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Let Baltimore County Public Library Help You Meet the Educational Needs of Your Students! 


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Ask A Question


  • AskUsNow!Maryland AskUsNow!
    Maryland AskUsNow! is our 24/7 live chat service and assists with conducting research and finding resources for homework. Students will not necessarily be chatting with a Baltimore County Public Library librarian or even a Maryland librarian since this cooperative service is also staffed by reference librarians from other states and countries.

    • Tips for Students Using Maryland AskUsNow! [PDF]

    • For Simultaneous Use of AskUsNow! Service by a Class...
      Use our How to Have a Class Visit Online with Maryland AskUsNow! Toolkit. It describes Maryland AskUsNow!, our online live, interactive library chat service and how to organize a class visit with Maryland AskUsNow!.

      To make this a satisfying experience for your students, contact infoserv@bcpl.net or the school liaison at the branch nearest your school at least one week in advance to let us know that multiple students from the same class will be using the service during a class period or to schedule an online demo. Please provide the following information:

      • Teacher / group leader name and contact information

      • Organization / school

      • Specific assignment / topic

      • Any resources you'd like us to focus on

      • Grade level / age group

      • How many students

      • What date / time; for how long

      • Do students have BCPL library cards? are they local library users


        Our Schedule a Class Visit form may be helpful to public and school librarians as well as teachers for planning upcoming class visits with Maryland AskUsNow!



  • Ask A Question
    Enter a question or comment in the search box. The software scans that text for terms that appear in questions we answered previously. The software gives you an option to view our reply to one of previously answered questions immediately or to submit a new question through email to Baltimore County Public Library. Replies to submitted questions are sent Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.


BrainFuse (from BrainFuse)

  • Brainfuse: a free online tutoring service that offers students grades K through college with homework help or with building specific skills, such as long division. Tutoring is available Mon - Sun 2:00 PM to 11:55 PM EST from home, work or school for many subjects including math, language arts, science, and social studies. During the hours that tutors are not available, questions can be submitted through the Send Question link. A tutor will provide you with a response (usually within 24 hours).

    Check out the Brainfuse Writing Lab for online writing assistance and the Adult Learning Center, which has tutors and resources for preparing for the GED test, the U.S. Citizenship Test and more. A library card registered with Baltimore County Public Library is needed to use this online tutoring resource.


  • Our Branch Librarians Are Ready to Help Your Students With Their Research
    Visit or phone (press 4 for the Information Desk) your local Baltimore County Public Library branch and the librarians will help them find print and online information. Not sure of which branch is most convenient?  Check out our map of all branch locations.


Assignment Alert and Teacher Collection


  • Assignment Alert
    By submitting this Assignment Alert Form, you can conveniently notify the Baltimore County Public Library branches nearest your students about an upcoming assignment. With advance notice from teachers, we will attempt to gather age-appropriate resources from our collection for students to use at their neighborhood branch and when possible at home.


  • Teacher Collection
    For educators with valid Teacher Loan Library Cards. You can request a collection of up to 30 items to support your students and your work in the classroom.  Tell us the topic, what type of material you need, and the branch where you would like to pick it up. We’ll have the collection waiting for you.


Booklists and Other BCPL Reader Services


  • BCPL's Between The Covers
    Our blog gives recommendations from BCPL librarian bloggers on newly published books for adults, teens, and children in many genres that you should consider reading.


  • Hot Titles
    Our librarians want you to know about new and popular children, teen, and adult books, downloadable eBooks, graphic novels, CDs, Books on CD, Playaways, DVDs and videogames. Please note that DVDs, video games, Playaways, Playaway Views, and new adult fiction cannot be checked out to a Teacher Loan card.



  • BCPL Highlights e-Newsletter
    BCPL customers are automatically subscribed to our "Highlights" newsletter so they can stay informed about the latest BCPL news.




  • Early Literacy Resources
    BCPL is focusing on ensuring that young children (age 5 and under) will enter school ready to learn to read, write and listen.


