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Howard County (Md.) Library System (HCLS) CEO Valerie J. Gross details Choose Civility, an ongoing community-wide initiative that aims to enhance respect, empathy, consideration, and tolerance in Howard County. Nearly 100 Howard County businesses, government agencies, nonprofits, educational institutions actively and passionately support the Choose Civility initiative with more than 65,000 community residents displaying the ubiquitous Choose Civility car magnets. Learn all about the growing movement, the benefits to your library and community, and how to form a Choose Civility Chapter in your area. Valerie is joined by Christie P. Lassen, HCLS’ Director of Public Relations, and Ellen Flynn Giles, a member of the Howard County Board of Education and Friends of Howard County Library Board of Directors.
This archived webinar was originally presented March 28, 2012.
About the Authors
Valerie J. Gross has served as President and CEO of Howard County Library System (HCLS) for 10 years. A passionate promoter of libraries, she believes the most effective way to convey the value of libraries is to speak in value-enhanced, intuitive terms people understand. Ms. Gross has led the process to reposition HCLS as a major component of education, which has resulted in nearly tripled library visits (1M to 2.6M), the more than doubling of materials borrowed (3M to 7.2M), research assistance interactions exceeding 1.3M annually, and yearly attendance at classes and events totaling 186K—in a county with 282,000 residents.
Ms. Gross credits the HCLS Board of Trustees, Howard County Executive, Howard County Council, Maryland State Legislators, Friends of HCLS, philanthropic partners, devoted volunteers, dynamic community, and, most importantly, HCLS’ innovative staff, for repositioning HCLS as one of the nation’s great public library systems (American Libraries, November 2009).
Ms. Gross is joined by Christie P. Lassen, HCLS’ director of Public Relations, and Ellen Flynn Giles, a member of the Howard County Board of Education and Friends of Howard County Library Board of Directors.
The Public Library Association (PLA) is a division of the American Library Association. PLA’s core purpose is to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve. Its mission is to enhance the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services.