Maryland Library Association Presents Excellence in Marketing Award to Harford County Public Library

State Librarian Irene Padilla joins Harford County Public Library CEO Mary Hastler, Marketing & Communications Specialist Megan Baker, Project Lead Graphic Designer Carrie Yocum, Director of Philanthropy & Community Engagement Amber Shrodes and Director of Marketing & Communications Leslie Greenly Smith at the presentation of the Maryland Library Association’s Excellence in Marketing Award. (Photo Courtesy of Harford County Public Library)

Award honors the marketing campaign for the Library Foundation’s 19th Annual Gala, SpyBall: Secrets in the Stacks

Maryland Library Association awarded Harford County Public Library the Excellence in Marketing Award for the marketing campaign for the 19th Annual Gala, SpyBall: Secrets in the Stacks. It was selected for top honors among entries submitted by public and academic libraries from across Maryland. It is the second time since 2018 that the Library has received the honor.

Harford County Public Library’s submission included marketing collateral for the gala developed by a team led by Leslie Greenly Smith, marketing & communications director, and the video production team led by Amber Shrodes, director of philanthropy & community engagement, that produced a video in advance of the gala.

“We are so fortunate to have such a creative, imaginative team leading our marketing efforts for the Library,” said Mary Hastler, CEO of Harford County Public Library. “While this award is a great honor for Harford County Public Library, I want to give a special shout out to Leslie Greenly Smith, Amber Shrodes and their teams for such an outstanding campaign.”

Harford County Public Library Foundation’s 19th annual Gala, SpyBall: Secrets in the Stacks raised more than $100,000 in November at the Abingdon Library. Proceeds from the gala benefited the Rolling Reader, an outreach vehicle that serves the county’s most vulnerable youth by providing access to Library resources.

Three experts in marketing and/or design from around the state judged the entries. Each submission was judged on four criteria: product originality, measurable results, quality of the campaign and campaign design. Additional points were given for audience appeal, presentation of information in a clear and informative way, attractive appearance, appropriateness of design/graphics/photos and uniqueness of format.

The Excellence in Marketing Award was established by the Maryland Library Association to recognize the talent of communications and marketing professionals within Maryland libraries and to share ideas, learn from peers and validate the importance of library marketing.

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 2023 Harford County Public Library received Graphic Design USA’s American Inhouse Design Award™ for graphic excellence, the third time in five years. For more information, visit

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