August 3rd, 2015

Hot, Hot, Hot!

SunshineIt’s hot, hot, hot! If you’re looking to stay cool inside but have run out of ideas for entertaining the kids, Cecil County Public Library has solutions! In addition to the fun programs and classes at our branches, we have resources for all ages. For learning crafts and projects, check out our Pinterest page or if you’re looking for books, give these a try:

150+ screen-free activities for kids : the very best and easiest playtime activities from! by Asia Citro.

Unbored games: serious fun for everyone by Joshua Glenn.

101 kids activities that are the bestest, funnest ever!: the entertainment solution for parents, relatives & babysitters by Holly Homer

Amazing kitchen chemistry projects you can build yourself by Cynthia Light Brown.

The everything kids’ nature book: create clouds, make waves, defy gravity, and much more! Kathiann M.Kowalski.

Have you signed up for Summer Reading? It’s the perfect (and free) activity to beat the summer heat and there is still plenty of time to turn in your finished reading logs by Saturday, August 8. For children and teens, when you turn in your first reading log, you receive a coupon sheet of great free and discounted local activities: many thanks to our wonderful community sponsors.
Our annual summer reading picnic is Wednesday, August 5th at North East Town Park. Pack a picnic lunch and blankets, and we’ll provide prizes, music, snacks, Mr. Softee ice cream and Kona Ice for all!

Still looking for ideas to keep cool? Grab a CD book at the library or download one with Hoopla and take a long cool cruise in the car. Listening to books promotes literacy and also counts toward your summer reading log.

We hope to see you in the library and at the picnic!

How are you staying cool this summer?

July 27th, 2015

A Reluctant e-Reader

Breakfast with a tabletI love technology. If there’s a gadget, I want it. Despite that, it took me a long time to warm up to the idea of reading a book on a device. I was too attached to the idea of feeling the rustle of pages under my fingers, of flipping to the end to see what happens, of smelling that old book smell.

A few different things motivated me to make the switch. The first was George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series. The most recent book in the series, A Dance with Dragons, is 1,152 pages long, and it is no exaggeration to say that I had to be careful how I read that book, lest the sheer weight of it hurt my hands. At that point, I thought, reading on a tablet might just help my health! Also, reading on a device allows me to use the Fictionary, which is an e-book dictionary that keeps track of fictional characters and places. When I just can’t remember who that minor character is, I can tap the name, and the Fictionary will remind me. The Fictionary is not available for all books, but there are several options available for fantasy, science fiction, young adult, and classic novels.

One of my favorite things about reading on my tablet is its ability to customize. Want to read white text on a black screen, as I often do at night? Fine! Need a bigger font or more space between the lines? Easy! The app for OverDrive, which the library uses to provide eBooks and e-audiobooks, even includes the OpenDyslexic font, which is designed to make reading easier for people who have dyslexia. (To learn more about the OpenDyslexic font, and to see how to change your font in OverDrive, check out their blog post.)

Have you ever finished your book and realized that you can’t get another because the library is closed? With digital devices, the library is never closed. You can find a book on OverDrive or OneClickDigital and be reading again in seconds. You can also download a magazine from Zinio or an audiobook from Hoopla—no lines, no fines. I’ve found that audiobooks are not just for my commute. I listen to them while I’m weeding my garden, while I’m doing dishes, or while I’m putting away laundry. My audiobooks make mindless tasks a little less boring.

At this time of year, digital devices are perfect for vacations. I used to need a separate bag for all the books I wanted to bring for a trip. When I went on vacation with my family last month, I took a few minutes before we left to download some books onto my tablet, and then I was ready to go. I’d also downloaded a movie or two from Hoopla, in case my daughter got bored during the drive.

Don’t worry—I haven’t gone completely to the Dark Side. I still love my paper books, especially for cooking and crafts. Now that I’ve started using reading, listening, and watching on my tablet, though, I have to admit that I wish I had started all this just a little sooner. Check out what you can put on your device on our devices and downloads page, or ask at your favorite branch.


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