September 18, 2013
The long-time director of the Baltimore County library system plans to retire next June, he announced Wednesday. James H. Fish has directed the 19-branch system since 1996. Library officials say his accomplishments include expanding hours, opening new facilities, introducing e-books and creating the Storyville "learning villages" for babies and young children. The library board of trustees plans to conduct a national search to replace Fish. In a statement, Fish said he approaches his retirement with mixed emotions.
August 5, 2013
Harford County Public Library Director Mary Hastler was presented with a Brava! Award from Baltimore SmartCEO on July 10, recognizing her as one of the top 25 female CEOs in the Baltimore area. Hastler was selected for the award for her leadership in expanding library system's public service role with the introduction of innovative literacy programs, exciting product expansions, record-breaking fundraising events and cutting-edge technology, according to a library system press release.
June 3, 2013
Hampton "Skip" Auld does not mince words when he talks about the struggles of Anne Arundel County's library system the past few years. "We were devastated," the library director says. "We were on the ropes. " Years of government cuts during an economic downturn took its toll on the libraries. There was less money to buy new books, audio books and DVDs. Magazine subscriptions were canceled. Sunday hours were cut. Employees had no raises. During those years, Auld spearheaded a cheery but relentless campaign on the library's behalf.
June 7, 2012
Bit of a kerfuffle in the book division of the Land of Pleasant Living over the decision by the Harford County Public Library not to stock the popular novel Fifty Shades of Grey . Today The Sun publishes a letter by Mary Hastler, the library director, defending her decision, and it looks disingenuous. No librarian wishes to be accused of censorship, and Ms. Hastler takes umbrage at the accusation. She merely "decision to not purchase 'Fifty Shades of Grey' ... after careful review and research following our materials selection process.
May 22, 2012
Restoring Sunday hours at three branches of the Harford County Public Library is a good thing. The three branches that are most likely to be reopening are Abingdon, Bel Air and one in the Route 40 corridor, according to Mary Hastler, the library director, in comments she made at last Thursday's meeting of the library board. Opening those branches makes the most sense. Abingdon and Bel Air are busy and serve the county's population center and one in the Route 40 corridor would be more convenient for those in the eastern part of Harford County.
February 25, 2012
A Letter from Mary Hastler, Director, Harford County Public Library: Recently Penguin Group publishing stopped offering new eBooks and digital audiobooks to public libraries and ended its relationship with the digital library distributor, Overdrive. From the website paidcontent.org "With this move, Random House becomes the only big-six publisher to allow unrestricted access to its eBooks in libraries-though it will raise prices beginning in March. " Harford County Public Library customers are savvy readers and demand for books in eBook format has increased dramatically over the past year.