On the Road Again

June 17th, 2014

roadtripsSummer is here and my girls have signed up for CCPL’s Summer Reading and Learning Program. It’s open to kids, adults and teens. Are you registered to read for rewards?

Summer is also the season of road trips in my family – but there’s one big problem – my girls can get car sick before we’ve come to the end of our lane. How do we survive a six-hour trip when reading, video games, coloring, journaling and DVD-watching are all destined to create emergency roadside stops?

Audiobooks! “Hands free reading” isn’t just for adults.  It’s a great way to make the hours go by and listening to audiobooks counts toward the summer reading program!

Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. I’ve tried to share my childhood delight in Little House on the Prairie with my daughters, but they’re not particularly interested. They tell me the “prairie” was so long ago it’s boring. But if you lend voices, experiences, emotions and adventures to those dates and people… you’ve happened upon what I call “entertainment learning.”

On our road trips and many excursions north and south along 213 we’ve listened to Harry Potter and the Warriors series. But here’s where I got “mom sneaky” – I started playing the Dear America series. These historical fiction books are based on real girls and young women who kept journals during important times in our history such as the Colonial settlements, Oregon Trail, Civil War and World War II. The heroines describe everyday life and how they were affected by these moments in history. There’s humor and adventure, but also stark description of sacrifice, sorrow and hardship. The resulting conversations with my daughters have been fascinating. The books end with historical notes about what happened to the girls and their families after the story ends.

While traveling I-95, we’ve discussed big topics like slavery and the Holocaust.  We’ve talked about what it was like to be a woman in different times in history, as well as the bravery and conviction of the American spirit. We’ve also discussed how many conveniences we take for granted in our modern life, such as plumbing, electricity, freedom.

When we travel to visit Massachusetts this summer, I plan to borrow Dear America: A Journey to the New World: The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple, Mayflower 1620. For Royal enthusiasts, there’s a great series called The Royal Diaries that features princesses from around the world and from many time periods throughout history.

And if you have young men in your car, there are plenty of titles written from boys’ perspectives, too. Try The Watsons Go to Birmingham on CD or Dear America: My Name is America in print. And don’t forget to check our eBook and eAudiobook collections for downloadable options.

How do you keep your kids entertained (and learning) in the car?

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So You Got an eReader for the Holidays…

December 27th, 2012

Cecil County Public Library ebooksReading is one of your pastimes and everyone knows it. So, this holiday season, someone who loves you thought it would be a brilliant idea to buy you an eReader. You opened it and tried to force a smile, but inside, you panicked….

Does this description fit you to a T? If so, take a deep breath and let us introduce you to some of the great benefits of eReaders.

As you set up your new eReader, smartphone, tablet, or other device, you’ll probably discover that it’s easy to rack up charges. However, Cecil County Public Library offers great free options for downloading eBooks and eAudiobooks. Search your device’s app store for “Overdrive” and “OneClickDigital” to download free, easy apps, or visit our site to learn more. Using your library card number, you’ll get access to a large catalog of free downloadables.

People often ask how to return eBooks. The beauty of downloading CCPL’s free digital content is that you don’t need to return anything! You won’t get fines, ever, because the eBook disappears once your lending period is up.

When it comes to managing physical items you check out from our branches, there’s an app for that, too! For Apple and Droid device users, BookMyne is a fantastic app that lets you access your account with Cecil County Public Library. You can see what you have checked out, place holds, renew items, and even set alarms to remind you when items are due.


By reading on a device, you have a wealth of resources a tap away. Don’t know the definition of a word? Many eReaders let you tap any word to look it up in the dictionary. Not familiar with a place? Do a quick internet search to read up on it or to consult an online map.Many devices also let you highlight sections, take notes, or even share quotes with friends.

Ereaders also make figuring out what to read next easy. With sites like GoodReads, you can see what your friends are reading, get suggestions, and read reviews. Our Staff Recommendations page also features fantastic reviews of books hand-picked by our talented staff.

Perhaps the best feature of eReaders and other modern devices is that you can carry the library with you, no matter where you are. Stuck waiting in a doctor’s office? Download an eBook. Going on a trip? Load up your device with several titles that won’t add a single pound to your suitcase.

Did you get a new eReader or device this holiday season?

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