allegany County; Allegany County Library System (Md.), Anniversaries.

Allegany County (Md,), 1924-2010

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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