Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2012: Instructive and Enlightening Experiences
HCLS Spelling Bee. HCLS Spelling Bee champion, Jack Nolan, outspelled 64 other students from public and private schools, as well as homeschool associations. The Mayfield Woods eighth grader’s correct spelling of “kudize” won him a $1,000 college scholarship and an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Bee, where he advanced to the semifinals. West Friendship fifth grader Hanna Al-Kowsi won second place and a $750 scholarship. Photos from the event.
Battle of the Books. Held simultaneously at three venues due to unprecedented growth, Battle of the Books inspired 700 fifth grade students (134 teams) to read and be tested on16 pre-selected books. Congratulations to all, and to those who won Best Score, Best Team Name, Best Costume, Best Team Spirit, and Best Civility. Photos from the event.
Evening in the Stacks: Masquerade. Held at the new Miller Branch, HCLS' annual gala attracted 700 guests, raising $92,000 for signature educational initiatives. Mickey Gomez took first place as favorite celebrity bartender, edging out Vic Broccolino, Dennis Lane, Candace Dodson Reed, Mary Kay Sigaty, and Dick Story. Bestselling author Lisa See discussed Snow Flower and the Secret Fan with Washington Post fiction critic Ron Charles. Special thanks to honorary committee members Dave Bittner, Rachelina Bonacci, Sharon Hadsell, Beverley Francis-Gibson, Mickey Gomez, Kevin Kelehan, Eric Lewis, Barb Nicklas, Candace Dodson Reed, and Kristi Simon. Photos from the event.
Notable Author Events. HCLS offered an impressive lineup of bestselling authors, including Lisa See, Alice Hoffman, and Jodi Picoult (more than 600 fans began lining up at 3 pm for Picoult’s 7 pm presentation). Photos from the event.
“How in the world did you get Jodi?”
In partnership with the Columbia Festival of the Arts, HCLS hosted Bookapalooza at its Central Branch (a festival featuring crafts, storytelling and author presentations, including Katherine Paterson) and Tayari Jones, award-winning author of Silver Sparrow, at the Miller Branch.
Choose Civility. An audience of 500 people attended the Choose Civility Symposium, “Building a Responsible, Bully-Free Community.” In partnership with HCPSS and HCC, the day comprised three parts: a Youth Empowerment Summit for middle school students, a professional development workshop for HCC students and faculty, and a public forum moderated by NPR's Korva Coleman. Choose Civility has inspired communities from Florida to Maine, and New Hampshire to California to begin forming Choose Civility Chapters.
ARTsites. County Executive Ulman joined community leaders and artists at “Meet Me at the Pink Rabbit,” an event at the Elkridge Branch that launched the Howard County Arts Council’s ArtSites 2012. The Pink Rabbit, by David Friedheim and Trisha Kyner, is one of four sculptures gracing HCLS branches. Homage to Pi by Glenn Zweygardt, Prism Arc by Carl Billingsley, and Eat the Rain by Andrew Yff, reside at the Central, East Columbia, and Glenwood branches, respectively. Photos from the event.
Asia Culture Cafe. Partnering with the Columbia Association and Howard County Public School System, HCLS hosted Asia Culture Café at the Miller Branch. Attracting 2,000 people, the Cafe featured exhibitors, demonstrations, food, performers, and bilingual children's classes representing a variety of Asian countries. Photos from the event.
Enchanted Garden: Grand Opening Celebration. Opened in May, the Enchanted Garden features Ginger Breadman, a replica from the Enchanted Forest donated by Martha Clark of Clark's Elioak Farm, and frog sculptures donated by Friends of Howard County Library Frederick Toad sits near the pond in the garden, and Miss Ann Phibian and Lily greet visitors near the branch entrance. Photos from the event.