Ripken discussion at Abingdon library 'an incredible event'

Baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr. drew a crowd to the Abingdon library branch earlier this month.

The high-profile reading and discussion by the Hall of Famer of his new book, "Squeeze Play," "was an incredible event," Harford County Public Library Director Mary Hastler told member of the board of trustees at their meeting Thursday night at the Abingdon branch.

The baseball legend got to the library at 5:30 p.m. and stayed until after 9 p.m., Hastler said, adding he was very gracious to the visitors.

Also at the meeting, Hastler said a design team is moving forward with its plans on the new Havre de Grace library branch, which will feature a Storyville-like children's literacy area.

The design team expects all of its bid set to be completed by May 15, Hastler said.

She said the team is meeting with the project's architect to map out the early literacy activity area of the new branch, which will be "our version of Storyville," Hastler said.

Baltimore County's Rosedale library branch regularly has waiting lists for people visiting its highly popular Storyville, an interactive literacy "village."

Baltimore County opened a second Storyville in Woodlawn in 2010.

The Harford County Public Library Foundation building campaign has raised more than $80,000 for the new Havre de Grace branch.

Award winners, events, Little Leapers

The library board also recognized two award-winners from among its ranks.

Chairwoman Louise LeTendre received the 2014 Davis McCarn Technology Award from the group Citizens for Maryland Libraries, for bringing cutting-edge technology opportunities to the library system.

District Court Judge Susan Hazlett, who is on the board, was also named one of the top 100 women in Maryland by The Daily Record.

The Little Leapers program, offering age-appropriate apps on iPod Minis, "has been very successful" at the branches where it was launched, Hastler said.

The program was launched March 5 and "it was an incredible morning," Hastler said, adding that the children really enjoyed it and picked up the technology quickly.

She noted that the program "does not replace books" but just allows children to develop skills they will need in school.

Another popular event, the third annual Romancing the Chrome Car Show, is coming up April 12. The event is a partnership between the Harford County Public Library Foundation and the Jarrettsville Lions Club.

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