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External WiFi Now Available at Nine New Library Branch Locations

As Baltimore County continues to identify ways to assist residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced new exterior WiFi resources at Baltimore County Public Library branches to support students and other residents without high-speed internet access.

“This crisis has upended life in countless ways, and it requires us to find creative solutions to the challenges we face,” Olszewski said. “We hope these new WiFi resources will help narrow the access gap as we continue to work around the clock to identify additional resources to support Baltimore County families during these trying times.”

The County has installed external WiFi capacity at nine new library branch locations. Previously, the Towson branch already had external WiFi capacity, bringing the total number of branches to 10. Residents can now access free WiFi in the parking lots of 10 branch locations across the County:

  • Catonsville Branch, 1100 Frederick Road, Catonsville, Maryland 21228
  • Essex Branch, 1110 Eastern Boulevard, Essex, Maryland 21221
  • Hereford Branch, 16940 York Road, Hereford, Maryland 21111
  • Lansdowne Branch, 500 Third Avenue, Lansdowne, Maryland 21227
  • North Point Branch, 1716 Merritt Boulevard, Dundalk, Maryland 21222
  • Randallstown Branch, 8604 Liberty Road, Randallstown, Maryland 21133
  • Rosedale Branch, 6105 Kenwood Avenue, Rosedale, Maryland 21237
  • Towson Branch, 320 York Road, Towson, Maryland 21204
  • White Marsh Branch, 8133 Sandpiper Circle, Baltimore, Maryland 21236
  • Woodlawn Branch, 1811 Woodlawn Drive, Woodlawn, Maryland 21207

Residents will be required to remain in their vehicles or otherwise adhere to all social distancing guidelines. These requirements will be strictly enforced.

“Access to the internet is critical, not just for work and homework, but also for our residents’ personal lives: checking in on friends and families is important to everyone right now,” said Baltimore County Public Library Director Paula Miller. “Our internet usage within our buildings is typically very high, so we know that there are many residents who may not have access at home. We are thrilled with this solution that enables us to utilize our parking lots to continue to provide internet service.”

Public WiFi Locations Map

Residents can also visit the BaltCo Go-Online Map to find the closest available free internet service throughout the County. Users can search for locations closest to where they live.

Comcast Internet Resources

Additionally, in the interest of ensuring as many residents as possible have access to internet service, Baltimore County wants residents to know that Comcast has made a number of resources available in its service areas:

  • Free “Internet Essentials” Service: Low-income families who live in a Comcast service area can sign up for 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service if you apply by May 13, 2020. To sign up, applicants can simply visit www.internetessentials.com or by calling 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.

  • Free Public WiFi Hotspots: Any resident can now access hundreds of Comcast public WiFi hotspots throughout the County. Locations available at: https://wifi.Xfinity.com

Baltimore County will continue to explore additional options to expand internet access across the County.


Show airs on Cable Channel 25 and online

The latest edition of Baltimore County’s half-hour cable television public affairs show, “Hello Baltimore County,” features a program to connect job-seekers with good jobs in growing fields, plus heart health tips and the latest on all of the technology resources available at your local library.

Connect to a Better Job – Let Baltimore County’s new Job Connector initiative help you get job-ready to work in a growth industry.

A Heart to Heart with the Doctor – Baltimore County’s top doc, Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, shares valuable heart disease prevention and treatment advice. 

BCPL – Your Tech ResourceGet connected at the library – your high-tech source for learning and enjoying all types of media.

You can also view the show on the County website’s Hello Baltimore County page. In addition to online access, the program runs several times per week on Cable Channel 25, in Baltimore County, at the following times:

Mondays: 1:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 10 p.m.

Tuesdays: 12 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m.

Wednesdays: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 10 p.m.

Thursdays: 1 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 8 p.m.

Fridays: 11 a.m., 6 p.m.

Saturdays: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.

Sundays: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.


The updated library features new, enclosed spaces and upgraded technology

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Baltimore County Public Library Director Paula Miller are pleased to announce that the Randallstown Branch has reopened after an extensive renovation and technology upgrade. The library closed for renovation on January 29.

Amenities and features of the Randallstown Branch include a large reservable meeting room (capacity 221), newly enclosed children and teen spaces, four study rooms, free WiFi, 33 public desktop computers, one children’s computer, and a large collection of print and audio-visual library materials. New shelving, comfortable seating, signage and updated public restrooms complement the modernized space.

The branch also features a Center of Excellence, the COLAB, which is a technology/maker cooperative space that includes items such as 20+ laptop computers, an HTC Vive virtual reality system, Microsoft HoloLens holographic computer, PlayStation 4 console with VR Bundle and games, Sphero SPRK and Ollie robots, and snap circuits. On the horizon for the branch are a Kano build-it-yourself computer with coding kit and a 3D printer.

“We thank our customers for their patience as we renovated the Randallstown Branch to bring 21st century library services to the community,” said BCPL Director Paula Miller. “In addition to books and electronic resources, this update allows us to provide transformative experiences and user-friendly spaces that make a positive difference in peoples’ lives.”

A collaborative effort of BCPL and Baltimore County Government, this $1.1 million project was funded in part through a grant from the County Library Capital Grant Program, Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Library Development and Services.

“This $1.1 million project has transformed the popular Randallstown Branch into a state-of-the-art community hub for people to access technology and benefit from a larger collection of library materials, great children and teen spaces, an attractive meeting room and so much more,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

Branch programs resume on Saturday, July 1 from 2-3 p.m. with the Build a Better World Science Show with Science Guys of Baltimore. Starting on Monday, July 3, the Randallstown Branch will begin its weekday Lunch and Learn series, where children 18 and under will enjoy crafts or fun hands-on learning experiences along with free boxed lunches.

Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) has served the citizens of Baltimore County since 1948. With 19 branches throughout Baltimore County, BCPL empowers and engages individuals for a more inclusive and connected Baltimore County community, and provides opportunities to explore, learn, create and connect. In addition to loaning books, library card holders may borrow DVDs, music, e-books and gain access to our research databases. Branches provide computer and internet access, job search assistance and offer a multitude of daily learning programs for adults and children. For more information about branches and services, visit bcpl.info or follow BCPL on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017