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  • Hours

    Mon. - Thurs. 10 am - 9 pm Fri. - Sat. 10 am - 6 pm Sun. 1 pm - 5 pm

  • Children Ages

    Newborn to Adult

Central Library, Howard County Library

A major destination not only for downtown Columbia but also for all of Howard County, the Central Branch of Howard County Library System (HCLS) is an education center featuring research, instruction, and a myriad of community and cultural events. Housing over 200,000 items in its various collections, the Central Branch welcomes over half a million visitors each year, with 20,000 children alone attending classes on an annual basis. Conveniently located on major thoroughfares with access to local transit, the Central Branch of HCLS takes pride in offering high-quality public education for all on a daily basis.

Central has 92 computers available to the public. All computers have word processing capabilities. In addition, there are two games computers in the children's department and two in the young adult area. These four do not have Internet access.

Riders of Howard Transit buses can purchase unlimited-ride monthly passes and 10-ride tickets at the Howard County Central Branch circulation desk. Individual tickets are not available at the Library; they must be purchased when boarding the bus. The Library will accept cash or check (payable to Howard County Library). There is no limit on the number of passes or tickets that may be purchased. Student, senior and disabled riders will be asked to show identification at the time of purchase. Disabled riders may use a Metro identification card or obtain one from Corridor Transportation Corporation (301-725-4000).

Comments (1)
Summer Reading Fun!


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"Howard County kicked off their summer reading program last week and I highly recommend you stop by one of the branches to sign up! They'll give each child an age appropriate "game" board to encourage reading throughout the summer and it will come with several free coupons to various things (good stuff too!). As you complete reading tasks on the board, you turn in a coupon (2) for a prize. I sign up for this program every summer with my kids and they just love it. They even have an adult summer reading program with prizes as well. The librarians at the Central Library Children's Desk and the Main Desk are sooooo kind and helpful. Don't forget to pick up a summer class schedule as well - lots of great, free programs for the kids!"