November 24th, 2014

Small Business Saturday

2014_SBSI am very excited to introduce our first guest blogger, Patti Paulus.  My position as the small business librarian started almost six years ago, and I have had the pleasure of knowing Patti as a client and friend for the past five years.  I am so proud that the idea of an artist co-op from five years ago launched into such a successful business, The Palette & The Page.  She has positively contributed so much to the downtown revitalization of Main Street in Elkton and the store makes shopping local a no-brainer!

By now you have probably heard about “Small Business Saturday” which is the Saturday after Black Friday, this year it’s November 29th.  For Small Businesses, it is a pretty big deal.  As one of the owners of a small business in downtown Elkton, it feels like a special celebration and recognition of us and all small businesses.  The point of the event is to purposefully go out and shop at small businesses on that day in particular.  Of course, all small business owners want you to remember them whenever you shop, eat, need a repair or some construction, need your hair done – I think you get the picture…

Many studies have been done about the impact small businesses have on a community.  According to the SBE Council, small businesses are incubators for innovation and employment growth and have accounted for 60% of the net new jobs created since the end of the recession, which began in about mid-2009.  According to the American Independent Business Alliance, “Multiple studies show locally-owned independent restaurants return twice as much per dollar of revenue to our local economy than chain restaurants. And independent retailers return more than three times as much money per dollar of sales than chain competitors.”  Additionally, according to AMIBA, “Buying remotely on the web creates almost no local benefit-just a few minutes’ work for a delivery person.”

My small business, The Palette & The Page, a gallery owned by women in downtown Elkton, has been in existence for 5 years.  With much help from Cecil County Public Library’s Small Business Information Center (SBIC), we have grown to represent 30 local artists, 12 local authors and provide our community with a place to find truly unique items for themselves, their homes and their family and friends.

We’ve also been very instrumental in creating an active First Friday Art Loop in Downtown Elkton, providing opportunities to see new artwork, meet artists and authors, hear live music AND support small businesses- all throughout the Elkton Arts & Entertainment District.  Just this year we were chosen to receive the 2014 Small Business of the Year Award from the Elkton Chamber & Alliance.

On November 29th, for Small Business Saturday, we are joining forces with Small Busi-nesses everywhere, but especially those in our community.  We encourage you to “Shop Small” – support the places in your community that add value by helping to make the community strong, where people remember you, where you can be a part of giving back by spending your dollars  in a place where it will impact your community twice as much.  Additionally, your support will keep on giving as those businesses return their dollars to their community by investing in the community.  We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, November 29th!

If you are interested in starting your own small business, contact the Small Business Information Center at 410-996-5600 ext 128.  Click here for more information.


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September 16th, 2014

Listen Up!

listeningOne of the most often asked questions by parents at the library is how to help their child be a stronger reader. Like books, struggling readers come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and cultures. A child’s ability to read is a result of various factors, and may sometimes be influenced by a language barrier, medical condition, or learning disability.

Trained educators know that early intervention can make a world of difference for a child. Many techniques and strategies, some not involving letters or words at all, can dramatically increase a child’s ability to read. One technique is utilizing audio books.

Audio books are CD’s or other forms of digitized media, on which stories are recorded as a person (or sometimes a cast of readers) reads them. The reader’s voices of these books bring characters to life, and the readers adjust the tone, speed, and volume of their voices to dramatize the story to the fullest potential. Many adults love audio books. We listen to them on long commutes back and forth to work. We listen to them while we clean our houses.

Somewhere out there, though, there is a feeling that children must physically read books. That listening to them is somehow cheating; not beneficial. In most cases, that is just not true.
Listening to audio books is actually one technique that can make a dramatic difference in a child’s ability to read. Listening to an audio book, while reading the book simultaneously, is even better! Studies show that listening to a story being read, while reading along, improves comprehension and fluency.

This is where your local library steps in.

Did you know that the Cecil County Public Library has entire collections of audio books for children?  We have audio books for beginning readers, like the popular Bob Books series available as a CD Book, where the CD is packaged directly with the book. Cecil County Public Library offers several CD Book titles in our EZ Reader section, like titles from Cynthia Rylant’s series “Henry and Mudge,” or “Fox in Socks,” by Dr. Seuss.

Classic favorites by award-winning authors, as well as new titles, are available in our picture book area.  Maybe a child in your life would like reading along, while listening to, a book by Kevin Henkes or Patricia Polacco! More challenging CD Books are available in our chapter book areas. We encourage you to check out the book with the CD Book, and listen as you read. We carry a slew of popular titles and series in CD Book format, from Junie B. Jones and  Magic Tree House, to 39 Clues, Little House on the Prairie, and Harry Potter (just to name a few). Why not listen to a children’s book on your way to school or sports practice?

For technology-hungry families, have you considered downloading audiobooks? CCPL has thousands of titles, click here.
Whether you are looking for strategies to help a struggling reader, or just a new way to enjoy a great book, try out an audio book and let us know about your experience the next time you stop by!

What’s your favorite audiobook?


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