Howard County Library System (HCLS) is proud to be a nationally recognized leader among the great public libraries that delivers high-quality public education for all ages.
HCLS Architects Win Wintergreen Award for the Charles E. Miller Branch & Historical Center
Kudos to Grimm + Parker Architects, the architects of HCLS' Charles E. Miller Branch & Historical Center, for receiving the 2012 Wintergreen Award for Community Impact, sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council, Maryland Chapter.
The new Miller Branch was a collaborative visioning effort between the A/E team, Howard County Library System, and the Howard County Historical Society. The two-story building, located in historic Ellicott City, offers an inviting and state of the art educational center for the community. The high performance building is equipped with innovative, sustainability features while providing a friendly, inviting and comfortable place for staff and visitors. The building was designed to achieve LEED Silver certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and in 2012 received Gold certification with 42 points.
HCLS Charles E. Miller Branch & Historical Center Awarded LEED Gold Certification
HCLS' Charles E. Miller Branch & Historical Center was awarded LEED® Gold as established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED is the nation's preeminent program for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.
The Miller Branch, designed by Grimm + Parker Architects, achieved LEED Gold certification for energy use, lighting, water, and material use, as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. By using less energy and water, the LEED certified Miller Branch saves money for Howard County residents, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and contributes to a healthier environment for the community.
LEED Gold certification of the Miller Branch was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. These features include:
Howard County Library System Awarded $100K STEM Grant to Launch HiTech
HCLS received $100,000 in federal grant funding to launch HiTech, a STEM digital media initiative for middle and high school students to elevate science, technology, engineering, and math.
One of only 12 successful applicants, HCLS competed with 100 other educational institutions from 32 states. The competition was announced in answer to President Obama’s "Educate to Innovate" campaign, a nationwide effort to bring American students to the forefront in science and math. The grants were awarded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, along with the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Extending his congratulations, County Executive Ken Ulman stated, “This grant reflects Howard County’s commitment to quality education and innovation. In today’s high-tech, global economy, it is more critical than ever that students receive the finest in STEM education. This award will enhance Howard County Library’s STEM curriculum for the benefit of our students, teaching tomorrow’s workforce the 21st Century knowledge and skills needed today.”
“We are especially pleased that HiTech will be headquartered in the newly expanded areas of our Savage Branch,” noted HCLS President & CEO Valerie Gross. “We thank County Executive Ken Ulman, and also the County Council, for approving our use of the available space, and for providing the capital funding needed for renovations.”
Developed by HCLS, the project combines state-of-the-art multimedia tools, software, technical consultants, mentors, and networking—all delivered to teens in an inviting, youth-oriented atmosphere. Opening in the spring of 2012, HiTech will enable creative thinking and engaged self-directed education in the areas of technology, engineering, and math. Teens will work individually and collaboratively on STEM-based projects.
“These children are our future innovators, problem solvers, and leaders,” said U.S. Representative John Sarbanes (MD-03). “This grant will provide hands-on learning opportunities that help put young Marylanders on a successful career path and keep our nation competitive."
HiTech partners include The Institute for Learning Innovation and Mindgrub Technologies, LLC, with support from Howard County Public School System, Howard Community College, Voices for Change, University of Maryland’s Clark School of Engineering, Columbia Association, and Friends of Howard County Library. More details.
HCLS Honored as Five Star Library
For the second year in a row, Howard County Library System was designated a national “Star” library system by Library Journal ("America's Star Libraries, 2012: Top-Rated Libraries", Library Journal, November 2012) for delivering excellence in public education for all. Only one percent of the 7,513 U.S. public libraries attain such status.
The Star awards classify libraries according to the amount of financial support they receive. HCLS earned the highest possible five-star rating in its category. "This honor reflects the quality curriculum our innovative team delivers for students of all ages in the areas of Self-Directed Education, Research Assistance & Instruction, and Instructive & Enlightening Experiences,” said Valerie J. Gross, HCLS President & CEO. "We express our profound gratitude to Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, the Howard County Council, and our Maryland State Legislators for the operating and capital funding that enables all that we do.”
HCLS concluded Fiscal Year 2012 with record-setting statistics. In addition to borrowing 7.1 million items (the highest per capita in the state), customers visited HCLS’ six branches nearly three million times. Attendance at HCLS classes and events rose 11 percent, reaching a quarter of a million participants. Research assistance totaled nearly two million, for a 15 percent increase over the previous year.
Another National Top 10 Ranking For Howard County Library System
In a survey of more than 9,200 public libraries across the country, Howard County Library System ranked in the top ten for borrowing per capita (24.03 items), according to the July/August 2011 issue of American Libraries.
HCLS concluded FY 11 with record-setting statistics. In addition to seven million items borrowed, customers of all ages visited the Library’s six branches 2.9 million times, reflecting a 7.1 percent increase over the previous year. Attendance at HCLS classes and events rose 19.3 percent, reaching nearly a quarter of a million participants. Research assistance totaled 1.6 million, for a 15 percent increase over the previous year.
"For this top national ranking, we credit our remarkable HCLS team, and the value Howard County residents place in high-quality public education for all ages,” said Valerie J. Gross, HCLS President & CEO. "Special thanks to Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, the Howard County Council, and our Maryland State Legislators for the operating and capital funding that enables our award-winning curriculum.”