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Library officials record gains in cards, summer readers

Reading is running amok in the county, according to the Baltimore County Public Library.

During fiscal year 2011, BCPL issued 67,331 new library cards, adding to the previous 410,174 for a grand total of 478,505 library cards.

There were 6,801 new registrations at Towson, 5,496 at Cockeysville and 1,209 at Loch Raven, according to BCPL spokesman Robert Hughes.

In addition, the system's popular Summer Reading Club drew a record number of participants this year, he said. System-wide, 45,971 people signed up, compared to the previous record of 35,479 set in 2010.

The Towson branch accounted for 2,737, compared to 2,414 last year; Cockeysville had 4,750 compared to 4,163 last year, and Loch Raven had 198 instead of 168 last year.

Hughes said most of the librarians he has talked to attribute the rise in reading club participation to the school media specialists who promote the club each year.

"They really jumped into it wholeheartedly this year," he said. "It was an incredible effort on their part.

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