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Annual Report 2018-19

For twenty-four years it has been my distinct honor and privilege to be the Executive Director of the Washington County Free Library. During my tenure, I have been blessed to work with an entrepreneurial, visionary and supportive Board of Trustees. This has allowed me to enjoy an amazing and fulfilling career in service to the citizens of Washington County who use and depend on their library. It has also allowed me the additional opportunity to work at a state level to expand public library facilities and resources across the state of Maryland.

It is especially to the staff of this wonderful system, both in the branches and at the Fletcher, I owe my heartfelt gratitude and respect. Whether it is teaching a child the love of reading, supplying valuable information to citizens having to make hard life choices, providing
material that is enlightening as well as entertaining, getting the material processed and finally, making sure that the lights light and our facilities are clean, warm and inviting, they are the heart of this amazing democratic public asset. They are smart, creative and kind
public servants who daily help make people’s lives better.

During these remarkable twenty-four years, together we have seen so many changes not only to our library system but to the Washington County community. We have seen the advance of technology, the changing role of public libraries, the building of branches and a new central
library. We have lived through economic ups and downs, political upheavals and 9/11. We have said heart breaking goodbyes to long time well respected friends and colleagues and, in turn, welcomed a new generation of enthusiastic and innovative library workers.

When I became Director, the Internet had barely arrived in Washington County. If you wanted email, you had to arrange it through a provider in Frederick County. Flash forward twenty-four years to Broadband, Twitter, Facebook, Podcasts, Instagram and it goes on and on.

I shall be retiring as Executive Director of the Washington County Library System at the end of October. My successor will be blessed, as I have been, in being part of such an outstanding library system serving this great and historic community.

Finally, know this, the many and varied educational services your library provides our community are important to the quality of life and economic health of Washington County. Our library, like every public library across this nation, stands for the greater good of the communities they serve. It is important that you, who are reading this, speak out in support of your public library. Make no mistake, public libraries are at the very heart of our democracy. Truth matters, correct verifiable information matters and above all, kindness and help to all
without thought of race, ethnicity or economic status matters!

Respectfully and God Bless,

Mary Baykan, Executive Director