February 24th, 2015

CCPL named 1 of 15 library finalists for the 2015 National Medal

FinalistGraphic15

This is a very special time for Cecil County Public Library, our Board and staff.  For the second time in just two years, CCPL is a finalist for the nation’s highest honor presented to libraries that are making a profound positive difference in their communities.  CCPL is the only library or museum in Maryland among the finalists.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is the federal agency that provides leadership for libraries and museums at the national level. Their mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement.  Each year, IMLS selects a group of 15 libraries and 15 museums as finalists for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service and highlights their work for two months before selecting 10 recipients of the IMLS annual medal.

CCPL is honored to have been selected as a finalist for the IMLS medal for 2015.  We are celebrating and hope all of Cecil County will celebrate with us!  We are your community library!

Although CCPL is not a very big library like some of the other finalists (which include Los Angeles and Brooklyn Public Libraries!), our services are having a major impact in Cecil County.  We strive to live our mission every day by providing lifelong educational and cultural opportunities and resources for all and actively promoting individual and community success.  We have developed library educational and economic development services and outreach programs that address critical community needs and promote opportunity for all Cecil’s citizens. Over the past few years, we have also developed specialized services for veterans who are staying at the Perry Point VA Medical Center so that they can become more successful in their careers and lives after they have left the military.

We are involved in the community; we listen and learn from you, and step up whenever we can use our resources, skills, and talents to make progress in our county.  We touch the lives of tens of thousands of our citizens.  A video can be worth a thousand words about the impact of CCPL’s work.  Check out these short CCPL videos about our work with innovative solutions for school success and small business.

The world is a crazy place and as a nation, state, and community, it seems there is always a lot to worry about.  But, once again, let’s put that aside over the next couple months to celebrate this Cecil County success story—the national recognition of your public library!  Visit CCPL branches, shake a librarian’s hand, scroll through the programs and services listed on our website, join the Friends of the Library, thank elected officials for supporting the library, tell friends, neighbors, parents and children, teens and entrepreneurs about your library!  And on Wednesday, March 18, when Cecil County Public Library will be featured on the IMLS Facebook page, we hope you will post your CCPL experiences to share with the nation.  Cecil County—America is watching, and they are impressed!


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February 18th, 2015

Exploring Science @ CCPL

girl-505813_640I’ll admit it: I love science. I will go out of my way to read books and articles about science. This wasn’t always the case, though. My love of science started in tenth grade, and it was because of Mr. Paul Adams. He took chemistry, which could have been intimidating, and made it not only accessible but also fun. In between electron dot diagrams and chemical equations, he taught me that an engaging, entertaining teacher could make or break a science class.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be in school to find a great teacher; the library has plenty! I found one in Christine McKinley, host of “History Channel’s Brad Meltzer Decoded” and author of “Physics for Rock Stars: Making the Laws of the Universe Work for You.” She takes such concepts as the scientific method, Newton’s laws, and the ideal gas law and, combining them with stories from her life and advice for the rock stars who may read the book, makes them fun. In the first chapter, she relates how, as a junior high student, she used the scientific method to answer the question of whether it is better to be a smart kid or a cool kid.  Later in the book, her knowledge of fluid dynamics lets her explain how to escape a (hypothetical) car crash into a lake, and look good while doing so! I listened to the audiobook from Hoopla, and Tavia Gilbert’s inflection made the book even funnier. There’s a little math in the book, but don’t be scared: the explanations are clear.

If you’re looking for more math help, you might consider “Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math Without Breaking a Nail” by Danica McKellar (of The Wonder Years and Dancing with the Stars), as well as her three additional math books. She shows real-world applications that help anybody get a handle on math concepts—not just middle schoolers—and her books are my go-to when I need a little help explaining math concepts to my daughter. When she talks about using percents and decimals to help you figure out whether you can afford to buy a magazine with 7% tax, that’s a little motivation to understand the concept!

For a little more light reading, try a magazine. Popular Science is easily accessible on your smartphone, tablet, or computer using Zinio, as well as in paper format through the library. We also have Discover, National Geographic, and Smithsonian, all available in both print and electronic format.

Besides the “Physics for Rock Stars” audiobook, which I enjoyed so much, Hoopla also has television, movies, and other audiobooks about science. There are even five seasons of Bill Nye the Science Guy! Cecil County Public Library also provides a wide range of science and technology based classes through Gale Courses.

