Howard County Library

  • Pass the Book Honored as 2011 Best Literacy Program for Teens

    pass the book 2011 logoHave your students passed the book?

    If so…they are among the 469 world-wide teen readers who have made Pass the Book this year’s YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) MAE Best Literacy Program for Teens, an award honoring an outstanding reading or literature program that brings young adults and books together to encourage the development of life-long reading habits.

    If not…contact your Library liaison to get your students involved in this award-winning project!  Teens can visit any HCL branch to pick up a copy of this year’s Pass the Book, Pay the Piper by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple.  (Or, we can bring copies right to your classroom!)  Once the book is in-hand, teens register the book’s unique number at; read the book; and pass the book on to another teen who will repeat the process.

    Thanks to all of our teen readers who registered, read, and passed…as well as to all of our teachers who introduced the project to their students.  We couldn’t have done it without you!

    Katie George – Administration Office

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  • Battle of the Bands – Pass the Book

    pas the book 2011 logoDo you have students who really love music?

    This event is perfect for them to listen as local bands compete for the title of

    The band with the most fans in attendance receives two hours of studio time with Omni1productions! Best of all, your students will be able to pick up a copy of the new
    Pass the Book, Pay the Piper.

    Battle of the Bands will be held at the Gary J. Arthur Community Center on
    Friday, October 22 from 7-9 pm
    for students ages 14-17.

    Co-Sponsored by the Gary J. Arthur Community Center and The Western Horizon Council.

    Amy Stephens – Glenwood Branch

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  • Pass the Book 2011 – Pay the Piper by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple

    pas the book 2011 logoWelcome to second year of Howard County Library’s Pass the Book initiative. Beginning October 18, students can pick up specially marked copies of Pay the Piper by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple, our 2011 Pass the Book selection. When they encounter one of these books, students should:

    1. Register the book’s number at
    2. Read the book
    3. Pass the book to another friend who will register the book again.

    Pay the Piper tells the story of Callie McCallan, contributor to the school newspaper in Northampton, Massachusetts. When the band Brass Rat schedules a local Halloween concert, Callie is over the moon. She’s even more excited to attend the concert with a backstage pass so she can interview the band. The musicians are beautiful, cool, and hypnotically engaging. Something isn’t right, though. They use words that seem too old, and they tell stories that come from an earlier time. What will Callie do when the time comes for her community to Pay the Piper?

    Students can return to the web site throughout the year to track where these books have traveled, and to participate in online book discussions, quizzes, and other activities. This year we have passed copies of The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld to China, England, Ireland, Kamchatka, and Norway, among other places, and we’re excited to see where Pay the Piper will travel in 2011.

    Pass the book 2009 logo

    Pass the Book launches in Teen Read Week in October 2010 with a series of events:

    Specially-marked copies of Pay the Piper will be available at all of these events, and we look forward to seeing middle and high school students throughout Teen Read Week to launch Pass the Book 2011!


    John Jewitt -  Savage Branch

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  • Flame-bringer Science: Tuesday, January 5 at 7:00 pm

    image of glow stickLight up the blue time at Howard County Library Elkridge Branch on Tuesday, January 5 at 7:00 pm.

    Glow under black light, create sparks in the dark with wintergreen lifesavers, and experiment with glow sticks.  Check out the science behind what’s glowing in the dark.  Then, pick up your specially marked copy of Scott Westerfeld’s The Sercet Hour to read, register, and pass for Howard County Library’s Pass the Book.

    Don’t get caught in the dark.  Register for Flame-bringer Science.

    Katie George -  Howard County Library Administration

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  • Pass the Book Update

    cover art image of The Secret Hour by scott westerfeld

    Beginning October 19, 2009, we released copies of Midnighters 1: The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld into the community, where the books are being read, registered, and passed on to other readers. Our partner media specialists have a vital link for us in getting these books into the hands of Howard County students. You can check out all the details of Pass the Book by keeping up with our weekly By the Numbers reports. Here are some highlights:

    • More than 100 different copies of the book have been registered since October 19.
    • Pass the Book copies of the Secret Hour are now in eight states.
    • Many copies of the book are now in the hands of a second, third, or fourth reader.
    • Books have been passed to Torrance and Laguna Beach in California.
    • Scott Westerfeld blogged about Pass the Book on his website.
    • We have exchanged books with our colleagues at Indiana Marion County Public Library, where they are passing books by John Green.

    If you’d like to take part in Pass the Book, ask your media specialist whether they have copies of the book for distribution in the media center, or contact your library liaison to inquire about remaining copies, which are moving fast and far.

    John Jewitt – Savage Branch

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  • Pass the Book

    cover art image of The Secret Hour by scott westerfeld

    Howard County Library announces a new initiative, Pass the Book. Beginning during Teen Read Week 2009, Howard County Library will distribute specially marked copies of  The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld throughout the community. Teens who receive a specially labeled copy of The Secret Hour are encouraged to read the book, track the book (by registering their copy at and then pass the book to another teen reader.

    Teen readers will be able to return to the web site to see where their books have traveled, and will have the opportunity to participate in online discussions and challenges based around events in the book. A display in each branch will feature read-a-like titles and the other books in the Midnighters series. A number of launch events are planned for Teen Read Week, including Midnighter Lore at Central Library, Slither Repellant at Elkridge Branch, and Triskaidekamania at Savage Branch.

    Copies of the book will be available on Monday, October 19. As you encounter the specially numbered copies of this title, please encourage students to read the book, log their copies of the title on the Library’s web site and pass their copy of The Secret Hour on to a friend. Contact your nearest branch for more details.

    John Jewitt – Howard County Library, Savage Branch

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