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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...

      Our Maryland AskUsNow! K-12 School Toolkit describes Maryland AskUsNow!, our online live, interactive library chat service and provides information on preparing students to access and use AskUsNow! for research help.

      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


  • 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, new adult fiction, Chromebooks, Playaways, Playaway Views, Playaway Launchpads, Playaway Locks and cloudLibrary downloadable eBooks and audiobooks cannot be checked out on 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 or Playaway Locks) to be read on a computer or mobile 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.


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. 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. 

  • BCPL has Chromebook laptops for customers to check out for seven days. A BCPL library card is needed. Chromebooks cannot be checked out on a Teacher Loan card. Chromebooks have software pre-installed for your convenience. For customers under age 18, a parent or legal guardian must sign an agreement form to check them out. 



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 informationBaby 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 PageStoryville
    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)

      • Always log into your BCPL library account first in order to find additional titles purchased only for BCPL customers.

      • You can search the BCPL library catalog for an OverDrive title, check it out or place it on hold (NOTE: The title will not be downloaded to your computer or device through the BCPL library catalog). A title can also be checked out and download or placed on hold through the Maryland's Digital eLibrary Consortium catalog (Overdrive). A kid's catalog of titles is also available.

      • A free Overdrive app is needed to download checked out OverDrive audiobooks or eBooks to a computer or portable device. The software you need depends on the device you are using and the format of the title you want to download.

      • To download you must sign in to your Overdrive account through the Maryland's Digital eLibrary Consortium catalog (Overdrive) or your free Overdrive app using your Baltimore County Public Library card number without spaces.

      • Borrowed titles waiting to be downloaded will appear under “LOANS” in your OverDrive account. Holds and their status appear in the "HOLDS" area. See the OverDrive help section for more instructions and videos on downloading audiobooks or eBooks and under DEVICES how to use the app for a specific device and  the appropriate book formats for a device.

    • cloudLibrary 

      How to Use cloudLibrary Digital Materials:

      • cloudLibrary titles can be checked out or placed on hold by logging into your BCPL library account (NOTE: The title will not be downloaded to your computer or device through the BCPL library catalog). A title can also be checked out and downloaded or placed on hold through the cloudLibrary catalog. To find adult- or youth-oriented fiction or nonfiction of specific genres or topics, such as study aids, gardening, historical, crime, or fantasy, use the BROWSE area.

      • A free cloudLibrary app is needed to download and read cloudLibrary titles on a computer or portable device. The app you need depends on the device you are using.

      • The first time you open the cloudLibrary app, you will need to "Log In" by selecting your state, Baltimore County Public Library, and entering your library card number without spaces and your password/PIN. NOTE: Teacher Loan library card numbers will not work for cloudLibrary 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.

  • Playaway Locks
    Playaway Locks are eReaders, pre-loaded with up to 15 ebook titles that have a common theme or genre. No Internet connection is needed to read ebooks and the devices are not able to download content or access the Internet. 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.



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.

  • Kids Page: BCPL Homework Help
    Our Kids Page has websites to help elementary school students complete their homework as well.

  • Browse our digital collection of local historic photographs through our online catalogLegacy 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 Services


Titles not owned by Baltimore County Public Library may be available through our Interlibrary Loan Services 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 personal or Teacher Loan 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.

  • Most requests from either Marina or OCLC are usually filled within two weeks.
    You will be notified by phone or email when the item that you requested through Marina or OCLC has arrived at the designated pickup branch. Holds that are not picked up within 7 days of notification are charged the $1 Not Picked Up fee.

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



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 center employees and licensed 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 that organize book discussion groups or share library materials in groups 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 personal use by adults and children (ages 17 and under) or for college students attending a Maryland college.

    • 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.





  Study Rooms and Quiet Areas


Enclosed study rooms are currently available to individuals and small groups at the Arbutus, Cockeysville, Essex, Hereford, Owings Mills, Perry Hall, Randallstown, Rosedale, Towson, and Woodlawn branches. 

  • Customers must sign up to use a study room at the branch’s customer service desk.

  • Sign up is on a first-come first-served basis, with the option to reserve space for the current business day, when available and at the discretion of the branch.

  • Customers may sign up for a study room in one hour time blocks, with the option to add additional hours, one hour at a time, unless others are waiting to use the room.

  • Customers are given 10 minutes to claim an assigned study room before being considered a “No Show”.The room will then be assigned to the next waiting person or group.

Quiet areas, where available, are open to any customer with no sign up required. Quiet areas are available at the Arbutus, Catonsville, Cockeysville, Essex, Hereford, Owings Mills, Perry Hall, Randallstown, Reisterstown, Rosedale, Towson and White Marsh branches. The North Point Branch has a designated quiet zone that is not enclosed. The customer service desk can direct customers to these quiet areas.


Occupants of study rooms or quiet areas must observe the Baltimore County Public Library Rules of Conduct.



Summer Reading


Join 2017 Summer @ Your Library

Summer Reading 2017 runs from Wednesday, June 14 to Sunday, August 20.

Sign up throughout the summer.


Summer @ Your Library encourages reading and learning throughout the summer. The theme is Build a Better World. Summer reading is for the whole family!


There is a different program for four age groups:


  • Read-To-Me (birth to 5 years old): This is designed as an adult and child activity. Babies and young children can be registered and someone can read to them. Participants will use a game board and color in a block as they complete an activity with the child. Reading may be substituted for any activity. When five activities are completed they can visit any BCPL branch for a sticker to be placed under the Sticker part of their game board. After all four stickers are collected the child is eligible to receive a preschool completion prize. Prizes and stickers are available while supplies last.

  • Elementary Reading (Kindergarten through Grade 5): Students will read for one hour or read one book and log the title on a game board. When they complete four hours or read four books, they may  get a sticker at the library. After reading 16 books or reading for 16 hours, they should visit the library to pick up a prize! Prizes and stickers are available while supplies last.

  • Middle and High School Reading (6th-12th grade): Will participate in a raffle-style game during which they read books to enter a variety of drawings. The game board is a flyer, with instructions on the top and one raffle entry form on the bottom. The participant will receive a registration prize upon registering. Each time a participant reads three books they can fill out an entry form with the book titles, their contact information, and the number of the prize raffle they are entering. Additional entry forms will be available in each branch. The more books read the more entry forms to fill out and win a prize. Raffles will be drawn at random every two weeks throughout the summer. Branches will notify the winners. Participants will not be awarded more than one prize.


  • Adults (ages 18 and up): Adults register and then sign in online and track their participation online. To complete Adult Summer @ Your Library, a participant can either (a) read two books or (b) read one book and attend one library program or event. Adults who complete the requirements are automatically entered into the raffle for both the grand prize and the branch prize. Winners of the drawings will be chosen at random on Monday, August 21, 2017. There will be a winner from each branch AND a grand prize winner. Participants will not be awarded more than one prize. Branches will contact prize winners and prizes can be picked up at the branch. Prizes must be picked up by Sunday, September 3, 2017


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 2017 Summer @ Your Library volunteer. Check back in spring 2018.


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 9 weeks of the Summer Reading Club. A minimum of 10 hours must be worked over the 9 week period to receive credit for Service Learning hours. For more information, see the Summer Reading Club volunteer job description.

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: January 23, 2018