History of WMRL

Established May 13, 1967 as the “Western Maryland Area Library Service,” the regional library was created to “improve library service to all residents of Allegany, Garrett, and Washington Counties by providing a central collection of materials to augment and supplement the materials available in local library outlets and by providing staff for consultant, advisory, training, planning and coordinating functions in various fields, both general and specific.” The role of the regional library as the Regional Resource Center is formalized in Maryland Law, Education § 23-202 to § 23-205. The law established regional libraries and shaped their role in providing, through mutual cooperation and coordination, materials and services that individual libraries cannot adequately provide alone. Operating as “Western Maryland Public Libraries” for many years, the name of the regional library was formally changed in 2008 to “Western Maryland Regional Library.”

Did you know that the internationally recognized public library symbol was created here at Western Maryland Regional Library! First designed in 1978 for the libraries of Western Maryland, this iconic symbol appeared in the 1982 American Library Association publication A Sign System for Libraries, co-authored by the regional library’s Mary S. Mallery and Ralph E. DeVore.

Public Library Symbol Sign System for Libraries