Harford County Public Library Announces Amber Shrodes as Director of Philanthropy and Community Engagement

Amber Shrodes Photo Credit MidAtlantic Photographic LLC

Shrodes previously served the library from 2011-14

Harford County Public Library is pleased to announce Amber Shrodes has joined the organization as director of philanthropy and community engagement.

In her new role, Shrodes is responsible for cultivating strategic partnerships; implementing fundraising and development strategies to support programs, services and capital initiatives; providing advocacy and support for the Library’s Foundation Board; and promoting awareness of the Library’s vast collection of resources and services.

“Amber Shrodes is an award-winning marketing professional, a powerful communicator and a leader in developing innovative community programs,” said Mary Hastler, CEO of Harford County Public Library. “Most importantly, she has a proven record in building enduring partnerships. Her experience, dedication to our citizens, creativity and ‘can-do’ spirit are a perfect fit for the Harford County Public Library team.”

Harford County Public Library Foundation President Carolyn Lambdin said, “Amber Shrodes is a seasoned professional whom I have known personally for more than 20 years. The Foundation is looking forward to working with Amber to further our philanthropic and community engagement endeavors.”

Shrodes served as the Library’s foundation director from 2011-14. In December 2014, she was appointed director of community services for Harford County Government by the Glassman Administration. She was reappointed as deputy director of community services by the Cassilly Administration.

In her roles with county government, Shrodes strengthened communities, directed operations and strategic planning to meet community needs and created innovative programs to support at-risk populations. During her tenure, the National Association of Counties recognized Community Services 10 times for programs and best practices that raised awareness about addiction; supported youth, seniors and individuals of differing abilities; and provided resources for individuals who have been involved with the criminal justice system.

Under her direction, Harford County Community Services introduced numerous new programs including the Children, Youth and Family Resource Festival, Second Chance Job and Resource Fair, Harford County Day of Service Program, Pledge Program, Night of Conversation, Socktober, Harford County Veterans Collaborative, the Wheelchair Costume Workshop and the Sensory Trail at Shucks Road Park.

Shrodes said the move  to Harford County Public Library is a return to an organization she has always supported and admired.

“As an advocate and a customer of this exceptional resource, I am delighted to be back in the stacks,” said Shrodes. “The Library is a trusted partner in our community, touching every neighborhood and demographic including businesses, nonprofit organizations, schools, seniors, youth and all ages in between. Each year the Library expands its innovative role in our county from providing access to 3-D printing and the latest in AI, to collections of American Girl Dolls, fishing rods, sports equipment and internet hotspots and COVID testing kits during the pandemic. I am grateful and humbled to return to this remarkable, community-driven organization.”

Top priorities for the Library’s fundraising initiatives include renovations of the Bel Air, Joppa and Edgewood branches; coordinating partnerships for the Library’s Summer Reading Program, which provides reading incentives to counter summer learning loss for 16,000 pre-school to high school age students; and event planning for the Library’s annual gala on November 4.

“Harford County Public Library offers its partners an unprecedented return on their sponsorship investments,” said Shrodes. “The Library is a cherished institution in Harford County, serving over 192,000 local borrowers. This represents more than 73 percent of the county’s population! Further, registered card holders are engaged, requesting on average 11 items per year, per customer, contributing to a circulation exceeding two million items annually. Our marketing campaigns are exciting and original, our staff are skilled and dedicated, and our resources are second to none. Businesses and partners looking for opportunities to reach a wide audience or a niche group like families with young children will find the Library’s programs and materials an outstanding opportunity to increase awareness about their business and expand their market share.”

The Harford County Public Library Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization established to raise funds to augment the financial resources of the Harford County Public Library and to promote awareness of its services. For more information about the Foundation, call 410-273-5601 x 6513.

Harford County Public Library operates 11 branches located throughout Harford County offering access to ideas that inform, entertain and inspire. Last year the Library interacted with its residents more than 12 million times – borrowing free materials, visiting branches and the website, using free WiFi, and attending classes and events. In 2021 Harford County Public Library was named a Star Library by Library Journal. For more information, visit HCPLonline.org.

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