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Columbia Inspired

Ready, Set, the Library!

Aug 24, 2022 01:16AM ● By Adrienne Ross

Soak up the last of summer fun and prepare for school at Howard County libraries. It’s a great place to escape the heat and dive into a new adventure or explore a new passion. Each branch has its own unique spaces and offerings and encourages people of all ages to participate in its summer reading program. Kids can claim a prize at any branch by August 31.

The library offers many back-to-school programs, whether your child is just beginning school as a kindergartener, finishing high school as a rising senior, or anything in between. If you have a little one just starting, they can see what a real classroom looks like and practice boarding a real school bus. It’s a great way to ease a parent’s mind before the big day. Middle schoolers can practice using a combination lock, a little detail they can master, giving them some extra confidence on the first day. In addition, high schoolers are there to share their wisdom about their middle school experience and answer any questions. All students enrolled in Howard County schools have free access to an A+ student account, which provides resources to help them succeed in all subjects.

Did you know that you can borrow more than books from the library? The DIY collection at the Elkridge Branch offers gardening tools, home improvement tools, craft supplies, hiking and camping tools, and baking supplies to borrow for free! So, you can explore and dabble in a new passion without the cost.

No room to tinker or make a mess at home? The Glenwood Branch has a Makerspace, and you can learn how to use a 3D printer or a laser engraver. There’s even a space for the little ones to tinker in the Builders Barn, which has age-appropriate tools and materials. The Glenwood and Central Library Branches also offer art to borrow. If you have some blank walls to fill, check out their lookbook at the front desk to learn more about the artwork and artist. You can choose from more than 400 framed prints and photographs.

Recently, the library launched a new exhibit, Brave Stories, which features stories about bias, discrimination, and racism, as well as stories of hope submitted by the community. The goal is for everyone to feel welcomed and see themselves represented,” said Christie Lassen, Director of Communications and Partnerships. There are speaker events throughout the upcoming year.  

For example, Michael Twitty, author of KosherSoul: The Faith and Food Journey of an African American Jew, came in August, and more thought-provoking speakers and authors are coming this fall. Visit the Brave Stories exhibit in the Equity Resource Center at the Central Branch. The Equity Resource Center is a place for people to go and create conversations with diverse individuals about a variety of topics. “We are your community library, and we are here to help you. If there is some way you’d like to partner with us, let us know,” said Christie Lassen.

Click here to learn more about the library's upcoming events!

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