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Ex-Harford library board chairperson honored for her service

Louise LeTendre, center, was honored Thursday for her 10 years of service on the Harford County Board of Library Trustees. With her are board chairperson Alex Allman and Library Director Mary Hastler. LeTendre left the board last month.
Louise LeTendre, center, was honored Thursday for her 10 years of service on the Harford County Board of Library Trustees. With her are board chairperson Alex Allman and Library Director Mary Hastler. LeTendre left the board last month. (Photo courtesy of Hillary Houtz, Harford, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Members of the Harford County Board of Library Trustees, which has a couple new members, had an opportunity to get acquainted face-to-face Thursday evening.

But the board's first official act to begin a new fiscal year was to honor a longtime former member and chairperson, Louise LeTendre, who stepped down in June after 10 years of service.

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LeTendre, who was in the audience during the board's meeting at the Bel Air library, was presented with a plaque recognizing her service by her successor as chairperson, Alex Allman, and Library Director Mary Hastler.

County library trustees are volunteers, and LeTendre was something of a rarity for the board in that she is also a professional librarian, serving in that capacity at the Army Research Library at Aberdeen Proving Ground. The Belcamp resident has more than 60 years experience working in libraries on three continents, according to a profile the ARL released last month.

Though she left the Harford library board last month, LeTendre didn't do so without statewide recognition for her volunteer and professional activities.

In May, she received the Davis McCarn Technology Award from the Citizens for Maryland Libraries, a statewide advocacy group, in "recognition of outstanding commitment and achievement in providing high-quality technology-based information services" to county libraries, schools and government agencies, according to the text of the award.

With new members Taryn J. Martin and Durbin P. Vido attending their first official board meeting, Allman asked everyone, new and old, to introduce themselves and give a little personal background.

Martin, who lives in Havre de Grace and is the wife of City Councilman Bill Martin, said she is a teacher at Aberdeen Middle School and called the library "near and dear to my heart."

"I'm beyond excited as a teacher and a parent," she said of her selection to the board.

Vido, a banker who lives in Bel Air, said he joined the board after serving seven years on the board of the Harford County Library Foundation, the library system's principal fund-raising arm.

It was announced Thursday that tickets have been sold out for the library's annual gala, The Grand Tour, scheduled for Nov. 1 at the Abingdon library. Tickets were scaled at $100 if purchased before Sept. 12.

"People seem to like the 'Downtown Abbey' themes," Hastler noted. This year's Edwardian-themed gala will be about taking a world tour at the turn of the 20th century. Last year's gala's theme was based on the popular board game "Clue."

Hastler said there may be a waiting list in case some tickets become available. She also said they are still looking for a few sponsors.

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