Garrison Commander Col. Edward C. Rothstein tours the new Military Family Resource Center during the official opening at the Provinces Branch of the Anne Arundel County Public Library system on April 10. The section includes 130 books dealing with issues facing service members and their families.

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (April 19, 2012) -- From tips on life as a military spouse to preparing for basic training, a new Military Family Resource Center at a local county library offers beneficial information for Fort Meade families.

The Provinces Branch of the Anne Arundel County Public Library system officially opened the center April 10 with a brief ceremony at the Severn library.

Garrison Commander Col. Edward C. Rothstein was a guest speaker at the evening event.

"I think it's wonderful," he said of the center.

The concept of a resource center for military families was developed after a library member saw a similar section at another Maryland library. With $3,000 to support the new, 12-shelf section, librarians began preparing for the section last fall.

Library manager Cathy Hollerbach said the resource center, located in the library in the Severn Square Shopping Center near the Rockenbach Road gate, is a "perfect fit" as a large number of military families visit the library regularly.

"We thought it would be well used," Hollerbach said. "It was kind of natural. We thought it would fit the need."

The new center features 130 books about issues facing service members and their families. Materials range from picture books for children about the military branches to instructional resources for military spouses and service members.

"We selected them based on what we thought would be of interest to military families," Hollerbach said. "We work with them a lot so we know some of the things people are looking for."

One of the major topics covered in the resource center, she said, is transitioning from military to civilian life.

Although the center officially opened last week, more books are arriving. The section is expected to continue to grow, said Hollerbach.

Library administrator Skip Auld said that although the Provinces Branch is the only library in the Anne Arundel County Public Library system with the Military Family Resource Center, officials will look into incorporating the center in other local libraries as well.

Those with Anne Arundel County Public Library system library cards can also access resources such as e-books and links to databases online. The online resource will continue to expand as well, said Auld.

"More and more things aren't in print; they're online," Hollerbach said.

As a former teacher, Rothstein emphasized the importance of libraries and offering resources for military families. He also said he hopes the resource center is just the start of a relationship with libraries.

"This military display is a great opportunity for our military family members," he said. "It's very convenient."

Page last updated Thu April 19th, 2012 at 12:00