Restart: Mary Hastler


As the world moves toward recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, we asked people in our community about a time they started over or started again.  How did they recover and re-energize themselves in those situations? Over the next several weeks, we will share the stories of their #restart.

Mary Hastler, CEO, Harford County Public Library

Restart: Mary Hastler
Photo: Midatlantic Photography

As an optimist, I see every day as an opportunity for a fresh start. My professional journey has been full of twists and turns. I was in a health care administration position that provided the opportunity for me to demonstrate the advanced learning acquired by a graduate degree. It was a terrific job to have while raising my family.

However, the delivery of health care services was undergoing a radical change. I began to question my career and chosen profession. In addition, giving back to my community is important to me, and I was feeling that this was not happening in a meaningful way.

I volunteered at the local library system and eventually applied for a nine-hour-a-week job. That’s where I discovered my true passion for public libraries.

“I see every day as an opportunity for a fresh start.”

Eventually my part-time position evolved into full time. I returned to school and earned a second graduate degree in library science from the University of Maryland College Park. In 2010 I was appointed Harford County Public Library director/CEO, and it was all because I decided to make a fresh start those so many years ago.

Life is short, but we get to decide how to spend the precious 1,440 minutes we are given each day.

Read more of our #restart stories:

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