  • eBooks and Audiobooks: Books come in some pretty non-traditional formats these days and these digital formats are particularly useful for people on the go or who have difficulty holding or reading print materials. These formats include audiobooks (books on CD, downloadable audio, and "Playaways") to listen to and eBooks (downloadable eBooks) to be read on a computer or personal device.

    • Storyline
      Kids can also enjoy audio stories!  Just call BCPL's Storyline at 410-887-6116 and listen to stories read over the phone. Stories are appropriate for children ages 3 - 10.


  • NoveList K-8 Plus
    An online reading resource that includes picture books, children's chapter books and young adult titles, both fiction and nonfiction.  It presents full-text book reviews from sources such as Booklist and School Library Journal.  Reviews often suggest grade level appeal.  Lexile reading levels are given for most titles.  Find Recommended Reads Lists by age group and genreThe Quick Links area offers Common Core teaching guides and video tutorials to help you find the subject and grade level content you're looking for; Curricular Connections to help connect reading across curricular areas; book lists by grade level; and  Picture Book Extenders.  In the Browse By and How Do I? areas you’ll find Read-alike book lists, lists of award winning books, and more.  A library card registered with Baltimore County Public Library is needed to use this resource.


  • NoveList Plus
    An online reading resource for identifying fiction and nonfiction pleasure reading primarily for teens and adults.  Find Recommended Reads Lists by genre Use the Quick Links and Browse By areas to find Author Read-alikes, award winning books, book discussion guides, and more.  A library card registered with Baltimore County Public Library is needed to use this resource.


Branch Programs


  • DateLines
    BCPL'S online Calendar of Events lists all branch programs. Registration is necessary for some programs where a small group is desirable (such as “Baby Story Time.”) Programs requiring registration are noted in the dateLines listing as “registration required.”  To register, simply call or visit the branch during the week preceding the program or, in many cases, online registration is available.


  • If you want to bring a group of children, please visit or phone the branch first and speak to the branch's school liaison.


Class Visits


  • To Schedule Your Class to Visit to BCPL Branch or to Request that a BCPL Librarian Visit Your Class
    Contact that branch directly (in person or via phone/press 4 for the Information Desk) and talk with that branch’s school liaison contact. Our listings of our Branch locations as well as our map of Branch Locations can help you find the most convenient BCPL branch.


  • Library Cards for School and Group Visits
    There's no better way to familiarize your students with what the public library has to offer! We look forward to meeting you and your students.


Please note: BCPL has the following programs in place to connect our youngest users with a BCPL library card:


We strongly support teachers in their efforts to get cards for students who don’t already have one. To ensure that library cards are ready on the day of a visit, please follow these easy steps:


  1. Visit or phone (press 4 for the Information Desk) the branch that you are visiting. Tell us how many students in your class need Library Card Registration forms (Kindergarten to grade 12) or need my My First Library Card Forms [PDF] (for children birth to kindergarten). Allow three business days, excluding weekends and holidays, to process your request for application forms.
  2. Give an application form to each student to take home for completion.  NOTE: Each student’s full name, address and parent or legal guardian's information must be included on the application. A parent or legal guardian’s signature is required on the application form for students 17 years of age and under.
  3. At least two weeks before the visit, please return the completed application forms to the branch you are visiting.
  4. Each child is allowed to borrow two print items only on the day of the visit.
  5. The library cards are given to the teacher during the visit and they are responsible for giving the cards to the parent or legal guardian. The teacher must inform the parent/guardian that a signature is required and that the parent or guardian must present valid ID at any of our branches before the card may be used again.


Community Services to Assist Your Students and Their Families


  • Link to Connections: Children, Youth and Family Resources in Baltimore CountyConnections: Children, Youth and Family Resources
    An online directory of local community organizations and agencies that can help provide necessary information and assistance to meet many human issues, such as child abuse, finding food, clothing or shelter, etc., of your students and their families. This is a project by the Baltimore County Public Library and the Baltimore County Local Management Board.



Computer Access at BCPL


It doesn't matter if you or your students don't have access at home or if you're on the road and just need a place to link up.
Check us out!


  • All our branches provide free computer and wifi access to the Internet. Our branch public computers have Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint software loaded on them. 



