Chautauqua 2018: Frederick Douglass

July 6th, 2018

Bill Grimmette as Frederick DouglassIt’s not apple pie. It’s not quilting, baseball, or rock n’ roll, either. No, the most American thing in America, according to former president Teddy Roosevelt, is Chautauqua.

Chautau-what?

Before television, radio, and car travel, cultural and educational entertainment was not easily attained by folks living in rural areas. In 1874 at Lake Chautauqua in upstate New York, “Chautauqua” was born, a week-long event packed with music, lectures, and other cultural opportunities. Its popularity gave birth to a movement, and towns all over America hosted Chautauqua events up until the mid-1920s.

Experience the resurgence of this American tradition, right here in Cecil County! Join us this Saturday, July 7th at 6 PM at the Elkton library to see Frederick Douglass come to life.

Bill Grimmette, a living history interpreter, storyteller, and actor will present as Frederick Douglass, one of the most important African-American activists of the nineteenth century. 2018 is the “Year of Frederick Douglass,” as it marks the bicentennial celebration of his birth.

Reserve your spot today by calling the Elkton Central Library at 410-996-5600 x 481, or by registering online.

Chautauqua is sponsored by the Maryland Humanities Council. To find out about other Chautauqua performances across the state, visit the Maryland Humanities website. You can also check out our Fourth of July Reads, or our book list about Frederick Douglass.


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Library After Hours with David Healey

February 26th, 2018

David HealeyLocal author David Healey will host our first Library After Hours event celebrating our first Adult Winter Reading program. We sat down with him to ask him a few questions.

 Why do you read?
C.S. Lewis said it best: “We read to know we are not alone.”

What’s your preferred reading format–audiobook, print, digital?
I love my Kindle. I have around 300 books on my Kindle right now. I can carry all those books in my back pocket.

I tend to jump between different books so I have whatever I want right on the device. I can also switch back and forth between my Kindle and my iPhone, and it syncs to whatever page I’m on.

What are you currently reading?
I am lucky because I work at home and have more control over how my day is structured. Something that I’ve gotten into the habit of doing is reading nonfiction when I get up in the morning. It primes the pump. I keep Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art within reach, along with Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferriss and Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles. Then, it’s time to work!

During lunch I read fiction. Currently I’m on Valley Forge by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen, Wicked Deeds (set in Baltimore and featuring lots of Poe history) by Heather Graham, and one of the Pendergast books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

What’s an upcoming release you can’t wait to read?
Anything by John Sandford or Lincoln Child or Paul Doiron. Locally, I am looking forward to a new naval history of Delaware Bay by Ken Wiggins. Ken is the President of our Board of Trustees and is also quite an accomplished writer and historian.

Why should people come to the Library After Hours event?
I think most of us have been to events in New York and other cities that are similar, where a museum or historic property will open its doors on a Friday evening after hours. Sure, you could visit during regular hours, but this is a cultural version of adult swim. Our county library is one of the first in Maryland to offer something like this, so that’s rather special.

Reading is a solitary activity, but talking about books and getting excited about what we want to read next can be more social. There will be snacks, trivia, conversation, a chance to roam the stacks after hours, and prizes. Did I mention that it’s free?


David Healey has written several novels and nonfiction books, including Great Storms of the Chesapeake. His new WWII novel, Iron Sniper, is due out in April. You can see a booklist of the titles David mentioned throughout the interview.

Library After Hours is Friday, March 2nd at 6:30 pm. Register on our website or call 410-996-5600 x481.


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