August 28th, 2013

What Would You Do as King?

kingpeggybookLibraries don’t just answer questions, they ask them. The Maryland Humanities Council’s One Maryland One Book reading and discussion program is a perfect example of how the library helps its community discuss important questions. This year’s selection, “King Peggy: An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed an African Village,” invites us to explore questions of culture and gender difference, as well as personal questions of how we might respond when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds.

Like the wise and often funny Mma Ramotswe of Alexander McCall Smith’s “No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency,” King Peggy has a talent for solving complicated problems. When I read “King Peggy,” I was struck by how similar her story could be to so many of our own—going about her daily life, working to make ends meet and then faced with a huge turning point that grants the opportunity to change lives. But we don’t have to be born into royalty to bring hope and transformation to town.

While we don’t struggle with issues like access to clean water and basic medical care such as in King Peggy, we do, like other areas in the state, have many people without jobs, a high school dropout rate we’re working to improve, and too many who go to bed hungry at the end of the day. I’m excited to share King Peggy’s story because I believe it will provoke powerful questions on the local impacts we might achieve by applying similar courage, creativity, and sacrifice. Even more, I’m excited to see what answers we’ll discover.

In addition to participating in discussions of the book at CCPL branches throughout the county, you’ll have the opportunity to meet King Peggy when she visits the Elkton Central Library on Monday, September 9th at 7:30pm. Join us for these other special King Peggy events:

What Is Wrong with a Woman Being Chief? — Thursday, September 12th at 7pm
African Storyteller: Jamal Koram (family event) — Thursday, September 19th at 6:30pm
Sankofa African Dance Company (family event) — Saturday, September 28th at 2:30pm

We hope you’ll join us and get inspired to consider the issues that affect communities near and far. If you were king, what problems would you tackle first?


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February 6th, 2013

The Buzz about STEM at CCPL

Edutopia STEM infographicLately, there’s been a lot of talk about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education in our community.   It’s not just the latest buzz word– data now shows that STEM learning helps our students to be more successful in college and as they enter the workforce, our citizens to find better paying jobs, and our country to compete on the global stage.
Did you know that the library provides opportunities for everyone  in the community to expand their STEM knowledge?  From after school and Summer Reading programs for children and teens, to Science Cafes and 24/7 access to 21st century technology, there’s something for everyone. Check out this amazing infographic from Edutopia to get a few ideas of just how big the STEM impact really is.

This Saturday, the Elkton Central Library will host In the Spirit of Ron McNair:  Astronaut, American Hero.  US Army Aerospace Engineer Mark Thomas will tell us more about one of the world’s first African American astronauts and the ill-fated Challenger mission in this special all-ages program, presented in conjunction with the Iota Nu Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Service Fraternity.

Teens have the opportunity to explore basic science principles while participating in Valentine’s Day-themed activities and experiments at the Chesapeake City branch’s I Heart Science program on Tuesday, February 12th at 3:30pm, and teens at the Perryville branch will experiment with Food Scientists on Thursday, February 21st at 3pm.  Be sure to check out the details on Cecilwood 2013, our annual short film festival where teens have the opportunity to create and produce a 5-minute film around the theme “In a Word.”

We’ll be celebrating National Engineering Week (February 17th-23rd) with some fun engineering programs for children on Wednesday, February 20th at 3:30pm, including LEGO Club Afternoon Fun at the Perryville Branch and a special challenge presented by engineers from the US Army Research Lab at APG.   The Port Deposit branch will also host a LEGO Club on Saturday, February 9th at 11am.  Look for more exciting LEGO programs throughout our branches this spring!

Be sure to mark your calendars for our next Science Café at 7pm on Tuesday, March 26th at the Elkton Central Library!  Lynne Gartenhaus of Companions 4 Heroes will lead participants in a discussion of the science behind how the unconditional love of a pet can heal wounded veterans.  Never been to a Science Café before?  It’s a great opportunity for all members of the community to engage in discussions of STEM-related topics with local experts in an informal setting.

For more ongoing STEM opportunities, look for the atom sign in the Library Link! atom


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