- Howard County Library created and began operating in a portable school building in Ellicott City.
- Lenna Baker Burgess appointed Supervisor for the Library at the Brian Building.
- Enactment of Maryland State Law made the Library eligible for State and County funds.
- A flash flood destroyed 5,175 books; within two months the Library reopened.
- The first bookmobile acquired to serve distant citizens.
- The Library moved to rented quarters on the corner of Route 144 & St. John's Lane.
- Dedicated first permanent Library building on Frederick Road.
- Marvin Thomas hired as Howard County Library's first director.
- Developed a card catalog and began reference services.
- Frederick Road Library began opening six days and four evenings per week and had air conditioning installed.
- Rented space to open small reading center in the Carroll Baldwin Memorial Hall in Savage.
- Began purchasing paperbacks, enlarged hardback collection, and developed pamphlet collection.
- Started offering photocopiers for public use.
- Opened Wilde Lake Branch Library.
- Regularly scheduled programs began in all library branches.
- Opened a community library at Church Road & Main Street in Ellicott City.
- Developed building projections for a Central Library in Columbia.
- Established a microfilm collection.
- Remodeled interior of Frederick Road Library for public use. Meeting room became the reading room for the fiction collection.
- Established phonograph record collection.
- Minimobile purchased to serve special populations, institutions, and small residential areas.
- Began services to the homebound.
- Began Sunday hours from September to May at the Frederick Road Library.
- Established audiocassette collection.
- Director formed CLUE (Central Library United Effort) citizen committee to facilitate the Central Library's building process.
- Opened Long Reach Branch Library in rented storefront in the Long Reach Village Center.
- Established TTY service in the Long Reach Branch Library.
- Selected building site for Central Library; Howard Research and Development donated 3.5 acres of land.
- Frederick Road balcony opened; housed fiction collection.
- Began automation and computerization of the Library system.
- Acquired new bookmobile to service neighborhood stops, day care centers, and institutions.
- Administrative and support staff moved to the Central Library.
- Central Library opened to the public. Features included automated circulation system, audiovisual area, and large meeting room available for public use.
- Lisbon Community Library opened on Frederick Road.
- Library director created citizen groups to review future library needs.
- Babywise service began to loan developmentally appropriate toys for infants and toddlers.
- Library offered personal computers for public use.
- Elkridge Community Library opened in a rented storefront along Route 1.
- Lisbon Community Library moved to the Lisbon Center.
- Established videocassette collection.
- Renovated the Charles E. Miller Branch Library (formerly Frederick Road Library). Closed the Church Road Community Library.
- Established compact disc collection.
- Introduced INFO-LAN, a stand-alone multi workstation CD-ROM network for public use.
- Online patron access catalogs available for the public.
- Online searching (DIALOG and LOGIN) available. Expanded information services.
- Health Information Services established.
- Mobile Resource Center for Project Literacy began providing one-on-one tutoring programs for adults.
- Easy Access projects began providing materials and services for the deaf, hearing impaired and developmentally disabled.
- Dial-in access to the Library catalog available.
- Savage Branch Library opened, replacing Savage Community Library that closed along with bookmobile services.
- INFO-LAN available after hours.
- Elkridge Branch Library opened, and Elkridge Community Library closed.
- East Columbia Branch Library opened. Administrative and support staff moved to separate offices at East Columbia location.
- Library connects to Internet.
- DataDepot, the Library's information computer station, opens in The Mall in Columbia.
- Library Director Marvin Thomas retired after 33 years with the Library. Norma Hill became the new director.
- Introduced new Library logo.
- Premier issue of Great Expectations, a quarterly publication of Library programs, news, and resources.
- Library of Congress designated Howard County Library as home of the Maryland Center for the Book.
- More than 8,900 children and teens participated in the Summer Reading Program.
- Celebrated tenth anniversary of Project Literacy.
- Pulitzer Prize winner Maxine Kumin read at East Columbia Branch.
- Grant from the Governor's Office of Crime Control Prevention provided funding for multimedia computers with homework products for teens.
- "Mother Goose Asks Why" literature/science program for children introduced, sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
- Library's web site went live: www.howa.lib.md.us.
- First fundraiser, Evening in the Stacks, hosted at the East Columbia Branch. The Washington Post was the title sponsor.
- Held groundbreaking ceremony for the Glenwood Branch Library.
- Assisted Howard County General Hospital in developing collection for the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource and Imaging Center.
- Learning Lab, a portable network with six notebook computers, introduced to enhance Library-sponsored web and PC training.
- Outreach program initiated to offer Library services to non-English speakers.
- Maryland Center for the Book launched Write From Maryland directory of authors.
- National Book Award winner Alice McDermott appeared at Supper at Six.
- Five-year Strategic Plan introduced.
- Howard County General Hospital bestowed major grant to fund children's events and curriculum.
- Howard County Library renewed for second term as the home of Maryland Center for the Book.
- Supper at Six featured acclaimed novelist Gail Godwin.
- Central Library closed for renovation.
- Lisbon Community Library closed.