Databases through BCPL


Our online databases are useful for research and school assignments and can be used in our branches or 24/7 from home, school, or work. These tools are authoritative and the content is not otherwise available for free on the open Internet. BCPL subscribes to these resources for you so they are free and all you need to use them from home is a valid library card registered at the Baltimore County Public Library. Many of these databases contain full-text articles from magazines, journals, current and historic newspapers, encyclopedias, and more. There are also databases containing biographies, test and exam practice tests and about automotive repair, literature, health, business, and more.


How to Access Our Online Databases


  • Click on either the Databases By Subject  or Databases A to Z (alphabetical list) link in the Find Info area at the top of our home page.
  • For access outside of a BCPL branch, enter when prompted your library card number without spaces and your password (the password, unless you changed it, is the last four digits of the phone number we have on file).
  • Visit our troubleshooting page if you have difficulties accessing our resources from home, school, or work.


Early Literacy Resources and Family Literacy


BCPL nurtures a love of reading beginning in early childhood.

In addition to children's materials and branch programs, BCPL offers many early literacy services for children birth to 5.


Link to Baby Booster Kits information

  • Baby Boosters Kits
    These collections of books and resources on several themes are for use by parents and child care providers. They are kept in easy-to-carry backpacks. Each kit contains children's books on a particular theme, plus a parent resource book and a compact disc.



  • Early Literacy Activity Centers
    Interactive activities that will lead to school readiness and success are found in each of our branches.


Link to Storyville Page

  • Storyvilles
    Located in the Rosedale and Woodlawn Branches of the Baltimore County Public Library, these child-sized villages include developmentally appropriate books and activities for children ages birth to five.


  • Early Literacy Resources
    Book lists, developmental tips, guidelines for reading aloud to children, as well as print and online resources for parents and caregivers of young children.


  • Family Literacy Support
    From Connections, Children, Youth and Family Resources:
    Local community organizations and agencies that can help provide literacy instruction and GED instruction for family members.


eBooks and Audiobooks


In addition to print materials the branch offers audiobooks for listening to a book being read and eBooks for reading on a computer or portable device.


  • Books on CD
    Both fiction and non-fiction titles are available for you or a student to listen to on a computer, in the car, during a  morning walk, or while exercising. These books on CD are available at all BCPL branches and are either abridged (an author-approved shortened version) or unabridged (the complete work as written).


Audio Book titles on CD can be located and requested if not immediately available through our catalog. On the left of the catalog search results, you can narrow your search to specific target audiences, such as juvenile, adolescents, and more.


  • Downloadable eBooks and Audiobooks
    BCPL's digital collections include children’s and young adult titles which are available for students to download using their Baltimore County Public Library card. Simply click on the "Find Materials" menu and then "Digital Audio, eBooks and Movies" to locate digital eBooks, audiobooks and magazines or click on the "Digital Library" button on our home page. Titles are also available to be checked out or held through Baltimore County Public Library's catalog. When a requested title becomes available, email notification is sent to the card owner. BCPL's digital materials providers include:

Maryland's Digital eLibrary Consortium (Overdrive) (also available through a kid friendly interface.)

  • You can either log into your BCPL library account and search the BCPL library catalog for a title or you can sign in to your Overdrive account at the top right of the Maryland's Digital eLibrary Consortium catalog.
  • Select Baltimore County Public Library as your library system and enter your Baltimore County Public Library card number (without spaces). After selecting a title, you will be able to either borrow the book or place a hold for the next available copy. Borrowed titles will appear in the “Checkouts” area of your OverDrive account. Holds and their status are listed the "Holds" area of your OverDrive account.
  • A free Overdrive app is needed to download and transfer Overdrive audiobooks or eBooks to a computer or portable device. The software you need depends on the format of the title you want to download. See the help section provided by Overdrive for more information on downloading audiobooks or eBooks. Each device and format has its own HELP pages for answering the most frequently asked questions about installation of software, troubleshooting, and compatibility of specific devices.
  • 3M Cloud Library
    How to use 3M digital materials: 

    • 3M titles can be checked out by logging into your BCPL library account and searching the BCPL library's catalog for a title or author or via the 3M Cloud Library on the Web. Search for a specific title or author or Browse for Fiction or Nonfiction (Adult or Juvenile) and for specific genres or topics, such as Study Aids, Biographies and Autobiographies, Gardening, Historical, Crime, Fantasy, and others.
    • A free 3M app is needed to download and read 3M titles on a computer or portable device.
    • The first time you open the 3M app, you will need to "Log In" by selecting your state, Baltimore County Public Library, and your library card number without spaces and your password/PIN. Note: Teacher Loan library card numbers will not work for 3M titles.


