December 15th, 2014

Holiday Hoopla! ‘Tis the Season For Free Music

Christmas party

Another Holiday? Already? Well, at least CCPL has your music covered thanks to our new digital service: HOOPLA.

Let’s say you’re decorating the house or baking some goodies. You need some tunes in the kitchen, right? Keep your phone, tablet, or laptop away from flour dust and eggs and play some American country, like “Toby Keith: A Classic Christmas” (2007), or “Best Of 20th Century – Country Christmas” (2003).

If you want dulcimers or bluegrass pickin’, try “Appalachian Christmas” (2014) or “A Skaggs Family Christmas, Vol. 2” (2014). While you’re helping Santa wrap gifts and trying to decompress from all the madness of the shopping season, play The Riverside Brass Quintet nice and low. Their album “Riverside Yuletide” (2014) will make you feel like you’re listening to amazing street performers in London.

Before the family comes over on Christmas Eve, don’t forget to give yourself some R & R. Chill out in a hot bath before guests arrive, but first download the comfort of the Carpenter’s “Christmas Portrait” (1987). It’s a nice change of pace.

Now it’s Christmas Eve. This is part one of the big show. If your home is playing host this year you need a long playlist with a huge variety of 20th Century radio classics. I recommend getting on Hoopla and checking out “50 X-Mas Hits” (2014). It’s great to put on in the background of the family room. If you’re off to grandma’s house on Christmas Day and have young kids who love sing-alongs, “Disney’s Family Christmas Collection” (2008) is a lot of fun.

A big and busy family Christmas with kids isn’t for everyone. If you’re putting on an adult-only or late-night Christmas affair, I have some albums for you! If you need a little swing or pop with your party, I highly recommend the contemporary marvel that is “Christmas” (2011) by Michael Buble. If you need songs without lyrics and prefer solely orchestral music, “Tchailkovsky’s Nutcracker Suite” (2007) by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will definitely sweep you away like a dream.

During or after Christmas, if you need to set the mood for a one-on-one cozy evening, Hoopla has “Christmas Romance: 15 Romantic Holiday Favorites” (2014). It’s also a great fit for a New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day dinner. It’s a surprisingly solid blend of easy listening, jazz, and lounge-style music.

Get downloading and get merry this holiday with Hoopla!

What’s your favorite holiday album?


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December 14th, 2011

Audiobooks Make Everything Better

42-16471757I’m a mom and I work full-time, so I’m usually scrambling to get too much done in too little time. Always multitasking is said to be bad for the brain, but it’s how I function: folding laundry while watching TV, helping kids with homework while cooking dinner, scraping yet another mystery stain from my good work sweater while attempting to pay a few bills… you get the idea.

My latest discovery, and it’s an indulgent one, is the audiobook. Although I love reading, I rarely get time to sit down and do it. But with my iPod in tow, that long car ride or even the jog to stave off holiday poundage becomes an enjoyable excuse to slip into a great book – by listening.

Cecil County Public Library just launched an even easier way to get audiobooks, for free, from the convenience of your own home. OneClick Digital provides a great selection of downloadable audiobooks, most of which are always available (no holds necessary!) Grab your library card, create an account, and you’re set to start browsing. Will listening to an audiobook make all dreaded tasks fun? Probably not, but it certainly makes them more enjoyable. So, excuse me as I turn on my audiobook, take a deep breath, and decide which items to tackle next on my to-do list…

What’s your multitasking secret?


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