Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Celebrate Black History Month

Africa globe - Black History Month
Did you know that February is Black History Month? MCPL has free online resources, books, and events to help you learn and celebrate!

If you're looking to explore and research online we've got some wonderful, authoritative resources for you! The Oxford African American Studies Center online database is focused "on the lives and events which have shaped African American and African history and culture." It is a place where you can read articles, primary sources, maps, timelines, and biographical information.There are also many images included on the site that you can view.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
If you are looking for biographical information, you should have at look at Biography in Context. There you browse and search for information on notable African Americans. You can also search by nationality and occupation. The site provides articles from reference works, academic journals, magazines, and newspapers as well as images, audio clips, and videos.

You can discover history though song as well. Listen to streaming music from American Song which includes genres such as jazz, blues, gospel, ragtime, folk songs, and narratives, among others. If you are interested in jazz try the Jazz Music Library where you can choose from thousands of jazz artists, ensembles, albums, and genres.

Have you heard about the Lincoln Park History Project? It's a partnership MCPL has to find, document, and preserve the cultural heritage of one of Rockville's oldest African American communities. Lincoln Park, started in the 1890s, was one of the first real estate ventures for African American homeowners in Montgomery County. We invite you to learn about its history, the families that lived there, the houses they lived in, and more. There is also information included about Lorenzo Dow Turner. He was a professor of English and he pioneered research of Gullah language in the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia.

Civil Rights March
Looking for some fascinating books to read? We have some great book suggestions for adults and teens as well as kids to help celebrate Black History Month. The first week of Black History Month (February 1-7) kicks off with Read Africa Week (February 1-7). It is a literacy initiative of Africa Access, the Center for African Studies at Howard University, and Howard University’s School of Education. Teachers, librarians, parents, and adults are encouraged to introduce young people to great books about Africa during the first week of Black History Month. We have books as well as other resources for kids on Africa to help start learning and conversation.

Looking for events? We've got some exciting programs you won't want to miss.

  • Storyteller and folklorist Donna Washington will be at Rockville Memorial on Sat., Feb. 6 at 2:00 pm.
  • Learn about school segregation in Montgomery County at Twinbrook on Sat., Feb, 13 at 4:00 pm.
  • Learn about the history of Yarrow Mamout, a well-known African American who lived in Georgetown, at Twinbrook on Sat., Feb. 27 at 4:00 pm.
  • African American Book Discussions all month long.

We're happy to help you start your journey exploring Black History today at MCPL!


Friday, January 22, 2016

MCPL Snow Information

UPDATED 1/26, 9 pm: MCPL will reopen at 10 am on Wednesday, January 27 for regularly scheduled hours. Note that branches that normally open at 9 am will also open at 10 amBranches with 1 pm and 2 pm opening times will open at their regular scheduled times tomorrow. All programs and classes are cancelled.

Due dates will be adjusted for all MCPL items that were scheduled to be due on Friday -Tuesday (January 22-26). Holds that needed to be picked up on those dates will be available once we reopen.

We are anticipating a strong storm, and we'd like to help you be prepared:

Your favorite author is all checked out? This is a great opportunity to explore new authors. You might want to consider participating in our MCPL Reading Challenge to help expand your reading horizons.

If your power and internet stay on, we invite you to check out our online databases:

For tips for storm preparation and safety tips and to stay informed during the storm, please visit Montgomery County's official snow website.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Meet the Author... at MCPL!

wooden cubs spelling out word author sitting on a paper by glasses and a pen Are you a collector of signed books? Do you enjoy following your favorite authors on Twitter or Instagram to get news about their latest books, insight into their past books, or their opinion on the news of the day?

There is something fun about the insight into your favorite author that comes from hearing him or her speak in person. That’s part of why we are so excited when we have authors visit our branches. The upcoming months promise several great author events around MCPL, and we hope you can join us!

Cover: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
In January and February, our Bethesda branch hosts three separate young adult author events: Michael Grant on January 26; Victoria Aveyard and Sophie Jordan on February 11; and Veronica Rossi, Kami Garcia, and Susan Dennard on February 18. All these events start at 7 pm, and the authors will be signing books after the talks. Politics and Prose bookstore will be on hand to sell the authors’ books, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Friends of the Library, Bethesda Chapter.

There are also several upcoming events that nonfiction lovers will want to note. On February 3, author Dennis Brack will discuss his book Presidential Picture Stories: Behind the Cameras at the White House at the Bethesda branch. On February 20 at 1 pm, author Dr. Taiwo Koyejo will visit the Chevy Chase branch to discuss the true story that inspired her book Redemption.

