DAMASCUS AREA

The new Damascus Community Library officially opened on Tuesday, bringing new, expanded services to the growing upcounty area.

The $6 million complex, which also includes a senior center and a day-care facility, is located at 9701 Main St.

Since 1973, a smaller Damascus library has operated out of storefront in the Damascus Professional Centre. That library closed in July.

The new 15,000-square-foot library features a public meeting room, study room, a room for children's programs and expanded adult and children's collections. The library will be the third in the county to introduce a new computer service that allows patrons to check holdings at other county libraries. CITY OF GAITHERSBURG

The city held a preview Aug. 30 of a new anti-drug video featuring county residents talking about their recovery from substance abuse. The city, which paid $7,000 to produce the half-hour film, hopes schools and organizations will use the video for educational programs. The video was produced by Montgomery Community Television.

In other news, the controversy continues over the name of the new Rachel Carson Elementary School that opened Tuesday in Gaithersburg.

City officials are still frustrated because they had hoped the school would be named Kentlands Elementary School, for the late Otis Beall Kent, a tax lawyer, music lover and ardent conservationist. In the 1940's Kent turned his 1,000-acre Gaithersburg estate into a nature preserve.

But their suggestion that the school be named for Kent ran afoul of a new policy by the Montgomery County Board of Education to name new schools for a famous woman or member of a minority group. The board's policy was started as a kind of affirmative action because fewer than a half-dozen schools are named for women or minorities. The school board followed its new policy by naming the new school after Carson, the environmentalist who exposed the hazards of the pesticide DDT and who lived in Montgomery.

Gaithersburg Mayor W. Edward Bohrer Jr., who has been refusing to give the school system the deed to the property, suggested at a school board meeting Aug. 27 that the school be named Rachel Carson Elementary School at The Kentlands, after the development in which the school is located. The board did not act on that proposal.

In an interview last week, Bohrer called the school board members "pompous" in refusing to accept the community's wishes to name the school after Kent.