New Year’s Resolution: Read Better, Not More

January 2nd, 2018


New Year’s Resolution: Read Better, Not More

Every year, at least one of my New Year’s resolutions revolves around reading. It’s usually a general “read more” goal, but this year, I decided to be more specific. Instead of reading more, I want to read better. Here are some of my resolutions that you can also try:

  1. Listen to audiobooks while running errands or doing chores. I usually dread meal prep or cleaning, but when I’m listening to a great story, those tedious chores become so much more enjoyable. I used to only listen to audiobooks in the car, but with CCPL’s great digital apps like Hoopla, Libby, and RBdigital, I can stream audiobooks on my smart phone. Call or visit a branch to learn more, or check out our collections online.
  2. Give yourself permission to not read a book! With almost three million books being published every year, you don’t have time for a lackluster reading experience. This past month, I told myself, “You can’t read anything new until you finish this particular book.” Well, after slogging through a book for weeks, I finally got fed up and picked up another book. I finished that book in two days! It’s not that I didn’t feel like reading; I was just uninterested in the book I had originally picked up. So, if someone doesn’t grab you in a few chapters, put it down! Maybe it’s not what you need to be reading at that moment. Remember, you can always come back to it. Not sure what to read next and need a recommendation? Try our Bookmate service – fill out a quick survey online and a librarian will get back to you with 3-5 titles or authors for you to try.
  3. Throw away your preconceived notion of “good” reading. Many people associate “quality” reading with the classics. While yes, there are many advantages to reading classics, be honest with yourself about why are you reading them—for your own personal enjoyment, or because you think you’re supposed to? This year, expand your idea of reading! Read something for the pure pleasure of getting caught up in a story. The classics will always be there. Need a suggestion? Come in and ask a librarian or check out our Staff Recommendation page on the website.

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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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