What Would You Do as King?

August 28th, 2013

kingpeggybookLibraries don’t just answer questions, they ask them. The Maryland Humanities Council’s One Maryland One Book reading and discussion program is a perfect example of how the library helps its community discuss important questions. This year’s selection, “King Peggy: An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed an African Village,” invites us to explore questions of culture and gender difference, as well as personal questions of how we might respond when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds.

Like the wise and often funny Mma Ramotswe of Alexander McCall Smith’s “No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency,” King Peggy has a talent for solving complicated problems. When I read “King Peggy,” I was struck by how similar her story could be to so many of our own—going about her daily life, working to make ends meet and then faced with a huge turning point that grants the opportunity to change lives. But we don’t have to be born into royalty to bring hope and transformation to town.

While we don’t struggle with issues like access to clean water and basic medical care such as in King Peggy, we do, like other areas in the state, have many people without jobs, a high school dropout rate we’re working to improve, and too many who go to bed hungry at the end of the day. I’m excited to share King Peggy’s story because I believe it will provoke powerful questions on the local impacts we might achieve by applying similar courage, creativity, and sacrifice. Even more, I’m excited to see what answers we’ll discover.

In addition to participating in discussions of the book at CCPL branches throughout the county, you’ll have the opportunity to meet King Peggy when she visits the Elkton Central Library on Monday, September 9th at 7:30pm. Join us for these other special King Peggy events:

What Is Wrong with a Woman Being Chief? — Thursday, September 12th at 7pm
African Storyteller: Jamal Koram (family event) — Thursday, September 19th at 6:30pm
Sankofa African Dance Company (family event) — Saturday, September 28th at 2:30pm

We hope you’ll join us and get inspired to consider the issues that affect communities near and far. If you were king, what problems would you tackle first?

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Internationally Renowned Author Visits Cecil County

September 19th, 2012

cellistCecil County Public Library is honored to be one of only six stops on author Steven Galloway’s book tour this fall! Following his appearance at the Baltimore Book Festival, Galloway will visit the Elkton Central Library on Monday, October 1st at 3pm to talk about his bestseller, The Cellist of Sarajevo. To give him a warm, Cecil County welcome, we have invited cellist Meredith Bates to perform in the main part of the library starting at 2pm.

The Cellist of Sarajevo is a moving story of resiliency and courage set in a city devastated by violence. When a cellist witnesses the deaths of 22 people outside his window, he risks his life to honor them, playing cello at the site for 22 days in the midst of snipers and chaos. Inspired by a true story, The Cellist explores the ways in which war uniquely changes our sense of self and our connection to others’ lives and well-being.

The Cellist of Sarajevo was this year’s One Maryland One Book selection. One Maryland One Book is designed to bring together diverse people in communities across the state through the shared experience of reading the same book. Visit the Maryland Humanities Council website to read more about the book and events around the state.

Join the conversation! Stop by your local branch, pick up a FREE copy (yes, you can keep it!), and pop into one of our many discussions:

Elkton Central Library: 9/20 @ 7pm
Cecilton Branch Library: 9/25 @ 6:30pm
Perryville Branch Library: 9/27 @ 7pm
Chesapeake City Branch Library: 10/1 @ 1pm
Rising Sun Branch Library: 10/10 @ 7pm
Rising Sun Branch Library: 10/22 @ 1pm

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