The one-story red-brick library off Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie seems to be of another era. That’s because it is — it was built in 1969.

“It’s showing its age,” says Rudy Rodela, the library system’s chief of support services and project manager.

The building lacks large open windows, electrical outlets for patrons and modern Wi-Fi, Rodela said.

The library at 1010 Eastway serves more than 100,000 people and yet is one of the smaller libraries in the Anne Arundel County system, said Christine Feldmann, the library system’s marketing and communications director.

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“We knew that we weren’t able to best serve those 100,000 people in our current building,” she added.

To better serve a growing area, County Executive Steuart Pittman has included $49 million for a new library in his proposed fiscal year 2025 budget. The County Council is holding hearings this week on the proposed $2.31 billion budget.

Plans call for demolishing the existing building and constructing a new one in its place. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2026 and be completed by April 2028, according to the county executive’s office.

The Glen Burnie Regional Library was built in 1969. The county executive has proposed replacing it with a new library and cultural resources center with more space and improved technology. (Courtesy of Anne Arundel County library system.)

The new facility will be modeled after the new Michael E. Busch Annapolis Library, which opened in 2020 and has a vending cafe, tech zone and outdoor play area. It replaced a library built it 1965.

The population of Glen Burnie grew from about 67,639 in 2010 to 72,891 in 2020, according to census figures.

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“Our goal is to build a library better than Annapolis for Glen Burnie. We’re getting better at this with each building,” Rodela said.

The project would include a 33,000-square-foot library and a 7,000-square-foot cultural resources center.

Residents will have opportunities to provide input about features they’d like to have at the new building.

“We’ll plan some time in various places throughout the area that Glen Burnie serves — so perhaps in the school, church or something nearby, or a community center nearby,” Rodela said.

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Once an architect is signed, there will be a better idea of a timeline of construction, as well as gathering public feedback, Rodela said.

“I’m a little hesitant to say what the construction timelines going to be because we want to see what the public wants,” he said.

The need to revamp the half-century-old building was first identified in 2009 in a general development plan, the county’s plan for the use of county facilities and parks.

In 2020, a new library was successfully added to the capital improvement plan, and officials waited for it to move to the top of the list, Rodela said.

Once the library is demolished, a temporary library will be opened in leased space. A location hasn’t been determined yet.