A major destination not only for downtown Columbia but also for all of Howard County, the Central Branch of Howard County Library System (HCLS) is an education center featuring research, instruction, and a myriad of community and cultural events. Housing over 200,000 items in its various collections and a full slate of educational opportunities, the Central Branch welcomes over 20,000 children alone attending classes on an annual basis. Conveniently located on major thoroughfares with access to local transit, the HCLS Central Branch takes pride in offering high-quality public education for all on a daily basis. The Central Branch recorded 836,937 visits in FY 2013.
The Central Branch features 92 computers available to the public. All computers have word processing capabilities. In addition, there are two games computers in the children’s department.
Building project update
The schematic design for the Central Branch is completed and the schedule finalized.
The Central Branch renovation will be completed in three phases. Two of the three phases of work will be limited to former administrative areas, allowing the branch to stay open to the public. The final phase will require the branch to close for three months (see below), as renovations will impact public areas. Highlights of the completed renovations include:
- a greatly expanded Children’s classroom
- a dedicated Project Literacy space that more than triples its former size
- a STEM classroom
- updated finishes and much needed new carpet throughout the branch
Anticipated closing : April 1 – June 30, 2016
(some work will be accomplished while the branch is open – e.g., lower level, Project Literacy area)