A Tradition of Excellence: Education for All
Recognizing the power of knowledge, a group of civic-minded women opened the first HCLS branch in Ellicott City on October 11, 1940. Little did they know that their vision and leadership would set into motion an overarching philosophy that would expand HCLS to six branches, and culminate in its being hailed “a 21st-century library model, with a position, purpose, and curriculum worthy of study and consideration by every library in America, if not the world.” (Library Journal, June 2013)
A Timeless Vision
What sets HCLS apart? From 1940 to the present, HCLS’ mission of delivering high-quality public education for all has charted its course. The Library System’s extraordinary team of innovative educators and support staff strives to exceed expectations. They design and deliver an unparalleled curriculum for students of all ages that comprises Three Pillars:
- Self-Directed Education — A collection of one million items, available in print and electronic formats; specialized online research tools, and a host of online classes open an ever-expanding portal of opportunity for individuals to discover and learn any time, any place.
- Research Assistance & Instruction — Instructor & Research Specialists stand ready to tailor research assistance to specific needs, in person, by telephone, and online. They also teach classes, seminars, and workshops for infants, toddlers, children, teens, and adults. Teen Time and Homework Clubs deliver after-school academic assistance aimed at closing achievement gaps; HiTech, HCLS’ STEM education initiative for teens teaches cutting-edge science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) via project-based classes; and Project Literacy, an adult basic education initiative.
- Instructive & Enlightening Experiences — HCLS leverages funding and expertise through community partnerships, which include A+ Partners in Education with Howard County Public School System and Howard Community College and the Enchanted Garden. Signature events include the HCLS Spelling Bee, BumbleBee, Battle of the Books, Rube Goldberg Challenge, notable author events, and Evening in the Stacks.