By Mike Schuh

RANDALLSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — Open since 1967, if the Randallstown Library Branch were an automobile, it would be considered an antique.

Lucky for it, the building’s long overdue renovation has begun.

Branch manager Sara Smith is excited for the changes, from bold colors to new computers.

The branch sees more computer usage than any other in the system.

“Everybody has a smartphone these days, and everybody has wireless and everybody has data,” she says. “But there are a lot of things you can’t do on a smartphone. You can’t really type a paper on the smartphone.”

The new director of the library system, Paula Miller, saw how popular the aging facility is, and worked to move the renovation higher up on the county’s list of priorities.

“This gives us an opportunity to not just refresh some things in the building but really look at technology services and making this a 21st century library space for our residents,” Miller says.

The county executive Kevin Kamenetz bought into the idea, finding $1.1 million in the budget for the project.

“I want you to kind of think of Barnes & Noble meets the Apple Store,” Kamenetz says. “Investment in education, whether it’s library or schools, is always a good investment.”

There will be more than 30 public computers, free wi-fi, a bigger collection of print and audio-visual materials and other upgrades.

The branch is expected to re-open early this summer.

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