Cover of From Slave Ship to Harvard by James JonstonAs part of our Black History Month events, author M.J. O’Brien will discuss his book We Shall Not Be Moved: The Jackson Woolworth’s Sit-In and the Movement It Inspired on February 13 at 2 pm at the Olney branch. For those with an interest in local history, author Jim Johnston will discuss his book From Slave Ship to Harvard: Yarrow Mamout and the history of an African American Family at the Twinbrook branch on February 27. This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Library, Twinbrook Chapter.

For the younger readers, local children’s author Jane Stein will visit Gaithersburg branch on March 19 at 11 am. She will discuss her book Dear Class: Traveling Around the World with Mrs. J. This event is open to children in kindergarten through 5th grade and does require online registration.

Be sure to check author events on our calendar frequently for event details, as well as schedule changes and additions. See you at an event soon!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ready, Set, Refresh!

MCPL Refreshed. Twinbrook Library 202 Meadow Hall Dr Reopening January 23
When the Twinbrook Library reopens on January 23, it will become the first MCPL location to have work completed as part of a Facility Refresh Project. Twinbrook branch customers and the public are invited to join MCPL and County officials for the reopening ceremony, which will be held at 10 am on January 23.

Both the Twinbrook and Kensington Park branches closed for their refresh projects in 2015. Kensington Park is expected to reopen later this year.

Stuffed polar bear sitting on a shelf with books in the background
Work that was completed in Twinbrook during the closure includes:
  • ADA upgrade of the restrooms and parking spaces;
  • Two collaboration/conference spaces;
  • New combined information and circulation customer service desk;
  • Enhanced preschool children's space with new shelving;
  • Additional furniture;
  • Painting;
  • Selective replacement of carpet;
  • Outside green space made accessible for programs;
  • Additional electrical outlets;
  • Enhanced Wi-Fi;
  • Digital display; and
  • New technology including a 3D Printer, charging station for customers' mobile devices, and in house use laptops for loan.
"I'm excited for you all to see the newly refreshed Twinbrook branch awash in vibrant, welcoming colors and enjoy all the added features and services," Director Parker Hamilton wrote in MCPL's January newsletter.

woman shelving library materials from a cartIn the meantime, staff are hard at work at the Twinbrook building and around the MCPL system to get new systems and equipment in place and running.

Additional refresh projects have been announced for the current fiscal year at Aspen Hill, Davis, and Little Falls, as well as for the following fiscal year at Bethesda, Quince Orchard, and White Oak. You can learn more about the facility refresh projects, which were designed to speed up the cycle at which buildings receive necessary renovations and technological improvements, on our website.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2016 MCPL Reading Challenge

Do you set reading goals?

MCPL 2016 Reading Challenge
Here at MCPL, we are excited to be holding our first-ever Reading Challenge in 2016!

The Purpose of a Reading Challenge
Have you ever gotten into a reading rut? Have you realized that you read a lot of young adult fantasy and very little of anything else? (You can't see me, but I'm raising my hand.) Maybe you've gone on a Civil War history kick and had a long string of books about President Lincoln and General Lee. Whatever your personal tendency is, a Reading Challenge is designed to stretch your boundaries, while still encouraging you to read the books you love.

Who can participate?
Anyone! The MCPL Reading Challenge is designed to be accessible for readers of all levels and ages. Select titles that fit your reading level. You are also welcome to complete the challenge as a family with books of different reading levels. You can include books in any language and any format, except where specified.

How it works
Check out the list of categories online or download and print the category list. As you read, track which category each book fits. In keeping with the spirit of the challenge, please record books read (at least primarily) in 2016. While we know books may fit multiple categories, please select one category per book.

How do I find a book for the _________ category?
There are a lot of great ways to find books. Maybe there is a book that has been sitting in your To-Be-Read pile that is just perfect for one of the categories. Or maybe it's that book your aunt has been telling you about every time you've seen her for the last three years. Or the book you never actually finished from an old class reading list. If none of those fit the bill (or you just want a second opinion), we're happy to help; for suggestions, ask the staff in your branch; try our online readers' advisory service, What Do I Check Out Next?; or peruse our Reading Challenge 2016 Pinterest board.

Ok, I finished, what now?
Congratulations on a great year of reading! Remember to check back starting October 1 for chances to enter to win fun prizes and a downloadable certificate of completion. If you read a great book for a specific category, please let us know via social media or by commenting on this blogpost. We may add your suggestion to our Pinterest board!
I'm participating #12months12books MCPL 2016 Reading Challenge
Let people know you are participating!

Anything else I should know?
If, for any reason, you are not able to complete one of the categories, we still want you to participate! Try the bonus category or ask our staff for alternative suggestions. Have more questions? Ask us in the comments.

Twelve months, twelve books, let's go!