February 20th, 2017

Devices and downloads

Based on the widely-publicized recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, you may find yourself wondering, could my phone or device ever be fire hazard? Apart from the Samsung recall (which has been linked to a manufacturing defect) reports of exploding and fire-catching devices are very rare. However, the vast majority of modern devices use lithium-ion batteries, which do contain flammable liquids that can catch fire or even explode under certain extreme conditions.

In today’s world, it’s easy to fall asleep with a charging device by your side. Or perhaps you charge your laptop on a soft chair at your bedside. Devices get fairly hot while charging and these conditions can be unsafe and overheat the device, potentially leading to a fire. We consulted with a local fire fighter who confirmed he has put out several fires that started from devices left on soft surfaces. He advised that one of the key dangers to watch out for is that the device doesn’t end up sandwiched in-between flammable items like pillows and bedding. The best spot for your device (particularly when it’s charging) is on a hard surface, free of flammable clutter such as paper or clothes.

A few other tips from our staff: don’t leave a device plugged in after it has fully charged, as that can cause heat to build up. If you lose the charging cable that came with the device, invest in a quality, name-brand charging cable to replace it. Certainly, if your charging cable shows signs of wear such as exposed wires, get a new one. We pay a lot of money for our devices, so it makes sense to invest a little money in charging them safely. Finally, don’t charge your device in the extreme cold (below 32) or high heat (above 100) — it can cause damage to the battery.

While we’re on the subject, we have lots to offer for your device at Cecil County Public Library. To learn another language, you can use the Rosetta Stone app, free with your library card. Hoopla gives you access to movies, TV shows, music and audiobooks. Try out our OverDrive service for a great selection of eBooks and audiobooks and use Zinio to browse and download magazines. Want to do more on your device using library tools, resources and services? Our librarians and staff are ready to help you at any of our seven branches.


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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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