  • Playaways
    Playaways are self-contained portable players that come pre-loaded with one book and are available at any branch of the Baltimore County Public Library. Books available in the Playaway format include older as well new titles; they come in abridged and unabridged versions. Please note: battery and earphones are not provided. These cannot be checked out to a Teacher Loan card.


  • Read-Along Kits
    Link searches our catalog for these kits. Kits contain both the print book and a CD for the beginning reader.

Group Study Rooms at Several Branches


Group study rooms are available at several branches on a “first come first served” basis.


  • No advance reservations are accepted. Ask at the Information Desk about the sign-in process.


  • Group study rooms are for 2 or more people who are being tutored or who need to work on a project or have a meeting. Individuals who would like a quiet place to study will be directed to other quiet study areas in the branch. The room capacity for each room should be posted.


  • Use of the group study room is limited to 2 hours, unless no one else is waiting, for a maximum of 4 hours per day. When a group is using the group study room, sign-up will be under one person's name. Others in the same group cannot sign-up under a different name, as a way to extend access to the room.


  • Most branches without group study rooms have designated quiet study areas. The Information Desk can point them out.


Homework Help 24/7 for Students


BCPL offers print and online resources for use at a Baltimore County Public Library branch and for use 24/7 at home or school.


AskUsNow!                             This online tutoring service can help with your homework.


  • Maryland AskUsNow!
    24/7 live chat with a librarian who can help a student find that answer or guide them in doing your research.


  • Brainfuse
    Is an online tutoring service which offers...

    • Chat Live with a Tutor from 2:00 – 11:55 p.m. (7 days a week. Spanish-speaking tutors available)
      Kindergarten to Adult Learners are welcome! Students can submit questions through the "Send Question" link during the hours that tutors are not available. A tutor will typically respond within 24 hours.
    • The SkillSurfer area can help students learning a specific skill or subject, such as mastering long division or improving reading comprehension, help beginning or organizing an essay or research paper.  It also includes practice tests for preparing for state tests and the SAT, TOEFL, and more.
    • The  Writing Lab allows you to submit a file with your paragraph, essay, paper or resume/cover letter for review by a writing instructor. The paper is returned with comments on structure, grammar, style and content. The purpose of this service is not for the writing instructor to write or edit essays or resumes but to help your student to  better organize and present their thoughts.
    • Check out the Adult Learning Center for help and tutoring to prepare for the GED or U.S. Citizenship tests.


  • Databases through BCPL
    Our free online databases are very useful for research and school assignments. Many contain full-text articles from magazines, journals, current and historic newspapers, encyclopedias, and more. There are also databases containing biographies, test and exam practice tests and about automotive repair, literature, health, business, and more. All you need is a valid library card registered at the Baltimore County Public Library.


Visit our troubleshooting page if you have difficulties using these tools from home, school, or work.




Browse our digital collection of local historic photographs through our online catalog

  • Legacy Web: BCPL's Historic Photograph Collection
    Browse our digital collection of local historic photographs. The collection contains images covering all aspects of life, including photographs of buildings, sites, and events in the Baltimore County area, for the last 130 years. The images can be found and searched for through our catalog.



Interlibrary Loan Service


Titles not owned by Baltimore County Public Library may be available through our Interlibrary Loan Service which includes Marina (a statewide lending cooperative of Maryland public libraries) and OCLC (a national lending collaborative, including colleges, universities and out-of-state libraries.)


