Audiobooks for your Family Vacation

June 8th, 2018

Family in a carSummer brings all the best things in life—warm evenings, lazy beach days, and barbeques—but, also the worst—traffic jams to the beach, construction delays, and an endless stream of “Are we there yet?”

To help long car trips go by quickly and painlessly, play an audiobook that you and your child will love!

Audiobooks are a form of reading and have many benefits: they can teach critical listening, encourage reading comprehension, expand vocabulary and teach correct pronunciation of difficult words, and most importantly, demonstrate the joy of language and storytelling. They can be an effective way to get a reluctant reader interested in books.

This summer, listen to an audiobook with your family during a trip, and discuss the story during lunch breaks and after it’s complete.

Buying audiobooks can be expensive, so check your local library branch for physical copies. But, if you’re traveling and need a new one right away, try Hoopla for an instantaneous download to your device with no need to stream and use up your data! There are audiobooks for all ages, as well as a kids-safe search mode.

Here are a few titles that you should try with your kids today:
Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (hoopla original recording) (hoopla full-cast recording) (CD)
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (hoopla) (CD)
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (hoopla) (CD)
Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan (hoopla) (CD)

Check out Hoopla online through our website.

If you are looking for more reading or listening recommendations, or if you have questions about downloading or using Hoopla, stop by your local library branch or call 410-996-5600 x481

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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 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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