Shifting Perception: Libraries = Education

Frederick Road Howard County Library System

By Valerie J. Gross 

There’s a powerful movement afoot and it’s gaining momentum.

Hailed by Library Journal as “a 21st-century library model, with a position, doctrine, purpose, and curriculum worthy of study and consideration by every other library in America, if not the world,” this effective strategy takes libraries back to their original purpose.

At the turn of the 20th century, libraries were established as educational institutions to deliver equal opportunity in education for everyone. Somehow, a century later, we find ourselves with a diluted purpose—so much so that fully one third of Americans do not know what we do.

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Howard County Goes Big with STEM for Teens

Teen STEM public library

By Valerie Gross

Two years ago, when Howard County Library System (HCLS) began planning a 50 percent space increase for its Savage Branch, a team of HCLS visionaries proposed an opportunity: Why not design a cool, jazzy space to serve as headquarters for HiTech, HCLS’ cutting-edge STEM education initiative for teens?

This idea led to the HCLS Savage Branch & STEM Education Center, opening this summer. The venue will boast an Einstein Classroom, George Washington Carver Science Lab, Oscar Micheaux audio/video room, Curie Café, Leonoardo DaVinci Conference Room, and Gallileo Laptop Bar — all perfect for HiTech!

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The Education Advantage in a Matter of Words

By Bethany Dotson

At the end of January, I had the unique pleasure to travel to snowy and frigid Chicago to interview Valerie Gross, President and CEO of Howard County Public Library (MD). We were there to discuss Valerie’s ideas, laid out most prominently in her book, Transforming Our Image, Building Our Brand: The Education Advantage.

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Libraries: Critically important or critically endangered?

By Harmony Faust

Join us for a live Twitter Chat with Valerie Gross, president & CEO of the Howard County Library System in Maryland (Library of the Year 2013) and author of the provocative new title Transforming Our Image, Building Our Brand: The Education Advantage.

Hear Valerie’s thoughts on how to keep your library essential, not optional, and chat with your colleagues about important issues like funding, branding and the perceived value of libraries today.

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