July 10th, 2017

With over 121 million copies sold, chances are you’ve heard of Minecraft. This video game is particularly popular with teens and children, and you may ask whether the time spent in front of a screen is useful. The answer is yes! In addition to being incredibly fun, Minecraft offers many educational benefits.

The overall goal of Minecraft is survival. Players must build shelters, harvest resources, and create tools they’ll need to thrive. Time management is crucial for making progress – If a player takes too long to harvest, they might not make it home before night falls and monsters come out. Since resources are limited, players must prioritize which projects are most important. A new pickaxe may help with mining resources more quickly, but building a pen for livestock may be a more pressing need. Critical thinking is necessary for success. Players strengthen math skills by planning how many blocks are needed to complete a project, or how much food they’ll need to make it through the day. And Minecraft is far from solitary: online gameplay allows players to cooperate with friends, making their unique world even better.

Playing video games is not just child’s play – the video game industry is an economic engine with more than 2,300 video game developer locations across the nation. Just in Maryland there are 9 college programs and 47 companies that are part of the video game industry. According to the Entertainment Software Association, employees in the industry earned an average compensation of close to $100,000 per year in 2015.

If you or your student is interested in learning more about the gaming industry, we have a Gale Online Course called “How to Get Started in Game Development” as well as numerous on-demand video courses through our Lynda.com service that cover game design and various facets of the industry.
Whether you’re a novice or an old pro, Cecil County Public Library can help you learn new skills and get the most out of your Minecraft and other gaming experiences. We have guidebooks and Internet access to help you find creative projects, and educational programs where players can use our laptops to collaborate and build with other Minecraft players. If someone in your life is a Minecraft devotee, try listening to them as they describe their latest build. Let them show you what they’ve been up to, and ask them for a tour of their virtual world. Chances are they’ll be more than happy to oblige, and you may learn something new in the process!

For a look at what you can do in Minecraft, see one of the entries from the 2016 Teen Film Fest, in which Andrew re-created the Elkton Library in Minecraft.

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A New Way to Read

July 3rd, 2017

One of the best resources at Cecil County Public Library is our book discussions. Each branch has monthly discussions of varying genres and subjects which is a great way to connect with the community.

One of our newest approaches is an adjustment to our traditional book discussions at the library. This summer, the Chesapeake City Branch and Elkton Central Library will hosting discussions in the community.

A new book discussion group called “Pageturners” is hosted in Elkton. The club’s premise is for participants to bring a book you’re excited about – one that you can’t stop recommending to other people. Pageturners is for readers to expand their knowledge of what’s out there, recommended by other avid readers.

Chesapeake City is hosting a “Summer Vacation Book Club” and each discussion will be held off-site at a local restaurant. Each book chosen is set in a different country, so it is perfect for those who didn’t have time for an international vacation. You can enjoy a staycation while still exploring the world around us.

If you are looking for personalized reading recommendations, try our Bookmate service and we’ll match you up with some great books! Fill out the survey online or print a copy below and one of our skilled librarians will review your responses and pick out four books compatible with your reading tastes.

For a list of all book discussions planned this summer, visit our website: https://www.cecil.ebranch.info/great-reads/book-discussions/

Saturday, July 15 at 4 PM at Minihane’s Irish Pub
Saturday, August 12th at 3 PM – Elkton Central Library
Summer Vacation Book Club
Tuesday, July 18 at 4 PM – Schaefer’s Canal House
“In the Woods” by Tana French, set in Ireland
Tuesday, August 8 at 4 PM – Bayard House
“Ways to Disappear” by Idra Novey, set in Brazil

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