BCPL Honors Library Pioneer With New Scholarship


Credit: Baltimore County Public Libraries

BALTIMORE COUNTY - A new scholarship is available for Baltimore County residents. The Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library announced plans to recognize long-time Baltimore County Public Library Director Charles Robinson by launching a scholarship in his name this week.

Robinson was the director of BCPL for more than 30 years. His famous philosophy of “give ’em what they want” was groundbreaking in the public library landscape and continues to be influential today.

The philosophy says that libraries should offer the books people want, regardless of genre or educational value. Because of the lasting impact of this theory, Robinson is considered one of the most important librarians of the 20th century.

According to Robinson’s son, Hugh, his father would be proud to know his legacy is being honored by the Baltimore County Public Library system.

“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 the Foundation for Baltimore County Public library for creating the Charlie Robinson Endowed Master of Library Science (MLS) Memorial Scholarship.”

The annual scholarship will support one Maryland resident in their pursuit of a Masters of Library Sciences degree. In exchange, the student must plan to work in a public library upon degree completion.

Robinson began his career in 1953 at the Free Library of Philadelphia before moving to Baltimore County, where he joined the BCPL staff as the assistant county librarian on January 12, 1959.

The previous BCPL Director, Richard D. Minnich, died suddenly in 1963, and the Library Trustees named Mr. Robinson the director. This began his 33-year career as an innovator in the public library field.

Those interested in applying or learning more about this scholarship should visit Central Scholarship’s website. The deadline to apply for the 2023-24 school year is March 15.

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