  • You must have a valid library card from the Baltimore County Public Library in order to request material through either of our Interlibrary Loan Services. You may use Marina to request materials without a staff member's assistance but staff assistance is needed to request materials via OCLC.
  • You will be notified when a requested item is available at your designated pickup location. Because Marina draws from Maryland public libraries, those requests are often filled more quickly. Most requests from either Marina or OCLC are usually filled within two weeks.
  • Teacher Loan Cards and Interlibrary Loan:

    • Loan period is for 6 weeks with no renewals.
    • Items requested through Interlibrary Loan may be subject to a $2.00 BCPL processing fee plus any additional costs charged by a lending agency.


Library Cards


  • SAIL: Students Achieve in Libraries
    This is a Baltimore County Public School/Baltimore County Public Library partnership.  The goal of this campaign is to get a special new BCPL library card in the hands of every Baltimore County Public School student in Kindergarten through Grade 12 and for the student to use the card.

    • The BCPS school librarian or Assistant Principal will distribute a Student SAIL Registration Form [PDF] to each student through their homeroom teacher.
    • Parents should complete and sign the Student SAIL Registration Form and return it to the school.
    • A BCPL library representative will collect the forms from the school, create the library cards, and deliver the cards back to the school for distribution.
    • Need more Registration Forms? Print a Student SAIL Registration Form [PDF]. Student SAIL Registration Forms are also available in Arabic, Burmese, Chinese (Simplified), French, Korean, Nepalese, Russian, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
    • If a student already has a BCPL library card, that card will be re-registered and the student will receive the new SAIL card.





  • Teacher Loan Card
    This special Baltimore County Public Library card is designed to be used by teachers and other educators to provide BCPL materials and other resources for their students who are attending school in Baltimore County. County residents who provide these services for schools and agencies outside Baltimore County are not eligible for a teacher loan card.

    • These special cards are available to:
      • Teachers, media specialists and librarians in Baltimore County public and private schools, serving students through 12th grade.
      • Day care centers and child care providers located in Baltimore County.
      • Home school teachers working with Baltimore County schools. The home school must be a Baltimore County residence.
      • Employees and volunteers of Baltimore County agencies and nonprofit groups responsible for book discussion groups or groups organized for educational purposes
    • You must have a personal BCPL library card  in good standing before a teacher loan card may be issued.
    • Cards expire annually on August 31 and must be renewed annually beginning August 1st for the new school year. All account transactions from previous school years must be resolved before a card can be renewed for the new school year. Questions about a card's status should be directed to the branch where the card was issued.
    • Information about eligibility, terms of use, the Teacher Loan Registration Form, and the process for acquiring a card are available on the Teacher Loan Library Card page.



  • Other Baltimore County Public Library cards for your personal use or for non-Baltimore County students

    • You can register your library card from other Maryland public libraries system for use at Baltimore County Public Library.  Just visit any Baltimore County Public Library branch. You may borrow our materials or use our research databases and downloadable audiobooks and ebooks once your card is registered .
    • Card and Catalog Help
      Answers to frequently asked questions about your Baltimore County Public Library card and your library account are found on this web page





Link to Storyville Page

Recognizing that parents are a child's first teachers, the guiding mission of Storyville is to help preschool children gain the skills they need to enter school ready to learn through active interaction with their caregiver and the activities provided.


  • Located in the Rosedale and Woodlawn Branches of the Baltimore County Public Library, these child-sized villages include developmentally appropriate books and activities for children ages birth to five. For groups, we would like at least 1 adult for every 3 children, so the adults may be actively engaged with the children in their care.





Summer Reading Club


On Your Mark, Get Set, READ!

Race into BCPL for the 2016 Summer Reading Club for a summer of reading Fun!

Pre-register between Monday, May 9 and Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Club officially begins Monday, June 20 and ends Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sign up throughout the summer.

This year’s theme ties in with the Summer Olympics. Our programs will promote fitness of mind, body, and spirit. There is a Club for four different age groups:

  • Read-to-Me Club (for children ages through 5 years )
    This Club is intended as an adult with child activity. The suggested early literacy skill activities encourage parents to TALK, SING, READ, WRITE, and PLAY with their child. Each child uses a game board and colors in a stepping stone for each completed activity.  Reading to a child may be substituted for any activity. When five activities are completed, the child can get a sticker for their game board at any BCPL branch. They can win a prize by collecting all four stickers.

