Archive for October, 2011


Monday, October 31st, 2011

(Belcamp, Maryland – October 31, 2011) Nancy Smith, Librarian at the Bel Air branch of Harford County Public Library, was recently awarded Maryland AskUsNow’s Rockstar Award for excellence in customer service. AskUsNow is a live, interactive virtual reference service that provides librarian help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Smith provided research assistance to a student who was writing a paper on the Mughal Empire. The award recognized Smith’s thoroughness and professionalism while working with the student on the question. “We are so proud of Nancy for providing such fantastic and accurate reference help,” stated Mary Hastler, Library Director. “AskUsNow is a tremendous resource to our customers and Nancy demonstrated just how valuable this service is.”

AskUsNow is provided by a cooperative service of 39 Maryland libraries that uses the expertise of librarians to provide answers to questions, research guidance, and help navigating the internet. Customers can submit a question any time, day or night, and receive help from a trained librarian. After the session is over, a full transcript including any links for resources can be e-mailed.Since its launch on March 17, 2003, AskUsNow has answered over 400,000 chat and email questions. To use AskUsNow, go to and click the AskUsNow logo. Log in with a question and get connected with a librarian who can help. It’s that easy!
Maryland AskUsNow is a project of the Division of Library Development and Services, Maryland State Department of Education, funded through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Harford County Public Library operates eleven branches located throughout Harford County, Maryland. The library serves over 168,000 registered borrowers of all ages and has an annual circulation of almost 4,800,000. Harford County Public Library is committed to connecting people with information and promoting the love of reading within the community.


Photo caption #1: Julie Strange, Maryland State AskUsNow Coordinator and Kendra Frost, HCPL’s AskUsNow Liaison and Abingdon Branch Assistant Manager, presented the AskUsNow Rockstar Award to Librarian Nancy Smith on Tuesday, September 27, 2011.


Thursday, October 6th, 2011

(Belcamp, Maryland – October 6, 2011) Tickets are on sale now for the Harford County Public Library’s 7th annual gala, the Sapphire Supper Club, an Evening in the Stacks, which will be held on November 5, 2011 at the Abingdon branch from 7 – 11pm. The event, the Library’s largest fundraiser, is anticipated to attract more than 400 guests. Tickets are $90 each.

The 1940′s big band theme is in honor of Harford County Public Library’s 65th “Sapphire” Anniversary and will feature Shades of Blue Orchestra, vintage décor, scrumptious small plates by Pairings Bistro, a signature martini bar by Liberatore’s Ristorante, and engaging live and silent auction items.

“Each year the gala committee and library staff transform the beautiful Abingdon branch into a unique themed setting for a fun and distinctive experience. This year guests will travel back in time to a glamorous 1940′s nightclub complete with a 22 piece band and a martini bar. Proceeds from the gala support numerous services at the library, including the Summer and Winter Reading Programs, the Library’s signature STEM program LEAP, and the early literacy initiative,” commented Library Director, Mary Hastler.

Local businesses have been an integral part of the gala since its inception and this year is no exception. The list includes Pairings Bistro, Brooms Bloom Dairy, DuClaw Brewing Company, BottleWorks, Sweet Devotions Cupcake & Creperie Café, and Liberatore’s Ristorante.

“Each year the Library gala is one of the County’s most anticipated events. The Gala Committee is working diligently to raise the bar again including expanded sponsorship opportunities, changes to the venue, and add some very exciting silent and live auction items,” stated Dave Patzer, Vice President at M&T Bank, a Headlining Sponsor this year. “Most importantly the event is an excellent opportunity for firms and individuals to show their support for this important community resource.”

Presenting sponsors for this year’s gala are Clark Turner Homes, Richardson’s Flowers and Gifts, Saxon’s Diamond Centers, and Rock Solid Hardscaping. Headlining sponsors are The Aegis; Comcast; M&T Bank; Liberatore’s Ristorante; WXCY; Mason Dixon Arrive; Kroh’s Nursery; Nature Unlimited. Premiere Sponsors are APG Federal Credit Union; FastFrame; Harford County Tourism; URS Corporation; Kay Deitz; SRC; Two Brothers Moving; Segami Media; Vanity’s Edge; Techo-Bloc; Harford’s Heart; Kleins ShopRite; Select Event Rentals; Hart to Heart Ambulance. Supporting Sponsors include Library Interiors; Bank of America; Dancing with Friends; HC Style; Al & Christine Williamson; Point Breeze Credit Union; Dr. William and Carole Allen; Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger & Hollander, LLC; Ronald Parker, PA; True Housewives of Bel Air; Harford Mutual Insurance; Dick and Susan Kinard; Matt and Beth Hendrix; Edmeades & Stromdahl, LTD;, PNC Wealth Management; Baker & Taylor; Freedom Federal Credit Union; Flowers by Bauers; Morgan Stanley Smith Barney; Events by I Did it Myself; SAIC; Mary and Mark Hastler; Edmund and Lucie Snodgrass; Slavie Federal Savings Bank and Robinson and Robinson, Attorneys at Law.

Building on the success of last year the Harford County Public Library Foundation is once again holding a jewelry raffle. Saxon’s Diamond Centers has generously donated a stunning 2.09 carat sapphire and diamond ring. The ring, which is valued over $7,000, was designed by Saxon’s especially for Harford County Public Library’s 65th Sapphire Anniversary.

“My business partner, Kevin Ferrell, and I are honored to be part of an organization that serves the community in so many different ways,” stated Lance Hersh, Owner, Saxon’s Diamond Centers. “The library not only benefits students of all ages, but also adults who do not have computer access and who are furthering their education. And knowing that budget cuts have affected the library we wanted to do something to help raise funds to support the services and staff.” Jewelry raffle tickets are on sale now at all Harford County Public Library branches and Saxon’s two locations in Aberdeen and Bel Air. Tickets are one for $10 or three for $25. The drawing will be held at the gala. You do not need to be present to win.

Silent and live auction items are anticipated to be announced via the gala website in October. Packages include Wyndham Resort Vacations, New Year’s Eve entertainment and accommodations at the exclusive Cosmos Club in D.C., a private tour of the Smithsonian Museum, dinners and wine tastings, and a rumored $50,000 backyard make-over courtesy of Rock Solid Hardscaping, Clark Turner Signature Homes, Kroh’s Nursery, and Nature Unlimited. Foundation Director, Amber Shrodes promised to release additional details soon.

For more information and to purchase tickets for both the gala and the jewelry raffle, visit us online at You can also call the Library Foundation Office at 410 273 5600 x2283 or Like us on Facebook at Sapphire Supper Club.

The Harford County Public Library Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization dedicated to enhancing Harford County Public Library services. The Foundation raises funds to augment the financial resources of the Library and works to promote awareness of library services. The Foundation facilitates the library’s development as a creative environment within the county that encourages the acquisition of knowledge and the love of reading for all customers.

Harford County Public Library operates eleven branches located throughout Harford County, Maryland. The library serves over 168,000 registered borrowers of all ages and has an annual circulation of almost 4,800,000. Harford County Public Library is committed to connecting people with information and promoting the love of reading within the community.


Photo caption #1: Guests show off their hats at the 2010 Library Gala, Mad Hatter’s Ball.

Photo caption #2: Sapphire Supper Club, 7th annual Library Foundation Gala to be held on November 5 in celebration of the Library’s 65th anniversary.