February 13th, 2017

Passion for the Elderly Turns into an Entrepreneurial Journey to Owning a Business

When I first met Donna Harrity over a year ago, it was clear that she had a passion for the business she wanted to start. Donna Harrity’s drive to become self-employed started with a need she found in the community while working for 20 years as Director of Admissions at Calvert Manor. “People would call me more and more and say that a parent was ready to be in a nursing home and couldn’t live alone anymore. After a brief discussion, it became evident that their parent could stay at home if they were simply more aware of community resources available to them,” Harrity explains. She knew about the resources available to help keep seniors living in their own home longer and felt that she could be that resource connecting the dots for these families.
Harrity’s launched her small business Aging Life Guides with a mission to help seniors and their families make informed decisions to meet individual needs and to help maintain a high quality of life. The mission and drive came easy to Harrity, but she did not know where to begin when it came to formalizing the business. During an appointment at CCPL’s Small Business Information Center we discussed the process of starting a business in Cecil County.
“The brochure that the library provided on starting a business was an excellent step-by-step guide that really helped to lay the groundwork for creating an LLC. It simplified what I thought was going to be a complicated process.” Harrity credits the resources at the Cecil County Public Library as being instrumental in the early stages of her business.
“We were able to find pertinent demographic information from the library’s databases along with projections on my target population. The competitor analysis from Reference USA (another library database) also helped me to visualize where the current need for my services was not being met.” Harrity also praises the Gale Online Courses offered through the library’s website. She took a class on Healthy Aging and plans to take more in the future to stay current on both general business topics and topics specific to her industry.
Currently, Aging Life Guides provides assessment and care plans that evaluate a senior’s abilities and areas of concern as well as solutions. Harrity also assists families with home care providers, home equipment, managing medications, banking and bill paying. In addition, she can provide a transition plan when a senior is discharged from the hospital or rehab back to home. Her warm personality and experience in geriatric care a perfect combination for an entrepreneur in this industry. If you would like to contact Donna Harrity and discuss the services she can offer to your family, call 443-207-8834 or visit www.aginglifeguides.com or email her at donna@aginglifeguides.com.
Future goals for Harrity include connecting to more potential collaborators, like financial planners and eldercare lawyers. She plans to consult with the library in the future to help guide her along the way. Using the library’s free online database Reference USA, she now has a complete contact lists for all financial planners in Cecil County, so she is on her way to achieving these goals.
Another opportunity to benefit from Harrity’s eldercare knowledge involves a new collaboration with St. Mary Anne’s Church in North East. They are presenting a free, three-part series of workshops on Managing Senior Life: “Paying for Long-Term Care” on February 11 at 10am, “Staying Strong with Age” on March 11 at 10am and “Time to Give-up the Keys” on April 1 at 10am.
For more information about the free services offered by the Cecil County Public Library’s Small Business Information Center, visit www.cecil.ebranch.info/smallbusiness or call 410-996-5600 ext. 128 or email sbic@ccplnet.org. As the Small Business Librarian, I would be happy to meet with you one-on-one and assist you with your research needs in starting or running your small business.


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February 6th, 2017

Outlander Pub Trivia

Many bars and restaurants host weekly trivia nights—chances are you have a friend or family member who frequents a local bar on a weekday night for just that reason. Have you ever wondered how trivia nights originated?

Pub trivia, as it is most commonly called, first appeared in Great Britain sometime in the 1970s. There are a few theories on the origin of the pub quiz.
Local pubs were (and still are) where the community came together; a place for conversation with neighbors, where ideas, politics, and opinions are shared and discussed. Pubs are also where people come together to relax.

In the 1970s, many would visit the pub to watch their favorite weekly shows. Quiz shows were among the most popular; trivia has often been a staple of British culture, so trivia shows would always draw a crowd. Pub patrons would play along with the show and yell out answers. After the show, people would think of their own trivia questions and try to stump their friends.
Eventually, bartenders saw how popular the game was and decided to profit from it, creating their own “live trivia” events.

According to author Marcus Berkmann, the creation of Trivial Pursuit is the reason quiz nights spread so rapidly throughout the country. Created in 1979, the game boasted 6,000 questions, which patrons would use to entertain themselves at the pub. By 1990, most pubs had a weekly quiz night as opposed to five years earlier.

Cecil County Public Library is starting their own versions of the pub quiz—quiz nights dedicated to popular book series. On February 15th, CCPL will host a trivia night at Minihane’s in downtown Elkton based on the popular “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon and the Starz television adaptation. If you’ve read all the books, or watched the show, come join us and meet new friends while supporting local businesses! The event is free, but registration is required. Please call the Elkton library at 410-996-5600 extension 481 to sign up, or register online.


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