Howard County Library continues to rank first in the nation among great public library systems according to Hennen’s 2008 American Public Library Ratings (HAPLR) for its overall educational program. "This prestigious ranking is one in which we take great pride," notes Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. "Howard County Library is a key component of our outstanding educational system and a vital contributor to our high quality of life. Given the Library’s innovative services, initiatives, and cutting edge technology, it’s no wonder that Howard County Library is one of the busiest library systems in the country."
Howard County Library Board of Trustees Chairman Patrick J. Clancy remarks, “Being first requires a disciplined commitment to excellence, and an extraordinary amount of hard work. We are at the top because of a creative and enthusiastic staff, dedicated volunteers, generous Friends and donors, and actively supportive elected officials. And we serve Howard Countians, smart and curious people of all ages who demand that we set our standards high, and then surpass them.”
The entire Howard County delegation of the Maryland General Assembly issued an official citation in recognition of this ranking. Read the citation.
Customers visited the Library 2.6 million times last year, a 26 percent increase from the previous year, and borrowed more than 5.6 million items last year – a 15 percent increase over 2007. In the month of June alone, class and event participation increased 67 percent over June 2007, due in large part to the Library’s popular Summer Reading Clubs for children, teens, and adults.
The HAPLR survey rates public libraries across the country using 15 different measures, including visits, borrowing, staffing, collection, instruction, and funding levels. Information about HAPLR’s methods is available at www.haplr-index.com. The rankings will appear in the November issue of American Libraries, the magazine of the American Library Association.