Anniversaries can be considered as milestones which mark the progress of time for/to that to which it is related, and with regards to the Aspen Hill Library, this is indeed the case. I am not sure that the Administration in its planning had in mind a refreshed building for the 50th Anniversary Celebrations, but it is indeed wonderful to begin the second half of the “journey of milestones” in an ambient of color, beautiful lighting, and improved amenities.
The Aspen Hill Library of 2017 services a diverse community of 48, 759. While the population increased dramatically in the 1970’s, it has remained almost level since then. One of the most significant changes in Aspen Hill, like most of Montgomery County, is the increased diversity of its residents with the Library now serving an increased number of Hispanic, African American, and Asian residents.
Within the changes of the past 50 years, the basic mission of the Library remains the same, … “that of free and equal access to services and resources that connect the people of Montgomery County to ideas and information which sustain and enrich their lives.” The delivery of some of our services have evolved to be current with the needs of the time, and the changes in the demographics. Some of our services are provided in various languages. Our program fliers are now available in both English and Spanish in order to reach more users in the marketing of our offerings. Homework help is offered to children in the community by students who are bilingual, which helps greatly in situations where English is the second language. Also, recently added to our computer equipment in the children’s area are AWE tablets with the Bilingual Early Literacy component which parents can explore with their children.
There are other changes which the passage of time brought. Laptop computers are now available to customers within the library, if perhaps all our internet access computers are in use, from which the ability to print is also available. A robust Wi-Fi connection allows customers with their electronic devices, iphones, tablets, and laptops to connect to the Internet via the library’s Wi-Fi connection. E-books are available via our e-Resources, Spanish language included, and the collection is growing.
50 years old, and we are evolving with the times. This is indeed our Aspen Hill Library, an integral part of the community.