“We the People” – Need Information!

June 18th, 2010

In honor of the upcoming July 4th holiday, let’s take a moment to consider the role we play as citizens in shaping our government.  Martha Gellhorn, an American novelist, journalist, and war correspondent, once said “Citizenship is a tough occupation which obliges the citizen to make his own informed opinion and stand by it.”  Of course, that opinion is up to you, but your local library can help you to become informed and to establish your viewpoint by connecting you with vital information.

All libraries collect and offer information on their county and local town governments, from copies of the Town Code and newsletters to financial reports and important notices.  Our website contains a wealth of information on local government and issues.  Click on the “Your Community” tab in green at the top of this page, and you’ll be connected with an extensive Guide to Government Officials.  This helpful guide lists the names and contacts of all relevant political officials from your mayor to the president, including a listing of county and state agencies.  You’ll also find a section on “News and Issues” here, which links you to numerous credible sources representing all sides of the debate on such local topics such as BRAC, growth and development, and forms of county government (an issue that’s up for debate again in November’s county elections; for more on this topic, check out our DVD titled Forms of County Government, available at all libraries.)  Last, citizen journalism in the county has been on the rise in recent years, and this section of the website provides a listing of various Cecil County blogs on everything from local politics to entertainment and culture.

Several towns in Cecil County recently held their annual elections.   Learning election results or the next election’s date no longer requires a visit to town hall – every town in the county has a website with this information and more.  A basic internet search will usually guide you directly to your town’s site.  Our county’s official government website includes information on a multitude of topics, including recent commissioner’s decisions, public notices, meetings and events, and a link to the online version of the County Code, to name a few of its features.

Many of us already use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to connect with friends and family, but did you know that many local political candidates, government organizations, and non-profits also use these sites to connect with their communities?  So, the next time you’re filtering through friend requests and catching up on postings to your wall, consider exploring what your district’s commissioner candidate has to say about the future of the county (and let them know what you think, too!).

All of this now said, where do you go to get information about issues that affect your community?

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Come Sail Away

June 11th, 2010

There’s really nothing like summertime on the East coast.  It’s a time for the beach, backyard baseball and barbecues.  After this year’s long winter (Snowmageddon anyone?), the first hints at summer had me racing out the door into the bright sunlight. But as any East Coaster knows too well, summers here can get hot.  And humid.  And just around the 4th of July I feel that all too familiar itch for a change in latitude.  Over the next few weeks I’ll be sailing towards French Polynesia, trying my hand at swordfish fishing off the coast of Massachusetts, exploring the dramatic coastline of the Pacific Northwest, and on a steamship headed up the Congo River.  And I’m not even leaving my air conditioned apartment to do it.  And with CCPL’s Adult Summer Reading Program, you can sail away anytime to a dream destination.

Whether your schedule this summer is too hectic for a vacation or your wallet is too light, no port of call is out of reach for you at the library.  Hop aboard the U.S.S. Summer Reading and plan your own literary adventure by customizing an itinerary chock full of great reads.  Think of each section in the library as your personal passport to faraway lands, exciting outings and lots of fun on the open seas.  Click here to begin your adventure and “book” your cruise today.  You can print out your itinerary here or see any library travel agent to begin your adventure.  Just for participating in CCPL’s Adult Summer Reading program, you could sail away with some nifty nautical prizes like tickets to Hershey Park, a summertime survival kit, or a gardener’s toolkit.

Let us know what literary lands you plan to explore (or are revisiting) this summer!

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