Board to make final decision during June-July on Harford library Sunday hours

The Harford County Public Library Board of Trustees will make its final decisions in June and July regarding reinstatement of Sunday hours at some branches.

The board members briefly discussed Sunday hours during their monthly meeting Thursday evening at the Joppa branch, two days after the Harford County Council agreed to support the funding needed to bring Sunday hours back to a least three libraries this fall.

Jennifer Vido, a library board member, said Thursday the board needs to talk about how the new Sunday hours might affect compensation and how they should be implemented.

In the past, libraries were open Sunday afternoons from the beginning of October until the end of May – corresponding with the school year, but all Sunday hours were eliminated following budget cuts by the county in the spring of 2009.

Library Director Mary Hastler thanked the council members who voted in support of $100,000 needed to make three branches open on Sunday starting in October.

She said most likely two of the branches would be Bel Air and Abingdon, and the third would be in the Route 40 corridor.

"We are really thrilled for that budget amendment to go through and very appreciative [to the council]," she said.

The board will most likely introduce the planned Sunday hours at its June meeting and vote on them in July, she said.

Vido also thanked Councilman Chad Shrodes for spearheading the effort to get the hours back.

"I think that's just one of the best moves they have made this year, and it benefits the libraries enormously," board member Lucie Snodgrass said.

New officers

The library board also held an election for its chairperson and vice-chairperson Thursday. Louise LeTendre replaced Bill Nicodemus as chairperson, and Alex Allman was elected vice-chairperson.

"The Sunday hours are going to be wonderful," Allman said.

LeTendre also talked about the rise of both literacy and aliteracy, referring to those who can read, but don't. She also expressed concern about literacy possibly being suppressed by the increased focus on electronic media.

"Not everyone owns an eBook. Not everyone can afford to buy an eBook," she said.

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