- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A library south of Baltimore is angling to get a fresh catch of patrons this spring.

The Anne Arundel County Public Library announced earlier this month that its Mountain Road branch was beginning to lend out fishing poles for two weeks at a time, partnering up with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for the effort.

“The mission of the Anne Arundel County Public Library is to educate, enrich and inspire our customers,” county library CEO Hampton “Skip” Auld said in an April 6 news release. “Given this county’s extensive shoreline and interest in water activities, we feel like this program is a good fit.”

According to the county library’s Twitter account, it loaned out its first fishing rod on April 19. At press time, a listing in the county library’s online catalog shows only one of the eight rods in inventory is currently checked out. 

Patrons who fail to return a fishing rod will be fined a replacement fee of $15, according to the county library website.

While perhaps an unusual item to lend out, lending out fishing rods seems to fall in line with libraries expanding their repertoire beyond books, DVDs and CDs. The Prince George’s County’s Memorial Library System (PGCMLS), for example, offers patrons at three branch locations the opportunity to check out WiFi hotspots.

PGCMLS also permits adult library-card holders to borrow an iPad at the Spauldings branch in District Heights for up to two hours, provided they don’t take the tablet from the premises.

“At the end of two hours, an unreturned iPad becomes overdue. Your library account will be charged the replacement cost of $600.00 and the police will be notified,” warns PGCMLS on its website.

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