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Keyword: randallstown

By Michael Schneider, Baltimore County Recreation & Parks

The place was rocking. Eight year olds and teenagers working out together, cheers of encouragement, lots of smiles and so much fun. No one seemed to notice they also were getting fit at their local PAL Center.

It all started at the initiative of Richard Amaya, PAL Leader at the Winfield PAL Center. Richard approached the staff of YouFit Health Club in a nearby Randallstown shopping center. Would they be interested in sharing their fitness programming with the members of the Winfield PAL? 

“We didn’t hesitate to respond with a huge yes,” said Marjorie Macon, YouFit’s Coordinator of Instructors, and Lillian Bracey, Marketing Coordinator. It seems this is just the opportunity YouFit wanted – to reach out and get actively involved with our Randallstown community.” 

The word “active” best describes the program. About 25 PAL members eagerly wait their turn on a long rope ladder spread across the floor of the PAL gym, kids running through each space with carefully choreographed steps. Picture football player fitness training and you get the idea. Then there was the giant rope, ten reps, making it ripple across the room, followed by jump roping to get some aerobics in.  The place was electric with kids, PAL staff and YouFit staff.

The partnership of community business and the Baltimore County PAL Center started in the fall and hasn’t missed a week since. The YouFit staff held a fundraiser and provided several PAL families with holiday dinners. Their goal is to be able to reach out to other programs and schools to provide similar programs throughout their community. 

How do the PAL members like the program? Ten year old Sa’ryah, a two-year member of Winfield PAL, shares that she loves the YouFit program.  She especially likes the ladder because it makes her move her feet rapidly. “I’m a dancer, and the ladder makes me a better dancer,” she proudly exclaims. 

Melakhi, another ten year old, shared his thumbs up for the ladder as well.  “It makes me stronger,” smiles Melakhi.  He notes that the YouFit program also talks up proper nutrition.  Soda and chips?  “Nope,” explains Melakhi. “Do you eat chicken?” “Yes,” he quickly responded. “But not fried chicken.”

The message was clear from everyone in the gym -- YouFit and PAL are a match that works.

Nine Police Athletic League (PAL) Centers throughout Baltimore County are run by the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks with the active participation of the Baltimore County Police Department. The centers help meet the needs of at-risk youth with after-school and summer programs that include athletics and fitness, arts, homework time and social opportunities. Participants in this free program are ages 8-17.



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 or follow BCPL on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and BCPL Director Paula Miller celebrate with community 

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Baltimore County Public Library Director Paula Miller celebrated the start of major renovations of the Randallstown Library Branch with elected officials and local business and community leaders this morning. They shared details of the $1.1 million project to completely renovate this popular library branch with an interior redesign and technology upgrades by this summer. During construction, the BCPL Bookmobile will be in the library parking lot every Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

 “It will be like a brand new library with exciting new technology enhancements, an expanded collection of books and audio-visual materials, and a comfortable modern setting for people to take advantage of all of the resources the library has to offer,” said Kamenetz. “It’s going to be like Barnes and Noble meets the Apple Store!”

The renovated branch will feature an attractive modern design with more than 30 public computers, free WiFi, laptop bars with charging stations, a large meeting room, an enclosed children’s area, an enclosed teen space, a bigger collection of print and audio-visual library materials, three study rooms, a quiet reading room, self-service checkout stations and digital media displays, new shelving, spacious and comfortable new seating, single use and collaborative workspaces, updated public restrooms, and BCPL's newest Center of Excellence — CoLab, a computer/technology/maker hub to bring the community together to create, collaborate and learn.

“The Randallstown Branch is a busy library, especially in terms of providing technology access, and it serves as a real community anchor for residents,” said BCPL director Paula Miller. “Beyond books and electronic resources, this renovation will enable us to provide experiences and user-friendly spaces that make a positive difference in the lives of our customers.”

“Libraries are a very important community resource for all County residents and I am very excited about this upgrading of the Randallstown library, and I can’t wait for the new state of the art facility to open this summer,” said 4th District County Councilman Julian Jones.

The project is funded through Baltimore County’s capital budget in conjunction with a $170,000 grant from the Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Library Development and Services. The library branch is scheduled to reopen this summer. Updates and progress photos will be posted periodically on the branch page of the BCPL website, at

Revised September 11, 2017