May 24th, 2011

Summer Reading, Take Me Away…

CB052871There are so many places in this big wide world I would like to see and things I’d like to do…and almost as many things to limit my opportunities—limited vacation time, money, skills, not to mention the “get up and go” required.  Travel and opportunity has never been so easily accessible to the masses, but for many, it still exists more as a dream than reality.

For me, the beauty of the library is the way it can extend one’s view of the horizon and also allow one to dive into the depths of the human soul.  Check out the right book, magazine, or movie, and you can be magically transported to other places, other times, even to “other lives.”  This year’s summer reading theme, “One World, Many Stories” celebrates the universal while recognizing the uniqueness of the individual.

Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world.

Now, this is not to instigate a debate over the merits of one over another.  Rather, it is an invitation to embrace the world you imagine.  For many of us, summer promises freedom….from school, work (well, maybe a week or two), heavy clothes, heating bills, shoes and socks, etc.  Let the library’s summer reading program guide you to a place where you are free to dream, learn, explore, and experience new and uncharted territory.  Summer vacationers of all ages can embark on voyages of their dreams and the only ticket required is a library card; the only passport needed—imagination.

Between June 1 and August 1, the library offers reading incentive programs for all, from babies to babushkas.  Adults can explore Novel Destinations; teens—You are Here; and One World, Many Stories for young children.

Don’t fret if you’re missing out on the African safari this summer or won’t be going walkabout in the land down under.  The library staff, with support from The  Friends of the Library, have arranged to bring the sights, sounds, and flavors of the world to you.  From the mountains to the prairies, Didgeridoos to shaker eggs, and French crepes to tacos—widen your world at your library.

Visit your neighborhood branch or look online for a calendar or events, or click here to register for summer reading.

What’s the voyage our your dreams this summer? Leave us a comment and we’ll suggest a few items from our collection that can get you started on your journey!

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November 24th, 2010

Gift Thyself

“Tis a gift to be simple, ‘tis a gift to be free..,” goes that familiar old Shaker tune…and many of us long for those elusive gifts—especially during the holidays.  We long for the simple pleasures of home-cooked meals, handmade treasures, familiar songs, and plates full of grandma’s cookies.  But we all know how much time those simple things can eat up…not to mention money.

Thanksgiving just arrived and colored lights and inflatable snowmen have been turning up in neighbors’ yards already.  It seems we start working toward “the best holiday ever!” earlier each year, and every year I still manage to have shopping and wrapping to do on Christmas Eve.   Judging by the crowds and traffic that I battle in those last minutes, I’ve got a feeling I’m not the only one.

Before you get swept up in the whirlwind of holiday preparation, treat yourself to an afternoon or evening of honest-to-goodness music by Simple Gifts.  These State College-based folk musicians return to the Cecil County Public Library to present two concerts on Thursday, December 2, 2010.  They will play at 3:00 p.m. at the Perryville Branch Library, and at 7:00 p.m. at the Elkton Central Library.

If you weren’t in the audience two years ago, click on for a sneak preview of the dynamic duo of Linda Littleton and Karen Hirshon.  The organic sounds of their dozen or so acoustic instruments, rich voices, and lively but laid back stage presence will transport you to other times and other villages.  These women are technically proficient on a beautiful array of fiddles, banjos, recorders, guitar, mandolin, hammered dulcimer, bowed psaltery (ever heard of that one??) and miscellaneous percussion instruments.   They also know a whole lot about traditional music from all over the world, and they’ll sneak in some generous lessons between the mesmerizing tunes, jigs, reels, polkas, waltzes, and ballads.

So why don’t you add one more thing to your to do list, and then put it in your pocket on December 2 and forget about it while you relax (or dance) your cares away with Simple Gifts.  Or better yet, invite your favorite music aficionados to come along and cross those  names off the list…for free!

If you can’t make it, you can check out the music of Simple Gifts @ your library with their CDs Time and Again and Crossing Borders.

What simple pleasures are you looking forward to this holiday season?

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