Education, Family

Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library announces first recipient of new scholarship

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TOWSON, MD—The Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library on Thursday announced the first recipient of a new scholarship.

Erin Ramos is the very first recipient of the Charles Robinson Endowed Master of Library Science (MLS) Memorial Scholarship, a renewable scholarship endowed by the foundation and administered by Central Scholarship. Ramos, a single mother living in Aberdeen, has worked in the circulation department at the Towson Branch of Baltimore County Public Library for three years. She is pursuing her MLS at University of Maryland’s iSchool to become a librarian while working full time.

“I am really grateful to the Foundation for this help, and to the library for the opportunities I’ve had,” said Ramos. “As a single parent, I needed to find a job that could support me and my son and the library really helped me with that. I was hired two weeks before the pandemic shut everything down and I thought for sure I would be let go. Fortunately, that didn’t happen, and I was able to maintain my income through the shutdown. The library has opened a career path for me that I hadn’t thought of before and I’m really excited to finish my master’s and become a librarian.”

Ramos also enjoys cosplaying with her son and is an avid reader. “I have about 60 items checked out right now! Not counting my son’s books.”

Ramos stressed the importance of libraries and the role they play in today’s communities. “Libraries are the only place in our society where people can just be. You don’t have to buy anything; you don’t have to have a ‘reason’ to be there. You can come relax and get so many services for free and it’s a safe place. We connect so many people to vital resources and help bridge the digital divide. I feel that you cannot accurately feel that divide until you work in a public library where many of our customers don’t have internet access, let alone a computer.”

The Foundation started the scholarship in memory of Charles Robinson, who was the director of Baltimore County Public Library for more than 30 years. His philosophy of “give ’em what they want” was groundbreaking in the public library landscape, and prevails today.

Mr. Robinson’s son, Hugh Robinson, said, “Dad was a mentor to so many men and women who chose public library science as a career, including my sister. Of course, if you knew Dad, he would be all snark and bluster if he had to talk about his accomplishments and place of honor in the profession! Deep down, however, he would be very pleased to know that his legacy will continue with new, deserving Maryland librarians. Many thanks to Foundation for the Baltimore County Public library for creating the Charlie Robinson Endowed Master of Library Science (MLS) Memorial Scholarship.”

This renewable scholarship supports one Maryland resident pursuing an MLS or MLIS. The student must plan to work in a public library upon degree completion.

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