  • Elementary Reading Club (entering Kindergarten through grade 5)
    Each student receives their own game board to record their reading activity throughout the summer. They must read four books or for four hours to get a sticker for their game board. They can read a combination of hours and books to earn their stickers.  Stickers are available at any BCPL branch. After collecting all four stickers for having read a total of 16 hours or 16 books, they may return to the library for a school age completion prize (while supplies last).

  • Young Adult Middle and High School Reading Club (entering grades 6 through 12)
    Students earn a raffle entry for every three books they read.  Students must pick up an instructional flyer and their first raffle entry form at any BCPL branch. They use an entry form towards winning their choice of prizes by listing the three book titles they read, their contact information, and the number of the prize raffle they are entering. Each book read can only be listed once during the summer. The more books they read the more entry forms they can fill out to win a prize. Drawings for the prizes take place every two weeks throughout the summer. Participants are only eligible to win one raffle prize.

  • Adult Reading Club
    Too old for the Summer Reading Club but still love to read? You can participate in an online Adult Reading Club. Adults (ages 18 and up) will register online and record their progress during the summer through the same Adult Reading Club tab. They can access the Adult Reading Club tab from home, work or in the library. They must at least (1) either read/listen to two books or (2) read/listen to one book and attend one BCPL program or event before August 14 to be eligible for a random prize drawing. Participants will not be awarded more than one prize.  Club members will have the option to share their participation, books, and reviews on Facebook. They will be prompted to agree each time there is an opportunity to post on Facebook. We encourage parents, teachers, and all adults to join in the summer “fitness”.

At the end of the summer, Baltimore County Public Schools receive a report with the names of all students that participated in the Summer Reading Club.



Summer Reading Club Student Volunteers

Our branches are no longer accepting applications to be a 2016 Summer Reading Club volunteer.


Summer Reading Volunteering is open to all students entering the 7th through 10th grades in the fall of the next school year. Volunteers must work at least 5 of the 8 weeks of the Summer Reading Club.  A minimum of 10 hours must be worked over the Summer Reading Club period to receive credit for Service Learning hours. Our Summer Reading Club volunteer job description is available.

Earned Service Learning hours will not be sent automatically to the schools. Volunteers must take the Service Learning Hour forms from their schools to the branch where they volunteered at the end of the Summer Reading Club to be authorized.


  • In March:
    Our Youth Services Department sends volunteer recruitment flyers to Baltimore County Public Schools middle schools to promote student volunteering for the Summer Reading Club. BCPL branches will also distribute flyers to their local private and parochial schools.


  • In late March and early April:
    A limited number of volunteer packets and application forms are made available for students at the branch where they would like to volunteer during the summer. They must be picked up in person at the branch.



Kick-off Programs


As early as March or April, contact the branch assigned to your school to discuss a kick-off program (School Night) at the branch or a visit to your school by BCPL branch staff to either explain the Summer Reading program to parents or students or to sign students up. The actual event would be held in May. For information, visit or call the branch nearest your school and ask for the school liaison or programming coordinator to contact you about what is possible.


What happens at a "School Night?" That’s up to you and the branch. You may want to:

  • Register kids for Summer Reading Club

  • Give out packets

  • Have BCPL flyers, including dateLines, available

  • Encourage parents and children to sign up for library cards


Summer Reading Lists from Your School


  • Provide us with your list in electronic form, formatted for printing. Send to the Information Services Department of Baltimore County Public Library at infoserv@bcpl.net.


If You Have Questions . . .


Please call the Baltimore County Public Library's Youth Services Department, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. or your nearest Baltimore County Public Library branch.


Marisa Conner, Youth Services Coordinator

Baltimore County Public Library

Youth Services Department

Rosedale Branch

6105 Kenwood Avenue

Baltimore, Maryland 21237-2097


Phone: 410-887-0517

Fax: 410-866-7941






Revised: May 16, 2016