Howard County Library System
Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2012: Letter from Chair and CEO

At Howard County Library System (HCLS), we express our gratitude for another remarkable year. We hope you enjoy reading the enclosed Annual Report and take pride that HCLS continues as a premier library system in the region, state, and nation.

Just what is it that sets HCLS apart?

  • Our distinctive sense of purpose: high-quality public education for all.

  • An extraordinary team of innovative educators and support staff that delivers an award-winning curriculum (Self-Directed Education, Research Assistance & Instruction, and Instructive & Enlightening Experiences) with exceptional customer service.

  • Unmatched support from Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, the Howard County Council and State Delegation, HCLS Board of Trustees, Friends of Howard County Library, philanthropic partners, devoted volunteers, and, most importantly, you, our dynamic community.

Highlights include the new Charles E. Miller Branch & Historical Center. We also set a Battle of the Books record (700 students!); launched the Enchanted Garden to elevate science, health, and environmental education; and debuted HiTech, a STEM digital media lab for teens incorporating science, technology, engineering, and math.

Our statistics continue to astound. In the first decade of the 21st century, items borrowed from our collections doubled, as did research assistance. Visits, as well as attendance at our classes and events, tripled.

Where are we now? Students of all ages visited our six branches 3 million times last year. They borrowed 7.1 million items—the highest per capita in the state—and benefited from 2 million research assistance interactions with HCLS instructors. A quarter of a million people attended our classes and events.

More important than ever in this knowledge-based economy, education is a never-ending process. Seeking continuously to improve, we’re always interested in feedback, so let us know what you think.

We are honored to advance education for all, reinforcing Howard County’s brand as a world-class community. Thank you for your continued trust in us.

Stacie A. Hunt                                                     Valerie J. Gross
Chair (2012)                                                       President & CEO
HCLS Board of Trustees
Annual Report FY12