New North East Header


The population of the greater North East community is about the size of Elkton’s, but for over 25 years, North East has had an undersized library that is one-tenth the size of Elkton’s Branch Library. As a result, the citizens of this region of the county have had much less access to library services, materials, and educational programming. With exceptional levels of usage, including patron visits, check-outs, public computers and Wi-Fi use, and program attendance, and routine waiting lists for computers, programs, and services, the North East community has more than demonstrated its need for expanded library services and a library sized to suit the community size. The plan for the new North East Branch Library is sized to serve this growing community, and by including space to relocate CCPL’s headquarters operations from the Elkton Library to North East’s second floor, the new library will be one library project with many benefits for North East and for the Elkton community libraries.

North East Library Project Brief

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why does North East need a new library? The existing library was built in 1991 and is 2800 square feet. It was too small to serve the population on the day it opened its doors. It was obsolete when it opened readily apparent even before opening day. As a result, North East citizens have struggled with one of the smallest libraries in the state, although they are one of the two largest communities in Cecil County. We want to get it right this time by following state standards!
  • Where will the new North East Branch Library be located?  The location of the new North East Branch Library is in the North East Station shopping center (anchored by Food Lion and Lowes, not in North East Plaza where Walmart is located). See site plan below.  
  • What will the size of the library be?  The new North East Branch Library is planned to have 30,000 SF of public library space with an additional approximately 15,000 SF to house CCPL’s headquarters operations currently located in the Elkton library. North East is the County’s most rapidly growing region. The library size is consistent with state standards for a community this size. 
  • How did you determine the size?  The Maryland State standard for libraries provides for a good, better, best approach.  The essential or good approach is one square foot per capita served. The North East serving area has a population of 26,000 citizens, second only to the Elkton area.  It is also our fastest growing community and is projected to grow to 35,000 by 2030.   To serve this population, we are planning for a 30,000 sq. ft. library.  We have included an additional 15,000 sq. ft. of headquarters operation space that will support all our branches.  This space will also be future expansion space for the North East Library.  The two story building will be 45,000 sq. ft.
  • Why do we need a headquarters operations function in North East?  The library system’s headquarters operations have been squeezed into the Elkton Library since 1985. The Elkton Library itself is 25,000 sq. ft. and undersized for the population it serves. We can extend the service life of the Elkton library moving the behind the scenes operations functions to the new North East Library, which will be built to house these functions. Without this space, our library system cannot support the new North East Branch, which will increase library usage by 50%.  This is a win/win for both the Elkton and North East since more space will be public space in the Elkton Library.  
  • How will this project benefit the Elkton community?  The Headquarters move will significantly increase the utility and space within the heavily used Elkton Branch Library, making more space for high-demand educational library in Elkton, preparing Elkton for increased usage as the result of expanded parking to be implemented in 2017/8, and extending the life of the Elkton Branch Library.
  • How much will it cost to build?  The land has already been purchased. The new library will require engineering and design as a first step. Based upon the latest data available for public libraries in our area, we estimate the cost to be $330 per square foot. In addition, the last step will include furnishings, computers, equipment, and library materials.  Our estimate, which has been reviewed and approved by architects and the state, is that the total cost would be approximately $18.6 million. This is comparable to recent public library construction projects in Havre de Grace and Lewes, DE. See construction cost comparisons below. 


  • How will it be paid for?  County and state funding are the primary sources for public library construction in Maryland.  The library will seek grants from the State of Maryland. The funding formula makes Cecil County eligible for a 64% state match. The grants are very competitive, however, and the library must demonstrates a need, follow state standards for size, propose a technically approved budget and schedule, and show county commitment for completion.  If the county is successful in competing for state grants, we estimate that the state will contribute about 3.5 million dollars toward our North East Branch Library’s completion.  We will ask for even more.
  • When will the new library open?  The land has been purchased and design and construction of the new library have been proposed to begin in 2018.  Construction has been proposed to start in 2019 with a tentative opening in late 2020. 
  • How can the community help with this project?  Success of this project is dependent on our community. Please get involved and continue to voice your support.


How to get updates

Get emailed  with updates about the new North East Branch Library

* indicates required


What the new library will offer

  • The new North East Branch Library will be visible, convenient, accessible and centrally located.  It will be a full-service, 21st-century library for all citizens to access educational materials, services, technology and high-speed broadband. The library will include an early childhood learning focus built into the first floor children’s library.  The building will be sized to serve the 26,000 citizens of the North East region, with a little room for growth.  There will be enclosed study and work rooms for teens and adults, study tables and reading areas for all ages, a much larger selection of books and other materials for all ages, and a large meeting room (like Elkton’s) where we will offer extensive classes and great programs for children, teens, and adults.  The large meeting room will also allow to greatly expand the Summer Reading and Learning program to include far more presenters and performers.   Citizens will be able to reserve the meeting room for community meetings.
  • As we enter the design phase of this project, we will have meetings for public comment, needs and ideas.


How to get involved

How do I get involved, support, and stay informed about the new North East Branch Library?


So much more than books