As chair of the board, University of Maryland iSchool MLS alumna Mary Hastler will continue Maryland Humanities' racial equity work.
Mary Hastler, the CEO of Harford County Public Library, has been elected chair of the board of Maryland Humanities. The term of office is two years. She has served as a gubernatorial appointee on the board of Maryland Humanities for the past four years and is in her second three-year term.
Other elected board officers are Keith Stone, private equity analyst at Brown Advisory, Inc., vice chair; Jim Cornelsen, chairman of the Mid-Atlantic region, WesBanco, treasurer; Mark Irwin, founder, Digital Strategies and Services, secretary; Julie Madden, arts advocate and former director of arts and community initiatives for the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (now Commerce), government liaison; and Cynthia Raposo, retired attorney, immediate past chair.
During the coming year as board chair, Hastler will work closely with Maryland Humanities' new executive director, Lindsey Baker. Baker identified several priorities for the coming year which include continuing the racial equity work Maryland Humanities has been engaged in, growing the organization’s statewide impact and finding ways to be more nimble with programming.
In addition, a recently received grant focusing on electoral engagement from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation via the Federation of State Humanities Councils will allow Maryland Humanities to implement new and grow existing programming related to civic engagement, voting rights and more in the coming months.
“We are entering an exciting new phase for Maryland Humanities. Building on the strong framework already in place, I look forward to working with Mary to grow and strengthen Maryland Humanities' role within the state,” Baker said.
Hastler concurs. “The humanities are so important to living a meaningful, well-rounded life. I am proud to be part of an organization that works to make the humanities part of our lives every day,” said Hastler. “Maryland Humanities creates opportunities for all Marylanders to learn and discuss our state’s heritage, culture and future by engaging with literature, history, philosophy and social sciences.”
Hastler has served as CEO of Harford County Public Library since 2010. In addition to chairing the Maryland Humanities board, Hastler is also chair of the Harford County Commission for Women, serves on the United Way of Central Maryland Region United Network Advisory Board of Harford County and on the Harford County Education Foundation, Healthy Harford, Harford County Local Management Board, Greater Bel Air Community Foundation, Harford County Public Library and Harford County Public Library Foundation and is active in the American Library Association and its divisions.
Hastler is past president of the Maryland Library Association and a past president of the Maryland Association of Public Library Administrators.
In 2018, Hastler received the Maryland Library Association Outstanding Member Award for her leadership in supporting library development, funding, services, customers and staff at the local, state and national level. The award recognizes an individual with personal characteristics that make the recipient an inspirational role model for the diverse MLA membership.
In addition, she has received several awards from The Daily Record including the Icon Honors Award in 2018; Influential Marylander in 2019 and 2017; and induction into Maryland’s Top 100 Women’s Circle of Excellence in 2017.
Under Hastler’s leadership, Harford County Public Library was presented with an Innovator of the Year Award four times: for Little Leapers, pre- and early literacy STEM kits; Little Leapers 3.5; the digital media Innovation Lab; and Bel Air Library Children’s Department renovation.
Earlier this year Hastler was honored by the Iota Nu Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., in recognition of outstanding dedication and commitment.
Hastler received a Master of Library Science from the University of Maryland, College Park, College of Library and Information Services, and a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration Human Resources from Towson University.
In addition, she completed the University of Georgia, Carl Vinson Institute of Government, Library Financial Management Certificate Program, and the Cornell University’s eCornell Certificate program for Diversity and Inclusion. She is a 2003 graduate of the Harford Leadership Academy.