MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR HARFORD COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
As a recognized innovator and leader among the nation’s public libraries, Harford County Public Library (HCPL) is a catalyst for change while also nurturing the love of reading in the community and narrowing the digital divide. For over 74 years, Harford County Public Library (HCPL) has provided our community with access to ideas that inform, entertain and inspire. Last year, alone the library interacted with its residents more than 6.3 million times — borrowing free materials, visiting branches and the website, attending classes and events.
TELL US HOW AND WHY YOU BECAME INVOLVED IN DESIGNING FOR GOOD, ANY THOUGHTS ON WHY DESIGN IS AN ESPECIALLY EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR THIS GOAL?
HCPL is so much more than just checking out books. We are THE place to read, learn, and discover! The Library amazes and delights, redefining the library experience and this extends to our graphic design efforts, as well. Graphic design is truly the great communicator. It speaks to all socio-economic levels, it transcends all languages, and it offers information, comfort, and humor. We utilize creative, on-message, and brand specific graphic design across all of our customer touch points to help our customers learn more about Harford County Public Library and the many resources, programs and services we offer. Being recognized as a leader in the graphic design world is a terrific honor for our team. A few of the award-winning campaigns: Come In, We’re Awesome/Designer, Carrie Yocum The goal of this campaign was to raise awareness of the many services and products offered by the library and to encourage customers to visit the library either in person or online. Choose Civility Harford County/ Designer, Stephanie Detorie This campaign’s goal was to launch Choose Civility Harford County, a grassroots, countywide campaign designed to uplift the community by promoting respect, restraint and responsibility. 2020 Winter Reading Program/ Designer, Stephanie Detorie This year’s theme of “We Love to Read a Latte” was designed for adults and high school students alike. A special element this year was the inclusion of a Coffee Crawl & Tea Tour Passport program to encourage customers to visit our local businesses.
GIVEN THE CONFLUENCE OF EVENTS AND CHALLENGES WE FACE THIS FALL, DOES 2020 PRESENT ANY SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES, URGENCIES, OBSTACLES TO DESIGNING FOR GOOD?
This is a pivotal time for our Library in so many ways. We are looking at this as a wonderful opportunity to be innovative and think “outside the book”. We are striving to reach our customers in new and unique ways as we promote existing digital resources as well as brand new offerings like expanded Wi-Fi, virtual programs, curbside services, and take-andmake activities. Prior to the pandemic, most of our design elements were print-based and now our design focus is almost purely web-based. This has been a positive outcome for our team as it affords us a greater opportunity to reach a wider audience in the community and beyond. Any obstacles such as learning new software and adapting to the use of new platforms were quickly overcome by the dedication and perseverance of our team … who truly believe in the mission of Harford County Public Library … both before the pandemic and most certainly now.
PICTURED ABOVE: STEPHANIE DETORIE, GRAPHIC DESIGNER; CARRIE YOCUM, GRAPHIC DESIGNER; LESLIE GREENLY SMITH, DIRECTOR OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS; AND MARY HASTLER, LIBRARY CEO ARE PICTURED ON THE PATIO OF COFFEE COFFEE, A LOCAL BUSINESS AND LIBRARY COMMUNITY PARTNER. PHOTOGRAPH: MIDATLANTIC PHOTOGRAPHIC, LLC