July 6th, 2015

History is Alive at the Library!

chautauquaIt’s not apple pie. It’s not quilting, baseball, or rock n’ roll, either. No, “the most American thing in America,” according to former president Teddy Roosevelt, is Chautauqua.


Before television, radio, and car travel, cultural and educational entertainment was not easily attained by folks living in rural areas. In 1874 at Lake Chautauqua in upstate New York, “Chautauqua” was born, a week-long event packed with music, lectures, and other cultural opportunities. Its popularity gave birth to a movement, and towns all over America hosted Chautauqua events up until the mid-1920s.

Experience the resurgence of this American tradition, right here in Cecil County! Join us on Saturday, July 11th at 6pm for a special, after-hours event at the Elkton Central Library.

Emmy-winning actress and educator Gwendolyn Briley-Strand brings Olympian Wilma Rudolph to life in this one-woman living history performance. Rudolph was the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field during a single Olympic Games, a feat accomplished in spite of her childhood battle with polio. The living history performance is preceded by harp music played by local musician, Jessica Whelan.

Reserve your spot today!

Chautauqua is sponsored by the Maryland Humanities Council with support by Delmarva Power.

Photo credit: Window on Cecil County’s Past

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June 22nd, 2015

What’s a Comic Book Worth? Try Three Million Dollars

superman-secret-origin    captain-america   thedoctor

Click the pictures to view the books in the library catalog.


The funny thing about Superman is that he almost didn’t happen. Superman opened the door to the creation of other superheroes like Captain America and Wonder Woman, who may have been created at a much later date – if at all.

In the 1930s, if you enjoyed reading adventure or science fiction or fantasy, you’re options were few: essentially pulp magazines filled with short stories by fringe authors. But then two young Jewish kids from New York, Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, changed all that when they created Clark Kent, and a publisher called “DC” printed something no one had dared to attempt. “Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound.”

You see, back in the day, comic books were originally just reprints of old newspaper comic strips or “funnies.” No one thought a profit could be turned from printing comic books with all new, original material. That would mean paying artists and writers and, frankly, the newspapers were uninterested. Thus, most strips were comical cartoons for a while, until the first, true superhero hit the stands in Action Comics Issue #1 in 1938, and the reverberation would be felt in both American culture and Global culture for generations.

A copy of that original ten-cent comic was auctioned off in August of 2014 for over 3 million dollars, yes, $3,000,000. Thanks to Superman and other economic/propagandist factors surrounding World War II, the market boomed, and today people the world over instantly recognize dozens of superheroes plastered across our billboards, t-shirts, and big screens.

If you want to know more about this amazing history, I encourage you watch the authoritative History Channel documentary, “Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked”, which will be screened on Saturday June 27th at 1:00PM at the North East Branch Library. Featuring Stan Lee, Frank Miller, and Kevin Smith, this documentary explores the history of superheroes in comic books, from the first appearance of Superman to today’s morally-conflicted, violent anti-heroes. For adults, families, and teens (age 11+). This event goes hand-in-hand with CCPL’s Summer Reading theme (Every Hero Has A Story) and will highlight the recent addition of many spectacular Marvel and DC comics to our county-wide Young Adult collection. When you take a break from saving the world and flying through space, don’t forget to borrow some of these great collections from our shelves!

deadpool   godzilla   fivefists   atomicrobo

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