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October 27, 2023


Andrea Castillo

(301) 699-3500 x6158

New Bladensburg Branch Library offers more computers, space, and resources to community beginning November 1

CORRECTION: New Bladensburg Branch Library ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled November 1

Correction: There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at Bladensburg Branch Library on Wednesday, November 1, 2023, at 11 am. Afterward, the building will close to the public at 1:30 pm until further notice. Media are still invited to attend the event. Doors open at 10:30 am.

Largo, Maryland –

The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) will host a ribbon cutting ceremony for its new Bladensburg Branch Library building at 4820 Annapolis Road on Wednesday, November 1, 2023, at 11 am. However, the branch will close to the public at 1:30 pm until further notice. Doors open at 10:30 am.

The ceremony will feature remarks from PGCMLS Interim CEO Richard AmRhein, County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks, Prince George’s County Councilwoman Jolene Ivey (District 5), Bladensburg Mayor Takisha James, PGCMLS Board of Library Trustees President Angela D. Smith, and PGCMLS Chief Operating Officer for Support Services Michael Gannon, as well as an invocation by Elder Willie Duvall, senior pastor of Word of God Community Church in Bladensburg. 

The new Bladensburg Library offers expanded space – nearly three times as large as the 1920s-era building it replaces –  and resources to meet growing community demand. The new Bladensburg branch will include 50 public computers – more than three times as many as before –  a Social Equity Commons that will include recording gear for archiving community oral histories and a portable kitchen for programs, more meeting space for events and studying, as well as additional staff who will offer more programming.

“The community has waited a very long time for this. Demand for services and space in the old building long ago exceeded what the building could supply,” said Debra Capponi, Bladensburg Branch Library’s head librarian. 

The original branch was dedicated on October 21, 1978, in a building that had previously been the Bladensburg Elementary School and the Board of Education Media Center. That building was demolished in September 2021 to make way for the new facility. 

Describing the old space as “standing-room only,” Capponi said that Bladensburg is “a community where many rely on the library to access the internet and other information resources and to gather. The new branch not only offers more space and more computers, but we now also have twice the staff we had at the old branch. We will be able to offer more programs for all ages and more resources on site.”

The 22,834 square-foot Bladensburg Branch Library is the first PGCMLS facility that has been LEED certified, an internationally recognized green building rating system that measures a facility’s healthy, highly efficient, sustainable, and cost-saving features.  

“We are excited that this will not only be the Library’s first LEED certified building, but that we expect it to drive economic development for the Bladensburg community,” said Gannon. “It is our vision that once other stakeholders see the investment the County has made in the community with this new state of the art library they will want to enhance their existing businesses and add new amenities.”

The two-story building was designed by Gant Brunnett Architects, incorporating architectural references to the dynamic nature of water and its potential. In the children’s room, with the theme “Discovery Harbor,” children can guide a sailing ship – the USS Prince George – with an authentic ship’s wheel, sit inside reading nooks shaped like dinghies, or lay on a wooden dock to look at the colorful waves hanging from the ceiling. 

"The building is beautiful and is a tremendous addition to the neighborhood. What a valuable resource this will be to the community!" AmRhein said. "The nautical theme makes the experience of being inside the building so tranquil and peaceful. I'm sure that kids will find visiting a true adventure and will look forward to every visit. We are excited to continue to expand our library services to serve the growing population in Prince George's County." 

Additional building features include solar panels on the roof, permeable pavers, electric car charging stations, energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, a vending cafe, a two-sided fireplace facing indoors and outdoors, a comfort room for nursing mothers, three study rooms, one quiet room, one meeting room, and two art installations, thanks to a partnership with the Prince George’s County Arts and Humanities Council’s Art in Public Places Program: Somers Creative Studios’ ship’s prow figurehead “Okey Dokey,” and Washington Glass Studio’s glass wall installation “Reading the Water.”

Graphics Package

About the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System

The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) helps customers discover and define opportunities that shape their lives. The Library serves the 967,000+ residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland through 19 branch libraries, a 24/7 online library, and pop-up services throughout the community. PGCMLS is a responsive and trusted community-driven organization. Programs, services, and outreach activities serve book lovers, immigrants and refugees, job seekers, children, young professionals, seniors, and families alike. PGCMLS is the recipient of the 2021 Urban Libraries Council Top Innovator Award for Workforce and Economic Development. Learn more at