Archive for December, 2010

HARFORD COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY RECEIVES SECOND STAR AWARD

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010


(Belcamp, Maryland – December 29, 2010) Library Journal (LJ) announced its star public libraries in the LJ Index of Public Library Service 2010 and Harford County Public Library (HCPL) once again received a 4-star rating. HCPL was only one of 3 public library systems in Maryland (Harford, Carroll, and Montgomery) that received a star rating this year. This award was based on 2008 national data from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The LJ Index scored 7,407 libraries across the country and identified 258 libraries nationwide that are delivering exceptional service. Libraries were grouped by the size of their operating budgets and rated according to four per capita output measures that indicate public service: circulation, library visits, program attendance and public internet usage. A library’s LJ Index score is based on the relationship averages of those statistics among its peers based on total operating expenditures.

“Record breaking circulation was a result of HCPL being able to get materials in the branches by the street date (date a particular product is released for sale to the general public); an emphasis on purchasing popular materials for the collection; and providing a wide array of formats including the new Playaway, the audiobook and player in one,” stated Library Director, Mary Hastler. “We are very pleased to be recognized for a second year in a row for the outstanding service we deliver to the Harford County community.”

For more information and to see the complete list of libraries that received the star rating, go to www.libraryjournal.com/ljindex2010.

Harford County Public Library operates eleven branches located throughout Harford County, Maryland. The library serves over 210,000 registered borrowers of all ages and has an annual circulation of almost 4,700,000. Harford County Public Library is committed to connecting people with information and promoting the love of reading within the community.

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Photo caption: 2010 LJ Star Award Logo

Harford County Public Library’s “PLAYAWAY DAY” Will Have Customers Listening to the Latest Chapter in Audiobook Convenience

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

December 27, 2010

(Belcamp, Maryland) – Harford County Public Library will be hosting a “Playaway Day” on Tuesday, January 4 to demonstrate the Playaway, the audiobook and player all in one. The event will be held at the Whiteford branch from 4 – 8 pm and will feature Playaway tutorials and customer giveaways.

Playaway gives customers the portability of a digital audiobook with the grab-and-go convenience of a physical format – creating the only format that makes audiobooks accessible for everyone, regardless of age or ability. The format has proved popular among kids who can pair a Playaway with the print edition of a book to improve literacy, busy moms and business travelers who enjoy catching up with the latest bestsellers while on-the-go, and seniors, including the visually impaired, who don’t have to worry about transferring content to a player or learning a new piece of technology.

Each ultra-portable Playaway weighs only two ounces and comes pre-loaded in HD audio with an entire audiobook. Equipped with a universal jack, Playaway can be listened to through earbuds, headphones, and mobile accessories, such as car adapters.

“Playaway’s simple functionality and immediate usability separate it from other audio book formats,” said Jennifer Ralston, Materials Management Administrator at Harford County Public Library. “With Playaway, our customers can enjoy best-selling content with first-rate digital audio.”

The library carries almost 1500 titles on Playaway, including many selections for children, language learning programs, bestselling adult fiction, and classics. And because Playaway’s format is friendly for listeners of all ages, every user can enjoy the new format. Harford County Public Library’s collection includes Our Kind of Traitor by John le Carre, Brisingr by Christopher Paolini, Don’t Blink by James Patterson and The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan.

For more information about the upcoming Playaway Day at the Whiteford branch, please contact the branch at 410 368 3608 or visit hcplonline.info.

Harford County Public Library operates eleven branches located throughout Harford County, Maryland. The library serves over 210,000 registered borrowers of all ages and has an annual circulation of almost 4,700,000. Harford County Public Library is committed to connecting people with information and promoting the love of reading within the community.

Findaway World, a privately held company based in Cleveland, Ohio, is dedicated to delivering simple and immediate access to content consumers want or need. Their latest product, Playaway, is the first digital audio player of its kind, coming pre-loaded with premier content from leading publishers, authors, record labels, and artists. Learn more about the company and the product at www.playaway.com.

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Photo caption #1: Playaway Day to be held at the Whiteford branch of the Harford County Public Library on January 4th from 4 – 8 pm.

