April 25th, 2016

Spring Cleaning

putz-bucket-1290951_640Spring is finally here and my house is a mess! I’ll share a secret – I have a love/hate relationship with spring cleaning — the warm weather inspires me to clean, but the lovely long afternoons of sun highlight the dust all over my house. Exasperated, I’ll go outdoors and save cleaning for another day.

Thankfully, the library has many resources for organizing and cleaning that can help you get on track before the warm weather officially hits. One of my new favorites is The Complete Book of Home Organization by Toni Hammersley. If you were one of the many people who loved the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, you will be happy to know she recently released another! It is called Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up. I can’t wait to give that one a try. If you like Pinterest, CCPL has a great page with many boards of helpful resources – even one specifically about paper clutter.

As far as helpful cleaning tips, I will share my go-to strategy: don’t do it all at once. When I try to deep clean everything, I end up distracted and never finish! When I do a room at a time, over the course of a week or two, I find that everything is cleaner and I enjoy it so much more. I also listen to audiobooks while I clean and that makes the time fly by! The library has many audiobooks that you could checkout either in a branch, or online, that will make your spring cleaning seem like less of a chore and more fun! If you haven’t tried downloading from Hoopla (a digital service available through our website), give it a try – everything is available immediately, with no wait times. Good luck cleaning!

What’s your best spring cleaning tip?


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April 18th, 2016

SAT Resources

SAT prep booksAfter seeing my son’s PSAT scores, I realize he needs to do some studying before taking the SAT in the fall. I knew the library had traditional study guides in paper form, but I was surprised and excited by the depth of digital options now available.

With your library card already (if you don’t have one it’s free for Maryland residents), fire up the laptop or tablet right now and access our online practice tests. With a choice of two different products (Learning Express Library and Testing and Education Reference Center), try both to see which fits your student’s learning style best. Once you have created a login, choose to take part of the practice test or power through from math to reading. Full text study guides are also available as part of these products if things just aren’t going well.

With months to go before the fall SAT, sign up for a free SAT/ACT Prep Course from Gale Courses. This two part, instructor led online course provides lessons, interaction and content quizzes and would be perfect to keep skills fresh over summer break. Maybe while you are there, check out out all the career introduction courses on offer, if you are still undecided about a direction after high school.

Then, once you ace the SAT, come back and explore the college and scholarship information the library offers to take your next step. With so many free options, we hope all students can find the help they need to take their first steps toward achieving college and a successful career.

Late registration for the May 7 test closes April 26. For the June 4 test, regular registration ends May 5 and late registration closes May 25. Fall test dates have not yet been announced.

Where’s your favorite place to study?


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