Western Maryland Regional Library's Newsletter  --  October, November, December 2020

Wow! WCFL staff and our friends at Cannon Coffee, Prohibition Hub, St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church, and Starbucks on Garland Groh filled these boxes with nonperishable items for It's A Blessing to be A Blessing! ��

Thank you to all for helping support community members experiencing food insecurity.

County Approves Bid for LaVale Library Branch Renovations

The Allegany County Commissioners Thursday approved a bid award of $3.9 million to a Grantsville firm to begin significant renovations to the Allegany County Library System. The library, built in the 1980s, will have three new additions, including a community room, a reading room, and a new entrance. County Engineer Dan DeWitt presented an update on the project, which will be handled by Daystar Builders Construction...


Overdrive as now discontinued support for devices that use outdated TLS 1.0 and 1.1 security protocols.
User Impact
This update most affects users with older Android devices that cannot upgrade to at least Android version 5, including early Kindle Fires, early Samsung Galaxy tablets, and Kobo Arc devices (all of which were released in 2014 or earlier). Based on our analytics, usage of these devices has been consistently declining and currently accounts for less than 1% of users across all OverDrive libraries. Most devices that don't support TLS 1.2 are also no longer supported by their manufacturers, cannot access other modern apps and websites, and currently offer a substandard experience with many apps and websites.
To keep using the OverDrive app and OverDrive websites, affected patrons need to either update their device's operating system (if possible) to a version that supports TLS 1.2 or switch to a device that supports TLS 1.2.
Libby users on Android devices should not be affected by this change, as Libby's minimum system requirements were already raised to Android 5 in June 2020.
User Messaging
Since September 1, 2020, the OverDrive app and OverDrive websites have displayed messaging on devices currently using TLS 1.0 and 1.1 to alert affected users of the updated system requirements, with a link to this help article. Now that this change is complete, affected users will no longer be able to access your OverDrive service from devices using TLS 1.0 or 1.1.
We understand the inconvenience this may cause for your patrons on affected devices. This change was necessary to uphold our standards of security and patron privacy, and our commitment to delivering a quality experience to all OverDrive users.

Libraries as the Alternative

Why are we so passionate about this institution?
I think it is because we can show something better, point to a better direction for our communities as a whole as well as the people in them.  Against some of the most bitter prevailing winds in our society, libraries offer an alternative:
In a world of noise and constant movement, we represent quiet, introspection, and sanctuary.
In a world drawn more and more to the transient, shimmering promises of the virtual, we represent a grounded reality that backs up our online innovations and preserves the works of today for the readers of tomorrow.
While content providers, publishers, and others work harder and harder to gate off the works they control, we insist on access for its own sake and challenge unscrupulous practices restricting it whenever possible.
As fear and anger of the "other" continue to be stoked, libraries persist as a haven where all are welcomed and their better angels appealed to.
With public discourse as toxic as it has ever been, libraries promote and enable discussion on important subjects without vitriol.
As the personal data of millions is bought and sold by the unscrupulous, libraries safeguard the privacy of their patrons (often backed with the force of law), empower them to protect themselves, and remain one of the few institutions that serve as privacy advocates on the national stage.
While ideological purity tests assail readers online, we continue to provide nonjudgmental access to works from all points of view, putting our faith in the reader.
As the gears of consumerism grind away the planet's resources as well as the mental well-being of its inhabitants, libraries lead the way in sustainable buildings and fostering sustainable lifestyles.
While media companies encourage mindless consumption, libraries promote creativity, self-development, and exploration.
As attention spans atrophy and article-length texts dominate, libraries hold the line on long-form reading and the deeper understanding it promotes.
While algorithms provide users online with materials that reinforce the bubbles they have created for themselves, the serendipity and sense of discovery a library can provide is literally life-changing.
In a world of unscrupulous social media companies increasingly acting as the glue holding "friendships" together, libraries continue to connect people with the real-world relationships that make functional communities possible.
With entire industries both online and off preying on the uninformed and deliberately manipulating humanity's cognitive biases for their own benefit, libraries remain one of the sole sources in society for education in information literacy.
And finally, in a society in which the vast majority scrabble to grab and retain whatever they can for themselves, where almost nothing is done without financial motivation, libraries remain open to all, owned by everyone, and one of the last bastions of the common good.
Library values show that there is another way, and while in many ways those values requi
re us all - those who work in them and those who identify with them - to stand against the current, they are all the more valuable for it.  What remains is to raise our voices together  - to leverage our position in every community, to show that better path to those we serve, and to find common cause with those, online and off, that share our values to ensure that our vision endures.

October --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kathleen O'Connell, Administration (WCFL) - 41 years
Jeff Ridgeway, Children's Services (WCFL) - 38 years
Lisa Rounds, Grantsville (RELGC) - 22 years
Dennis McPherson, ILL (WMRL) - 17 years
Julie Iden, Children's  (RELGC) - 7 years
Lori Stemple, Accident (RELGC) - 4 years
Kyle Cusimano, Circulation (WCFL) - 4 years
Sara McCall, Administration (WCFL) - 4 years
Robin Vance, ILL (WCFL) - 3 years
Jennifer Raab, Bookmobile (WCFL) - 3 years
Jennifer Logan, Children's (WCFL) - 2 years
Rysheda Mitchell, Maintenance (WCFL) - 1 year

Beth Cosey, Circulation (WCFL) - 38 years
Roger Tichinel, Maintenance (RELGC) - 30 years
Sherri Uhl, George's Creek (ACLS) - 20 years
Ian Seibert, Information Technology (WCFL) - 20 years
Barbara Twigg, Sharpsburg (WCFL) - 15 years
Michelle Evitts, Adult Services (WCFL) - 11 years
Laura Schnackenberg, Bookmobile (WCFL) - 10 years
Laura Gross, Smithsburg (WCFL) - 10 years
David Slick, Adult Services (WCFL) - 3 years
Kielen Shea, County Services (WCFL) - 1 year

Larry VanMeter, System Staff (ACLS) - 21 years
Shannon Kraushaar, Adult Services (WCFL) - 14 years
Marcella Whitmore, Clear Spring (WCFL) - 13 years
Rachel Birkby, Grantsville (RELGC) - 6 years
Rachel Johnson, ILL/Digitization (WMRL) - 5 years
Connie Heim, Circulation (WCFL) - 5 years
Rachel Hardy, Williamsport (WCFL) - 4 years
Elizabeth Valderrama, Adult Services (WCFL) - 3 years
Blanch Williams, Circulation (WCFL) - 2 years
Jenny Bakos, Administration (WCFL) - 1 year

We'd like to give a shout out to our Western Maryland Library partners who are celebrating an Anniversary in October, November, December. Way to go! It is a pleasure to be able to honor your years of service with the Libraries of Western Maryland.  


Learn more about WMRL                                           Wave Archives