Harford County Public Library Receives Statue in Memory of Joyce Bonsell

At the installation of the statue in memory of Joyce Bonsell were family members Jill Bednar, J.D. Bonsell, Jennifer Lally and David Bonsell. Family member Shannon Bonsell was unable to be part of the ceremony at the Bel Air Library. (Photo Courtesy of Harford County Public Library) 

A statue of a child reading was donated to Harford County Public Library by the family of Joyce Bonsell. Bonsell, who died earlier this year, was a longtime supporter of the library. The statue is located in the Children’s Department of the Bel Air Library.

“My mom loved children and always spoke of the importance of education and reading for children, so having the statue in the Children’s Department means a lot to our family,” said Jill Bednar, Bonsell’s daughter.

The library was an important place to Bonsell. Her daughter said she visited the library every two weeks and checked out five books. Family and friends fondly remember her sitting in the same corner of her home sofa, drinking coffee and reading a book.

Language–and use of just the right word–was very important to her, Bednar explained. “She knew every word in the English language. She would always help us with vocab homework or anything else we needed help with when it came to words.”

At the time of Bonsell’s passing, the family decided to memorialize her through a donation to the Harford County Public Library Foundation because of how much the library meant to her.

“What a lovely way to honor the memory of a loved one by making a donation to the library,” said Mary Hastler, CEO of Harford County Public Library. “The statue donated by the Bonsell Family is a very welcomed addition to the Children’s Department in Bel Air. It will be an inspiration to the many children who use the library every day.”
Harford County Public Library Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization established to raise funds to augment the financial resources of Harford County Public Library and to promote awareness of its services.

For more than 73 years, Harford County Public Library has provided its communities with access to ideas that inform, entertain and inspire. Last year the library interacted with its residents more than 6.3 million times – borrowing free materials, visiting branches and the website, attending classes and events. In 2019, Harford County Public Library received the Maryland Library Association’s first Excellence in Marketing Award. For more information, visit HCPLonline.org.

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