www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/ellicott-city/ph-howard-library-star-20131114,0,3140974.story

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Howard County Library System named one of America's 'star' libraries

By Sara Toth, stoth@tribune.com

11:49 AM EST, November 14, 2013

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The Howard County Library System was named a national “star” library system by the magazine Library Journal for the third consecutive year, officials announced last week.

The library system earned a five-star ranking for excellence in public education — the only library system in the state to do so. Less than one percent of public libraries in the country received the honor.

“This honor reflects the quality curriculum our innovative team delivers for students of all ages in the areas of self-direction education, research assistance and instruction and instructive and enlightening experiences,” library system President and CEO Valerie Gross said in a release announcing the award.

According to the news release, the library system concluded fiscal year 2013 with record-setting numbers. Customers visited the system’s six branches 3.2 million times — up 14 percent over last year — and borrowed 7.4 million items. More than 250,000 attended library classes and events, and there almost two million research assistance interactions, up eight percent from last year.