October 24th, 2016

Literary Halloween Costumes (on a budget)

I always, always, always wait until the last minute when it comes to Halloween costumes. It crosses my mind briefly in early September, but I wave it away, thinking I have plenty of time. Then the week before I’m scrambling to find anything that would look decent.

If you’re the same way, struggling to think of a smart, interesting, and affordable costume, look no further! We’ve got a few costumes sure to please any bookworm.

1. Lisbeth Salander from “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson
Who wouldn’t want to be the tough Lisbeth Salander? If you’ve ever read the books (or watched the movie), you know her look is recognizable. All you need is to wear all black, combat boots, some clip on jewelry and of course… the tattoo. Either use a temporary tattoo or find someone artistic to draw it on your back. Voila! You are the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo!

2. Moaning Myrtle from the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
Love Harry Potter, but want to stand out from all the Hermiones and Rons? What about trying everyone’s favorite ghost who haunts bathrooms: Moaning Myrtle! Get a school uniform or robe, glasses, and hang a (clean) toilet seat around your neck. For an extra touch, put some “teardrops” down your cheek.

3. “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway
The Old Man and the Sea is more than an Ernest Hemingway classic: it’s a perfect couple’s costume! If you don’t want to go all out with stage make-up, all you need is a cane to become the old man. If you’re the sea, wear all blue and tape paper fish to yourself, or if you’re really low-maintenance, get a blue shirt and write “C” in the middle.

4. “For Dummies” series
Everyone knows the iconic “For Dummies” series. Wear a yellow hat, a black shirt with “Halloween for dummies” and then yellow pants. Come prepared with a history of Halloween spiel, and tips on how to make the party you’re attending even better. Warning: you might get kicked out for being a know-it-all.

5. The Mouse from “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff
If you’re looking for a children’s costume, consider the iconic “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” book. Attach mouse ears (which you can make from cardboard or construction paper) to a headband, give them some whiskers, and have them carry around a huge cookie–either printed out, or make a stuffed cookie. Your kid will be the cutest one on the block.

If you’re looking for more inspiration, stop by your local CCPL branch and get re-introduced to some to your favorite books or find new ones. CCPL library staff offers expert recommendations either in-person or through our BookMate service which is available for teen as well as adult readers. With BookMate, you fill out a short survey and then one of our librarians will match you with 4-6 new titles. One of them could contain your next favorite character… or Halloween costume! We hope to see you soon!

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September 12th, 2016

Learn Languages for Free with Rosetta Stone

Are you planning an international trip? Do you wish you’d stuck with the language you were learning in high school – or maybe your student is in a language learning class? Maybe you want to study your ancestral language – or just try something new?

Now you can learn 30 different languages, such as Spanish, Japanese, or Indonesian, using Rosetta Stone at Cecil County Public Library. The service works on personal computers as well as your smartphone, tablet, or Kindle Fire. A full list of available languages can be found at http://www.rosettastone.com/publicsector/languages — look under Rosetta Stone Language Lessons Version 3.

If you choose to use a portable device for Rosetta Stone, you should first download the app and then go to Cecil County Public Library’s Rosetta Stone page to sign up, choose a language, and get started.

To learn a different language, log out of the app and return to CCPL’s Rosetta Stone page to make your choice and sign in again. The app remembers where you left off in each language, so you can return to a previous course of study.

To try Rosetta Stone on your personal computer, go directly to CCPL’s Rosetta Stone page.

For more help, try our Niche Academy tutorial on Rosetta Stone (below) or call your favorite branch.

What language would you like to learn?

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