HCLS’ largest branch, the Charles E. Miller Branch & Historical Center, opened December 17, 2011.
The branch features a collection of a quarter million items, 100 web accessible computers equipped with word processing software, and nine study rooms. Classroom space includes a 3,000 sq. ft. meeting room that can be partitioned, an 800 sq. ft. children’s classroom, and a 700 sq. ft. Tech Lab. The Terrace Overlook allows customers to read and work outdoors while enjoying the green vegetative roof and views beyond.
The Historical Center vision includes a partnership between HCLS and the Howard County Historical Society, as well as other organizations, to leverage funding and expertise for enhanced research opportunities, classes, seminars, and events.
The innovative Enchanted Garden focuses on health, nutrition, and environmental education. This outdoor teaching garden is intended to grow healthy habits through wondrous experiences including wildlife statues, water features, and themed plant beds such as the Peter Rabbit patch, providing children and their families with the opportunity to learn about garden cultivation and nutrition. Additionally, the Miller Branch hosts the Howard County Farmers’ Market on Wednesday afternoons, May through November.
Designated LEED Gold by the United States Green Building Council, the energy efficient new Miller Branch includes 72 solar panels, an abundance of controlled natural daylight, approximately 9,000 sq. ft. of vegetative roof, and many other sustainable, energy efficient features.
Building tours of the new Miller Branch, which highlight many of the building’s sustainable features, are available by appointment by calling the branch.