Burgers over books: New Market lacks public library


Moe de La Viez, Erin Formulak, Jeweliana Hendrickson

Graphic artists imagine the New Burger King in New Market redesigned as a public library.

What makes the typical small town?  A bank, a store, a school, and a library.  New Market has it all, except books.

If you live in New Market, it’s no secret that what once was a small town is now rapidly growing into a bustling consumer central. Recently, construction has taken over Old National Pike and Green Valley Road. Everything from new neighborhoods to pizza parlors have been added to this thriving town. However, we have no library.

Between the years 2000 to 2010, there was a 54% increase in local population. In the past decade, New Market  has developed a new shopping center, a CVS, and several new neighborhoods.  The ongoing growth in New Market has resulted in new schools to serve the area.  Even with the constant struggle to meet the growing demands of the town, New Market has no public library.

New Market was established in 1793.  Was there a library?  Why is this critical need unmet?

Frederick County has eight public libraries:  Emmitsburg, Thurmont, Middletown, Frederick, Urbana, Point of Rocks, and Brunswick. There is a great need for a library in New Market, but a simple “please” just won’t do.

Darrell Batson, the director of Frederick County Public Libraries, says, “We can’t just put in a library wherever we think one should be. We have to think about the future, not just the needs right now.”

And the future is now… sort of.  Batson says a new library is on its way to Old National Pike since the New Market/Lake Linganore area is underserved.  Unfortunately, the plan is still 5-7 years away.

When planning new construction, the area must be able to handle the adjusted traffic patterns the library’s business would produce, adjust to and withstand future developmental and technological changes, and tend to the community’s needs and wants.

According to the Lake Linganore Town Center brochure, about 6,000 housing units will be built in the next few years. The increasing population will directly correlate with the need for a library.  All this construction will increase traffic on New Market roads.  However, the town has solved traffic problems before.  We need books and education more than new houses.

Long time New Market residents juniors Karly Johnson and Seth Brooks both see the benefits of the library but are fed up with the construction.

“It [a library] would be good because there are a lot of little kids in our neighborhood,” Brooks says. “The construction is really annoying and the roads are terrible. There are a lot less trees which takes away from the beauty.”

According to Batson, adding a library will change the dynamics of any community. “[A new library] will change how far people have to go to research information and hold meetings, give home schooled students in the area more access to books, increase business to local retail outlets, and allow the public to research business, stocks, and funds.”

A New Market Burger King just opened, which has stirred up quite the controversy on Twitter, as many teens suggest they would rather see a different type of facility altogether. There are many food choices already.  What we need is the choice to read.

According to New Market Mayor Winslow Burhans, there’s a possibility these funds could be going towards books instead of burgers. “The County is in communication with a developer who may be interested in providing land for a Community Library to be located a Rt. 144 and Eaglehead Drive,” says Mayor Burhans.  “I make the inference that the facility would need to be place in the County’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP). This usually occurs in phases. For example, the County will budget for Design and then subsequently budget it for Construction.”

“The Town is in the process of testing and surveying the property [the Smith-Cline Annexation] while weighing its potential uses. A small pocket library is one of several used to be considered. If the Town decides to go in that direction, it will be done after consulting the Frederick County Public Library system,” explains the mayor.

A library could also have the potential to reinforce the small town atmosphere that some believe the now-not-so small town has been losing.

“New Market used to be all ‘old timey’ and cute, but now it’s very crowded and busy, so it’s lost some of it’s historical part,” Johnson says.

A library could be the perfect new addition in New Market to add a functional institution rather than another commercial building.

However, in order to make it successful, New Market/Lake Linganore residents must show their support.  Contact Mayor Burhans if you want to see the positive change a library could bring to the town.