Get Answers at CCPL

September 18th, 2017

It’s late, there’s a big paper due in the morning, and your student is stuck needing a final fact.  Or maybe you’re interested in a topic that’s not school-related but your internet searches are coming up empty. When you can’t find information, try “AskUsNow!”

AskUsNow! is a 24/7 live online interactive service that uses the expertise of trained librarians from across the country to provide answers to questions, guidance with research, and help with navigating the Internet resources. http://askusnow.info/

When you log on, you can be anonymous or share your name.  If you provide an e-mail address (it’s not required), a transcript of everything you chatted about – including resources and links provided by the librarians – is sent to you after the session has ended. This can be very helpful in accessing the resources later. And, if the librarian cannot find the answer within the session or finds more links after you’ve logged off, they can be emailed to you later.

An important tip: when you type in your question, be sure to be specific.  For example, if its high school level physics, college level bio, middle school math or an elementary school science fair project, be sure to mention that in your initial question. This way, the person who picks up your question will be the best one to give you the fastest answer!

Librarians and staff at Cecil County Public Library are happy to assist you with your information requests. For more homework and research resources, don’t forget to use your CCPL Virtual Student Library Card at any of our branches or online at www.cecil.ebranch.info! Find the “using your library” tab at the top of the website or for a list of all the ways to use the student virtual card, visit: http://bit.do/studentcard.


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Minecraft

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 Lynda.com 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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