Harford County Public Library Foundation kicks off campaign to fund Early Literacy Interactive Space at library’s Bel Air branch

The Harford County Public Library (HCPL) Foundation and the Bel Air Friends of HCPL each donated $10,000 to kick off the Early Literacy Interactive Space Campaign on October 20th. Left to right: Anita A. Brightman, President of A. Bright Idea Advertising and Public Relations & HCPL Foundation Board Member; Terry O. Hanley, Bel Air Town Commissioner & HCPL Foundation Board Member; Leslie Riden, Bel Air Friends Book Sale Volunteer Coordinator; Beth LaPenotiere, Bel Air Branch Manager; Mari Kane, Bel Air Friends President; Annie Kovach, Bel Air Branch Assistant Manager; Richard Kinard, HCPL Foundation Board & Library Board of Trustees; Mary Hastler, HCPL Associate Director; Carolyn Lambdin, Bel Air Friends Secretary; Kathy Whitehead, Bel Air Friends Treasurer; Linda VanDeusen, HCPL Foundation Board Secretary; Terry Troy, HCPL Foundation Board President.

Harford County Public Library Foundation announced the campaign kick-off for the Bel Air Children’s Area Early Literacy Interactive Space.  The campaign is a joint effort between the Bel Air Friends of the Library and the Harford County Public Library Foundation. A check was presented to the Library from the Foundation on October 20th in the amount of $10,000, along with a $10,000 donation from the Bel Air Friends and a $5,000 donation from the Morris A. Mechanic Foundation.

“Our committee is thrilled with the response from the community to support this project,” stated Mari Kane, President of the Bel Air Friends.  “We advertised it at a recent book sale and every remark we received was positive. People always ask what we are going to do with the money we raise, and this time I said ‘I’ll show you what we’re going to do right now.’ ”

The Bel Air Children’s Department has served the children and families of the community for 50 years at its current location and this branch has been a destination for generations of young readers. “My son spends time each week at the Bel Air Library. This area has spawned his reading skills,” shared Anita Brightman, President of A. Bright Idea Advertising and Public Relations and Harford County Public Library Foundation Board Member. “The resources and staff in this area are a valuable asset to our community and I hope library patrons, families and the local business community support this renovation with enthusiasm.”

The Early Literacy Interactive Space will be an interactive area targeted to the youngest library customers and families. Through engaging play, age appropriate materials and access to innovative programs, this dedicated area will encourage the emergent literacy skills essential for school readiness in children. “We are very excited about this project; having an early literacy center in the library will provide a unique opportunity for the children of Harford County,” stated Annie Kovach, Asst. Branch Manager, Children’s Services.  “We’re thankful for the generosity of the Friends and the Foundation and their continued support of the library’s services and activities for children.”

The Morris A. Mechanic Foundation, a contributor towards the campaign stated, “Children are a community’s greatest asset; they are our future.  Libraries are an integral part of a child’s developmental process and a storehouse of knowledge.”

“This new learning space will continue the strong tradition of Harford County Public Library, providing essential materials, resources and services to its youngest customers in fostering the development of school readiness skills,” stated Mary Hastler, Associate Director.

Funds raised from this campaign will be used to purchase furniture, materials and décor necessary to transform the space into an invigorating learning environment. The renovation is planned to begin in late 2012 with a completion date of spring 2013. The goal of the campaign is to raise $50,000. To find out more about the project and how you can support this effort please contact Vanessa Milio, Foundation Director, at 410 273 5601 x2283 or milio@hcplonline.info.

The Harford County Public Library Foundation is a 501© 3 charitable organization established to raise funds to augment the financial resources of Harford County Public Library and to promote awareness of library services.

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.