Urbana Library Names New Director

Amy Whitney knows books.

She’s been an employee of Frederick County Libraries for nearly 20 years and is now at the helm of one of the busiest in the county.

Whitney took the job as branch administrator for the Urbana Regional Library June 6. There are only three regional-sized libraries in the county.

“This library is really a popular place in the community. It has a big draw from those who live here and from those who commute who stop by for books,” Whitney said.

In fact, just in May, 33,432 items in the library were checked out by 19,334 visitors. That same month, 105 new library cards were issued. There were 57 story time programs offered in May, attended by 3,609 children and their parents.

“We see people from smaller branches who stop here on their way home from work or commuters heading south into the city,” she said.

Whitney said computer usage at the library is up, as is the number of books checked out here.

“Where people used to buy their books, now they are using the library to borrow them. I was even more surprised at how much computer usage there is here. Urbana is a community that is fairly comfortable economically, but we are getting a lot of adults and teens using our computers here,” she said.

Patrons are also making use of the resume service and meeting space at record levels.

Whitney supervises a staff of 32 people and has had a loss of four staff members due to budget cuts.

“Any loss is a huge hit for us,” she said, adding that by juggling staffing, the library will not see a cut in hours it is open to the public. Last year budget cuts forced the Urbana Regional Library to close one hour earlier than prior years. The library now closes its doors at 8 p.m.

Whitney started her career with Frederick County libraries working as a library substitute throughout the system. She then worked in Thurmont and was manager at the Brunswick Library since 2002. Whitney commutes from her Thurmont home.

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