Maryland Libraries Ask Residents to “Choose Civility”

County library systems across the State are joining forces to encourage residents to “Choose Civility.” Based on a powerful book by Johns Hopkins University Professor P.M. Forni, “Choose Civility” outlines clear and simple rules of considerate conduct that go beyond good manners.

“Choose Civility” is an ongoing community-wide initiative, led by Howard County Library System, to position Maryland as a model of civility. Bolstered by the availability of state grants for counties interested in implementing the initiative, the program aims to uplift communities by promoting respect, restraint, and responsibility.

The campaign is guided by fifteen “Civility Principles”:

  • Pay attention
  • Listen
  • Speak kindly
  • Assume the best
  • Respect others’ opinions
  • Respect other people’s time and space
  • Be inclusive
  • Acknowledge others
  • Accept and give praise
  • Apologize earnestly
  • Assert yourself
  • Take responsibility
  • Accept and give constructive criticism
  • Refrain from idle complaints
  • Be a considerate guest

And while the program is rooted in Howard County, library systems in the following counties serve as chapter organizations or affiliates:

  • Allegany County
  • Baltimore County
  • Calvert County
  • Caroline County
  • Carroll County
  • Harford County
  • Kent County
  • Montgomery County
  • Queen Anne’s County
  • St Mary’s County
  • Talbot County
  • Washington County
  • Worcester County

Useful Links

Learn more about the “Choose Civility” Initiative

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