- Opened Glenwood Branch Library to serve western Howard County region. Meeting room designated The Pindell Room to honor western Howard County residents Bill and Betty Pindell.
- Renewed for third term as the home of Maryland Center for the Book.
- DVDs added to the collection.
- Library Director Norma Hill retired after 21 years with the Library, last five as the director. Valerie J. Gross became the new director.
- Supper at Six welcomed nationally known author Sue Miller.
- Central Library reopened after 17-month, $5.37 million renovation.
- Burgess Meeting Room designated at Miller Branch in honor of Lenna Baker Burgess, one of Howard County's first librarians.
- Added American Sign Language video collection.
- Award-winning author Elizabeth Berg appeared at Supper at Six.
- Announced A+ Partners in Education initiative between Howard County Library and Howard County Public School System.
- Hosted Newberry Medal author Linda Sue Park at Outstanding Children's Author Series.
- Launched innovative partnership initiative, DEAR (Dogs Educating and Assisting Readers), for third grade students reading below grade level.
- Celebrated Elkridge Branch's tenth anniversary.
- Expanded Elkridge and Savage Branch hours to include Sundays.
- Selected to host Maryland Center for the Book for another three-year period, until the end of 2005.
- Launched Newcomers Book Discussion, a program developed for high school ESOL students.
- Friends of Howard County Library established an endowment fund with the Columbia Foundation.
- Library Board of Trustees adopted the Howard County Library Facilities and Assessment Master Plan: Facilities and Services 2005 to 2030.
- Named Non-Profit Business of the Year by the Howard County Chamber of Commerce.
- Named Educator of the Year by the Howard County Chamber of Commerce.
- Awarded an Accessibility Award by the Howard County Commission on Disabilities for the acquisition of an American Sign Language video collection.
- Received a Triple A Partnership Award for significant contributions to Accelerating the Academic Achievement of students in Howard County through A+ Partners in Education.
- Director Valerie Gross included in the Library Journal's Movers & Shakers 2004: The People who are Shaping the Future of Libraries.
- Won the national Lemony Snicket contest sponsored by Harper Collins. Hosted Lemony Snicket at standing-room-only event.
- Hosted Alma Powell at special event with 55 third graders.
- Launched a Cancer Information Collection at Central Library.
- Began offering free wireless Internet access at all branches, the first and only public library in Maryland to do so.
- Replaced the operating system of the entire fleet of public access PCs with a special version of Linux.
- Celebrated the first full year of Maryland AskUsNow!, a statewide virtual reference project.
- Initiated e-mail notifications to inform customers about return dates of materials borrowed.
- Hosted Farmers Markets at the East Columbia and Glenwood branches.
- Hosted author Susan Minot at Supper at Six.
- Ranked first in the nation among the great public library systems, according to Hennen's 2005 American Public Library Ratings (HAPLR).
- Launched new Howard County Library brand using "Hi" logo as visual identity. The new identity reflects the Library's progressive nature, emphasizes its customer service, and highlights its educational role.
- Celebrated East Columbia Branch's tenth anniversary.
- Hosted Elinor Lipman as Supper at Six author.
- Initiated field trips to the Library as part of the Howard County Public School System Kindergarten curriculum.
- Launched the Howard County Library Spelling Bee.
- Launched Teen Time, an East Columbia Branch after-school initiative.
- Partnered with Howard County Tourism and Howard County Government on the Blossoms of Hope project, an initiative to beautify Howard County with 1,000 Kawanzan cherry trees.
- Implemented the loaning of e-books to be downloaded to computer or PDA.
- Summer reading program video, "Blast Off to Reading" selected as a finalist for the Telly Award.
- Developed Strong Foundations, Enduring Success, Howard County Library's strategic plan for 2006 through 2010.
- Featured as WebJunction's "Library of the Month."
- Launched Teen 'Zine, an online publication written and produced by teens.
- Launched Cultural Connections to address the needs of Chinese and Korean residents.
- Expanded the Cancer Information Collection into a Health Education Center.
- Partnered with HC DrugFree to increase awareness of substance abuse prevention in Howard County.
- Established a partnership with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.
- Established a new Transitions Collection with resources specifically designed for new adult readers.
- Hosted Jack Gantos, the Outstanding Children's Author Series speaker.
- Launched the BumbleBee, a companion initiative to the Howard County Library spelling bee for first, second, and third grade students.
- Began offering year-round summer hours at Central and Miller branches.
- Director Valerie Gross selected to represent Maryland public libraries on the State's Gifted and Talented Advisory Council.
- Led 40 partners in countywide Choose Civility initiative to make Howard County a national model of respect, consideration, empathy, and tolerance.
- Launched "This is Your Life," a partnership among Howard County Library, Columbia Archives, Howard County Historical Society, and other community organizations to record oral interviews with local residents.
- Established official partnership with the Howard County Autism Society.
- Hosted Battle of the Books, a reading competition for fifth grade students.
- Developed and presented a series of financial literacy workshops for all ages.
- Hosted Bruce Coville, an award-winning children's author.
- Hosted award-winning graphic novelist, Gene Luen Yang.