New Director for Harford County Public Library

Friday, December 3rd, 2010


December 3, 2010

BELCAMP, MARYLAND – Effective December 1, 2010, Mary Hastler became the new Director of Harford County Public Library. Ms. Hastler brings a wealth of public library and management experience to her new role. She was the Associate Director at Harford County Public Library since 2007 and prior to that she was the Associate Director for Support Services at Baltimore County Public Library, which included her work as the Project Director for Storyville, an award-winning interactive early literacy center.

From November 1996 through August 2006, Ms. Hastler held positions in the materials management and public services departments of Harford County Public Library, including four years as Public Services Administrator. Before her library career, Ms. Hastler served in managerial positions with the Johns Hopkins Health System and the Baltimore County Department of Health. Currently she serves on many local, state, and national boards including:

Harford County Public Library Board of Trustees
Harford County Public Library Foundation Board
Harford Leadership Academy Board of Directors
Harford County Local Management Board
Maryland Association of Public Library Administrators
Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Executive Board and Board of Directors
Maryland Library Association Legislative Panel
“I am honored to be leading such a great organization, stated Ms. Hastler. “I started my library career at the Harford County Public Library and have watched it grow into a dynamic, innovative, and customer focused system.” Harford County Public Library operates eleven branches located throughout Harford County, Maryland. The library serves over 200,000 registered borrowers of all ages and has an annual circulation of almost 4,700,000.

“I am delighted to welcome Mary Hastler to her new position and look forward to working closely with her to build on the tradition of library excellence that she has helped to establish in Harford County,” stated Lucie Snodgrass, Library Board of Trustees President. “I’ve worked with Mary for years and know firsthand of her professionalism, dedication, vision and stellar communications skills. We are very fortunate to have Mary as our new Library Director.”

Ms. Hastler received a Master of Library Science from the University of Maryland, College Park, College of Library and Information Services, and an undergraduate degree in Business Administration, Human Resources, from Towson State University, Towson, MD. She also received a Masters in Administration from Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI. She is a graduate of the Harford Leadership Academy, class of 2003. Ms. Hastler is currently the Fiscal Officer for the Young Adult Library Services Association.

Ms. Hastler lives in Bel Air with her husband, Mark. Her daughter, Heather, a graduate of C.Milton Wright High School, resides in Abingdon with her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Ella. Her youngest daughter, Samantha, graduate of John Carroll School and Washington College in Chestertown, lives in Boston, MA, and is the Senior Assistant Director for Admissions at Lasell College in Newton, MA.

Harford County Public Library is committed to connecting people with information and promoting the love of reading within the community.

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Photo caption #1: Mary Hastler, Director of Harford County Public Library, effective December 1, 2010.

Havre de Grace Branch Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

December 3, 2010

Several hundred guests shared in the 50th anniversary celebration at the Havre de Grace Branch of Harford County Public Library on December 2nd. County Executive David R. Craig and Havre de Grace Mayor Wayne H. Dougherty were in attendance to launch the evening’s activities with proclamations from the county and city of Havre de Grace. The branch opened at its present location in July of 1960.

Festivities included face painting and balloon animals from Charlie Choo the clown from Nothin’ Up My Sleeve Entertainment; appearances by Darth Vader and a Storm Trooper from Vader’s Fist 501st Legion and a visit from Tales, the library mascot. Musical performances throughout the evening included classical guitarist Anthony Derrico, the Havre de Grace High School Jazz Combo with Richard Hauf and the Upper Chesapeake Women’s Chorus “Sweet Adelines.”

Throughout the evening, guests enjoyed a photo display of the history of the branch; 1960′s trivia; dozens of raffle prizes from local businesses and refreshments.

Harford County Public Library operates eleven branches located throughout Harford County, Maryland. The library serves over 200,000 registered borrowers of all ages and has an annual circulation of almost 4,700,000. Harford County Public Library is committed to connecting people with information and promoting the love of reading within the community.

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Photo caption #1 (Havre de Grace cake cutting): Harford County Public Library Director Mary L. Hastler, County Executive David R. Craig and Havre de Grace Mayor Wayne H. Dougherty help launch the 50th anniversary celebration of the Havre de Grace branch on December 2.

Photo caption #2 (Tales and young children): Tales, the library mascot, poses with young fans at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Havre de Grace branch of Harford County Public Library on December 2.