|Location||Howard County, Maryland|
|Director||Valerie J. Gross |
Howard County Library System (HCLS), established in 1940, is a public library system located in central Maryland. HCLS delivers equal opportunity in education to students of all ages in Howard County, Maryland.
- HCLS Administrative Branch, 9411 Frederick Road Ellicott City, Maryland 21042
- HCLS Central Branch, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy Columbia, MD 21044 
- HCLS East Columbia Branch, 6600 Cradlerock Way Columbia, MD 21045 
- HCLS Elkridge Branch, 6540 Washington Blvd Elkridge, MD 21075 
- HCLS Glenwood Branch, 2350 State Route 97 Cooksville, MD 21723 
- HCLS Miller Branch & Historical Center, 9421 Frederick Rd Ellicott City, MD 21042 
- HCLS Savage Branch & STEM Education Center, 9525 Durness Lane Laurel, MD 20723 
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Fundraising for the first county library was started in 1938 by the Women's Civic Club "Friends of the Library". On October 11, 1940 the first library opened in a portable building in Ellicott City in a ceremony with a speech by Baltimore Judge Joseph N. Ulman.  It moved shortly after to a rented building above a meat store on Main street. At this time James A. Clark, Sr. petitioned the county commissioners to add two cents to the tax rate to fund the library.  In 1952 a flood washed out the library. In 1960 the library moved to Frederick Road and St. Johns Lane. George Morrision funded a new library in 1962 in the corner of the historic family owned Gray Rock slave plantation was donated by Charles E. Miller who was attempting to create a housing subdivision. In 1965, a bookmobile serviced stops at Savage, Glenwood, and Glenelg. In  The Savage Branch opens in the historic Carroll Baldwin Hall in 1966.  In 1968, the Rouse Company signed an agreement to have the Howard County Library System lease one of its buildings for five years at an expense of $5,511 a year with the Columbia Association property assessments paying for furnishings.  On January 4, 1981 the $4 million Central Branch opened in Columbia, becoming a facility with the 2nd highest number of items loaned in the county at the time with a computer system named "Gandalf".  In 1984, the Miller Branch gets a $3million dollar expansion from 7000sqft to 22,000sqft. and the Central Branch deploys two microcomputers available to residents who take a two-hour training lesson.  In 1989, $1million is budgeted to buy land for the $6.3 million 33,600sqft East Columbia Branch to be opened in 1991.  In 2011, a new 63,000sqft HCLS Miller Branch & Historical Center replaces the adjacent 22,000sqft facility next to it. In 2013, Howard County Library System was named 2013 Library of the Year by Gale and Library Journal.  In July 2014, the HCLS Savage Branch & STEM Education Center completes a $6.1 million renovation. 
- 1965 - 13,688, 1 Bookmobile
- 1983 - 1,508,000, 88 Employees, 3 Bookmobiles
- 1995 - 2,600,000, 13.1 book per resident ratio, 6 branches 
- 2012 - 7,100,000, 300 Employees, $18,978,950 operating budget.
Any person who lives, works, or pays property taxes in Maryland is entitled to obtain a library card at no charge from any county or Baltimore City. They may either obtain a separate card from each jurisdiction or authorize a library card from a different public library system in Maryland to be used there. Also, Maryland counties adjoining the state line will authorize persons living in cities and counties in the state that borders that Maryland county, to obtain a library card at no charge usable in that county only, as long as that jurisdiction in the other state provides reciprocal free library privileges for the residents of that county in Maryland. For example, Prince George's and Montgomery counties will allow reciprocal library privileges with residents of the District of Columbia and nearby counties and cities in Virginia, however, Baltimore would not offer this privilege. Where a non-resident does not qualify for a free card, they may obtain one from any county by paying a yearly fee of $50 to each county they want one from.
- "Locations & Hours". Retrieved 26 January 2018.
- "Welcome!". Retrieved 26 January 2018.
- "Flashbacks". The Baltimore Sun. 17 October 1990.
- James A Clark Jr. Jim Clark Soldier Farmer Legislator. p. 2.
- "County Library - Project of the Community". The Times. 31 March 1965.
- Howard County Historical Society. Images of America Howard County. p. 102.
- "Columbia Greets Its New Library". The Baltimore Sun. 2 May 1968.
- R.H.Melton (13 July 1983). "Book-Lovers Flock To Howard County's Up-to-Date Library". The Washington Post.
- "Free Use of Computers At Howard County Library System". The Washington Post. 23 February 1984.
- Lisa Leff (4 February 1988). "Howard County Capital Wish List Includes $596 Million in Projects". The Washington Post.
- John N. Berry III (5 June 2013). "Library of the Year: Howard County Library System, MD". Gale Library Journal.
- "HCLS Savage Branch & STEM Education Center Reopens with $6.1 Million Facelift The renovation project took a year and a half". Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- Gracia Sevilla (19 December 1994). "Library's Popularity Speaks Volumes About Howard County". The Washington Post.