SMRLA stands for Southern Maryland Regional Library Association, Inc. and is one of 3 regional library systems in Maryland along with the Western Maryland and Eastern Shore Regional Libraries.  The state of Maryland funds the regional libraries so they can provide efficient and coordinated “library services to libraries” through economies of scale.  SMRLA was created in 1959 to serve the library systems of Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s Counties.

Here are some of the essential functions of SMRLA:

  • Purchases and helps operate the tri-county software used to check out materials and sign users up for library cards and the online catalog system (COSMOS – Collection of Southern Maryland’s Online Services).
  • Purchases many of our free online resources such as tutoring, foreign language instruction and computer skills classes.
  • Operates the delivery system which transports materials between Southern Maryland’s public libraries.
  • Provides ongoing training to library staff (most library staff need 90 hours of continuing education every 5 years).
  • Provides inter-library loan service and processing for materials from outside of the tri-county libraries through the statewide Marina system linking all public libraries.
  • Processes and catalogs new materials for the tri-county libraries.
  • Provides marketing support to help promote library services.
  • Provides advocacy for libraries within the region and the state.  

Thank you, SMRLA, for helping the public libraries of Southern Maryland better serve their communities and their customers!