The library at Maplewood Park Place is a meeting place for literary minds.

A good book can whisk you away to another world or even another time. We form sentimental attachments to the books we carry through life because something within those pages made an impact. Fiction and non-fiction alike have the power to change our perception of the world because, after all, knowledge is transformative.

Meet the Maplewood Park Place Library Team

Most owner residents at Maplewood Park Place will serve on a committee at some point. Joining a committee is a great way to serve the greater community and make your voice heard. It’s also a great way to make new friends. The library committee is led by Mary Iglehart and Karol Trowbridge and they are responsible for daily operations.

Mary studied library science in college and worked as a librarian before pivoting into nursing in her 40s. The library at Maplewood Park Place operates a little more casually than a school or public library. For her and Karol, it’s more about what the library offers to the community: a space for literary minds to meet.

“I just love the books. I’m an avid reader; that’s what I like to do. So, it’s nice to walk around the library straightening up the books and doing what I can. This is a beautiful library, very spacious. And people donate all the books. Everybody at Maplewood helps in some way, and it’s fun to lend a hand doing this. We contribute what talents we have, and we happen to like doing our part in the library. We have various people on the committee who also volunteer. We take turns once a week putting out the Librarian’s Choice table, which is a table of books we think somebody else might like to read,” said Mary.

Mary and Karol decide how the library budget is spent. A significant portion of its titles are donated by residents or neighboring library systems, but they do special order large print editions of popular titles. “We try to figure out which books are popular or commonly requested. We try to pick stuff that will have some lasting interest for everyone. That’s not too difficult to do,” Karol said. 

There are no overdue fines at Maplewood Park Place, she explained, “We have a sign-out area at the front of the library. People sign out the books and then we keep track of how long they’ve had them. We don’t have any sort of enforcement really, but residents sign them back in when they bring them back. We keep track of who has what and when we’d like it back. But it’s quite a sizable collection, so there’s always something for someone to read,” Karol added.

Maplewood Park Place is home to some distinguished owner residents. It’s not uncommon to dine with or strike up a conversation with a published author. That’s why the library has a shelf just for authors who currently live at Maplewood Park Place. One of the most recent additions is a new memoir by Executive Chef Francis Otoo titled Serving Presidents and Royals. You might have to join the waitlist for that one though—it’s been a big hit!

A Relaxing Space to Make New Friends

The library is a quiet, peaceful place for book enthusiasts to read and explore. The library isn’t a sleepy place though. It’s also a community space for like-minded people to meet and recommend books and magazines. The library also has computers and printers for those who don’t have space for bulky machinery or Wi-Fi routers in their apartments. Up-all-night readers will be happy to know that they can access the library 24/7.

The library is just another part of your home when you live at Maplewood Park Place. Books can take up a lot of space and some you’ll likely never reread. That’s good for Maplewood Park Place owner residents, who can keep collecting and trading books without the burden of housing them. Once they’ve read a book, they can donate it to the library and hopefully brighten someone else’s day. That also guarantees a steady stream of new titles from today’s bestselling authors.

Books are culled and discarded every so often to keep providing the best possible experience. Mary and Karol decide which books to part with by looking at the checkout history, overall condition, and whether it suits the community. Getting rid of older books clears space for new ones.

Though the book club is supported by another owner resident committee, you’re likely to run into one of its many members in the library. Mary joined the library committee after her friend from the book club, Jane McDonnell recommended her for the committee. Jane had served on the committee and really enjoyed it. Though Jane isn’t on the committee anymore, she still spends a lot of time in the library.

Mary and Karol encourage everyone to stop by the library. “There’s always a big puzzle going at one end of the library and it’s very inviting for people. There are multiple easy chairs and other very comfortable chairs perfect for reading. People love to come in and relax. This is such a wonderful space for it, too, with lots of light and windows. It’s one of my favorite places to be,” Mary said.

Are you an avid reader like Mary and Karol? Imagine a life where the library was under the same roof as your home!! As the summer reading season approaches, consider taking a trip to the Maplewood Park Place library. See the library and everything else Maplewood Park Place offers under the same roof by scheduling a tour with a Maplewood Park Place consultant by calling 301-571-7441 today.