Monday, October 5, 2015

Teens Get Creative

I've always admired just how creative teenagers can be.  They often surprise us adults with their talent and determination, even though we shouldn't be surprised at all.   Sometimes teens surprise themselves, too, when they try new things. Perhaps teens are less inhibited and more open to new ideas than grown ups are. If you are a teen, you are welcome to join other teens at one of the Silver Spring Library's special creative programs this fall. If you are lucky enough to have a teen in your life, please clue them in to the following opportunities.

Photograph of a hedgehog in orange flowersSilver Spring Teen Photography Club  

Learn the basics of photography, including equipment, composition, and software. Ages 13 to 16. Meet other teens with an interest in photography, too. The club meets from 2:00-3:30 PM on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning October 4.
The word Design strewn across blue pink and yellow shapesBasic skills of Photoshop and Illustrator for high schoolers presented by Gandhi Brigade Youth Media. This project based series will result in individually created posters inspired by World War II-era propaganda. Basic principles of effective strategic messaging, too. Mondays at 3:30 PM beginning October 5 in the Library Media Lab.  Space is limited.

pen writing words "I am a writer" on paperTeen Writers Club

Writing the next bestseller? Love blogging or creating poetry? Join other teens and develop your writing voice. Friends, advice, and constructive feedback. Co-sponsored by the Maryland Writers' Association. Ages 13 to 18. Two Thursdays a month from 6:30-8:00 PM beginning October 8. 3rd floor Meeting Room.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

September Beginnings

The new Silver Spring Library's first summer is drawing to a close. There was lots of good feeling and good music to end the summer as Incwell performed out in our courtyard. Fans of reggae/hip hop fusion listened, and some toddlers got into the beat by dancing right up front. September brings new beginnings—back to school and back to work. Our brand new building means we can start off the fall with a wealth of programs and events, such as our book discussion groups. Check them all out on our branch webpage.

Book Discussions for Adults

The Evening Book Discussion Group generally meets at 7:30 PM on the first Monday of each month, although September's meeting happens the Tuesday after Labor Day. The first selection is One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus.

The Afternoon Book Discussion Group meets at 2:00 PM on the second Thursday of the month. Its first selection is The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's darkest journey by Candice Millard.

The African-American Book Discussion Group meets at 6:30 PM on the first Wednesday of the month (except January and July.) The first selection is Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

And more . . .

September is also Library Card Sign Up Month! What's free and offers infinite opportunities for entertainment, recreation, information and education? Your library card! Sign up for a card today; visit any MCPL branch or apply online.

Monday, August 17, 2015

An Amharic Good Time and More to Come

This past week Silver Spring hosted a bilingual storytime along with the Ethiopian Literary and Cultural Awareness Association. We are so fortunate that our community has people from all over the world. In Montgomery County, there are more than 58,000 residents who were born in Africa, and Ethiopians make up the largest segment of African immigrants in the county.  Many live in the Silver Spring area.  

The storytime was quite a hit. Over 175 people attended and it was gratifying to see so many children engaged with the stories, games, and crafts. An Ethiopian fairy tale, Silly Mamo (Mamo Killo) retold by Gebregeorgis Yohannes was read by Mama Kebebush and Lauren, our children's librarian. There was also  great excitement—shouts and hands in the air—during a Jeopardy-like answer-and-question game about Ethiopia.  

If you missed the storytimes, not to worry—more great events are coming! We invite everyone to join us on Saturday, September 12 at 1 PM, when we'll host a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony.  

I discovered an interesting summary of the ceremony and information about the importance of coffee in the Ethiopian culture on Epicurean's web site.   We'll also have national clothes, arts, and musical instruments on display from 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM. The event celebrates the Ethiopian New Year. Come on over to the library; everyone is welcome.  


Friday, July 24, 2015

Exercise Your Gray Matter

Have you, like many of us, been watching too much television?  A recent study explained in the Washington Post says younger and middle-aged adults who have a sedentary lifestyle and watch 4 hours or more of TV per day  have a significantly higher risk of developing dementia later in life.  Well, that’s not so comforting, especially to those of us who are getting closer to those later years.

But there’s an upside. The study suggests that the protective effects of learning may start decades earlier in life than we may have thought. So, exercise that gray matter. Maybe stop watching so many reruns of Game of Thrones. Think of taking that brisk walk to the downtown Silver Spring Library (exercise is good, too!). Check out some books on puzzles, crafts, games and more.

Hey, why not start learning a new language? You can, for free, with the library’s online Mango Languages Courses. I might try brushing up on my undergrad French, who knows?

Speaking of courses, why not try our free, high-quality, interactive, instructor-led Gale online courses and career training programs, too? Writing and publishing, computer applications, personal development, accounting, and other courses are available at the click of a mouse.

I think I'll time my television watching tonight and try something new.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Early Literacy Center

Colorful tent-like towers in the Early Literacy Centert
Early Literacy Center
The opening of the new Silver Spring Library brought the unveiling of our new Early Literacy Center. It's a fun custom-designed preschool play and learning area where preschool children can practice the skills that will ready them to learn to read. (Check out even more photos on our Flickr.)

Young children learn through play—it's their work. And parents are a child's first teachers. When parents connect with their preschoolers by playing, reading, writing, singing and talking together great things can happen. Children's vocabulary grows, they recognize letters and their sounds and the sounds within words. They become more and more familiar with language. It's a great head start for school. Parents can check out our early literacy tips online, too.

Stroller parking area at Silver Spring Library
Stroller Parking
Parents are also finding this part of the library a great gathering place. Part of MCPL's  motto is "where the county meets." Even in these early days of the new library, our preschool Early Literacy Center is becoming the place to meet. Especially during the morning, parents are parking strollers, reading and playing with their children, and conversing with each other around the center's tall, colorful towers and interactive panels.

Thank you to the Silver Spring Friends of the Library and the Silver Spring community for the generous donations that made the Early Literacy Center possible. Get Ready to Play, Learn, and Read!