Sometimes it’s a little easier to understand science if an actual person explains it, rather than a book or a video. Cecil County Public Library can help you there as well, as we have a wealth of science-based programs, such as our Science Café series. We also have a wide range of programs for childrenteens, and adults.

Whether you’re just starting to learn about science, are a homeschooling family or you would like to further your scientific interests, Cecil County Public Library has something for you.

What’s your favorite way to explore science?

I’ll admit it: I love science. I will go out of my way to read books and articles about science. This wasn’t always the case, though. My love of science started in tenth grade, and it was because of Mr. Paul Adams. He took chemistry, which could have been intimidating, and made it not only accessible but also fun. In between electron dot diagrams and chemical equations, he taught me that an engaging, entertaining teacher could make or break a science class.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be in school to find a great teacher; the library has plenty! I found one in Christine McKinley, host of “History Channel’s Brad Meltzer Decoded” and author of “Physics for Rock Stars: Making the Laws of the Universe Work for You.” She takes such concepts as the scientific method, Newton’s laws, and the ideal gas law and, combining them with stories from her life and advice for the rock stars who may read the book, makes them fun. In the first chapter, she relates how, as a junior high student, she used the scientific method to answer the question of whether it is better to be a smart kid or a cool kid. Later in the book, her knowledge of fluid dynamics lets her explain how to escape a (hypothetical) car crash into a lake, and look good while doing so! I listened to the audiobook from Hoopla, and Tavia Gilbert’s inflection made the book even funnier. There’s a little math in the book, but don’t be scared: the explanations are clear.

If you’re looking for more math help, you might consider “Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math Without Breaking a Nail” by Danica McKellar, as well as her three additional math books. She shows real-world applications that help anybody get a handle on math concepts—not just middle schoolers—and her books are my go-to when I need a little help explaining math concepts to my daughter. When she talks about using percents and decimals to help you figure out whether you can afford to buy a magazine with 7% tax, that’s a little motivation to understand the concept!

For a little more light reading, try a magazine. Popular Science http://www.rbdigital.com/cecilcountymd/service/zinio/landing?mag_id=989 is easily accessible on your smartphone, tablet, or computer using Zinio, as well as in paper format through the library. We also have Discover http://www.rbdigital.com/cecilcountymd/service/zinio/landing?mag_id=628, National Geographic http://www.rbdigital.com/cecilcountymd/service/zinio/landing?mag_id=931, and Smithsonian http://www.rbdigital.com/cecilcountymd/service/zinio/landing?mag_id=1082, all available in both print and electronic format.

Besides the “Physics for Rock Stars” audiobook, which I enjoyed so much, Hoopla also has television https://www.hoopladigital.com/browse/content?genre.id=322087923&kindName=TELEVISION&genre.name=Science, movies https://www.hoopladigital.com/browse/content?genre.id=320711305&kindName=MOVIE&genre.name=Science, and other audiobooks https://www.hoopladigital.com/browse/content?genre.id=318447857&kindName=AUDIOBOOK&genre.name=Science+%26+Technology about science. Cecil County Public Library also provides a wide range of science and technology based classes through Gale Courses.

Sometimes it’s a little easier to understand science if an actual person explains it, rather than a book or a video. Cecil County Public Library can help you there as well, as we have a wealth of science-based programs, such as our Science Café series. We also have a wide range of programs for children, http://md.evanced.info/cecil/lib/eventsxml.asp?ag=Children&et=Science+%26+Environment&lib=ALL&nd=50&feedtitle=Cecil+County+Public+Library+Events&dm=rss2&LangType=0 teens, http://md.evanced.info/cecil/lib/eventsxml.asp?ag=Teens&et=Science+%26+Environment&lib=ALL&nd=50&feedtitle=Cecil+County+Public+Library+Events&dm=rss2&LangType=0 and adults. http://md.evanced.info/cecil/lib/eventsxml.asp?ag=Adults&et=Science+%26+Environment&lib=ALL&nd=50&feedtitle=Cecil+County+Public+Library+Events&dm=rss2&LangType=0

Whether you’re just starting to learn about science, are a homeschooling family or you would like to further your scientific interests, Cecil County Public Library has something for you.

What’s your favorite way to explore science?