HCLS designated a Five Star Library

Map of the US with state shaded in various tones of red, with five large red and blue stars on top.

Howard County Library System (HCLS) has again been designated a 2020 Five Star Library by Library Journal for delivering excellence in public education for all ages. HCLS consistently earns the highest five-star ranking attained by fewer than one percent of public libraries in the U.S. and remains the only library system in Maryland to do so.

HCLS President and CEO Tonya Aikens said, “Everyone in Howard County can be proud of this honor. Our talented team is passionate about providing extraordinary customer service, engaging classes and activities, and a high-quality collection for our community of voracious readers and lifelong learners. And even during this pandemic, we continue to explore new ways to develop innovative ideas and bring more services to benefit our customers.”

The LJ Index rates U.S. public libraries based on selected per capita output measures: overall borrowing, borrowing of electronic materials (eContent), library visits, class and event attendance, and public internet computer use, wifi sessions, and (new this year) electronic information. The last item measures usage of online content, such as online research tools (databases).

HCLS per capita numbers (based on a population of 331,414) are as follows: overall borrowing (19.88), visits (6.08), eContent borrowing (3.16), class and event attendance (1.21), and public Internet computer users (1.92), and wifi sessions (.83).

The 2020 scores and ratings are based on FY 18 data from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Public Library Survey.

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