The Howard County Library System has been ranked in the top 10 nationwide for borrowing per capita, according to the July/August 2011 issue of "American Libraries."

The publication surveyed more than 9,200 public libraries across the country and found that Howard County patrons borrowed 24.03 items each from the libraries annually – ninth in the country, per capita.

The library system also wrapped up the 2011 fiscal year with record-breaking numbers.

The six branches of the Howard County Library System were visited 2.9 million times, and patrons borrowed 7 million items. The attendance is a 7.1 percent increase from the previous year.


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Attendance at library classes and events also rose 19.3 percent, with nearly 250,000 people participating. Research assistance also rose by 15 percent this year.

In a statement, Valerie Gross, Howard County Public Library System President and CEO, thanked County Executive Ken Ulman, the County Council and Maryland state legislators for the funding the libraries receive to enable the system's curriculum, as well as the library card-holders themselves for the ranking.

"For this top national ranking, we credit our HCLS team, and the value Howard County residents place in high-quality public education for all ages," Gross said.