The Parkville-Carney Branch of the Baltimore County Public Library has been extra busy since Friday's storm knocked out power to neighborhoods in the area.
Branch manager Elizabeth Nasby told Patch that people have been coming in to beat the heat and charge their devices.
"Our parking lot is packed, there's been a line to use the public computers. Nearly every place we have an outlet is in use," Nasby said. "This is busy for Parkville."
Holly Smith, of Phoenix, was among those who sought refuge among the stacks of books—she lost power during Friday's storm and isn't sure when she'll get it back.
"We're staying with friends in the Phoenix area, I came down here to visit my mom at Oak Crest and help her run some errands—now I'm taking refuge here until I have to pick my son up," Smith said.
"I've checked the BGE website, it appears my area was pretty spotty—they're taking care of other, more highly impacted areas first as it should be," she said. "If I don't have power tomorrow I'll probably be at the Cockeysville Branch."
Nearby, Hamilton resident Tami Bentz was working on her laptop—Bentz, who works in IT and telecommutes, said the storm had made it difficult for her to work.
"Today's my first day out looking for refuge, I don't really need to be connected to the internet except for work—I've been finding creative ways to keep busy," Bentz said. "First I went to Red Canoe—the bookstore in Lauraville—but they lost power so I headed to a McDonald's. My WiFi locator told me they had free WiFi but they don't," Bentz said.
"This is the first time [I've lost power], you don't really know what you're going to do until you have to figure it out," she said.
Smith and Bentz's stories are pretty typical, according to Nasby.
"We've had people call and ask if they can come in for an hour to read and charge their phones," she said. "Of course you can ... that's what we're here for."
Nasby, who lives in Lauraville, said she thinks the Parkville area is definitely feeling the effects of the storm.
"A lot of traffic lights were affected coming up Harford Road—this morning, I think maybe two were on. Communities near us are feeling it. We're just glad to be of service, and we're glad people saw us as a resource."