Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Pokemon Good Time

Library Associate Jennifer Smith and Poke Ball
Library Associate Jennifer Smith and her Poke Ball
On a recent Saturday, Silver Spring Library set off a "lure" to entice virtual Pokemon critters to wander by.  They came, along with over 100 library visitors set to capture various Pokemon in the library, train them, meet other enthusiasts, and play Pokemon games.  It was a great afternoon for all ages.

A group of boys celebrate a Pokemon capture
Yes, we caught one!

Raffle Prizes and absorbed Pokemon Go! fans
Many of you may have heard of the Pokemon Go! craze.  But if you haven't, it's a game played through a smart phone app.  Pokemon are small imaginary creatures with individualized special skills and personalities.  In the game they can be hunted with your phone and found and caught at real world locations.  As one online commentator said, "It's a free-to-play, location-based, augmented reality, multiplayer online mobile game..." Phew!  And it's also great fun. Pokemon critters can be collected, trained in skills, and pitted against each other in battles.  Fan teams can pit themselves against other teams.

Tickets were given out for raffle prizes.  Various items, including figurines and key chains that were made on the library's own 3-D Printer.  Of course, library visitors could check out the library's Pokemon books and Pokemon DVDs, as well.  Happy hunting!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Let's Talk RFID

Silver Spring is the one branch in the MCPL system that uses RFID or radio frequency identity tags in its books and other library materials.  The tags use radio waves to automatically identify an individual item for our check out and return systems.  This helps us speed your checkouts and keep our records accurate,

RFID return machine
Sara de Nieto  monitors returns on our RFID machine
When you use our self-check machines to check out your books, the sensing pad receives the unique radio signal of each item and checks it out to your account.  Similarly, when you return your items, our futuristic RFID machine scans each item to automatically check it in.  The RFID return machine identifies each item with a tag and also sorts returned items into categories: best sellers, children's picture books, non-fiction, etc. This makes getting materials back on the shelves easier and faster.  Items returned from other branches and triggered holds are separated and sorted manually.

How to Check Out at Our Self-Check Stations

self-charge machine
Self-charge machine
Self-check stations are located on all three floors at Silver Spring.  First, scan your library card with the barcode reader.  Your name will appear on the screen.  Unlike at other library branches, you do not need the barcode scanner to check out the books and materials.  Instead, place your items, one at a time, on the RFID "pad," a black rectangle on the table in front of the screen, and wait until your item registers as checked out.  When you are done, click "Finished" on the screen, and indicate whether or not you would like a receipt.  That's it.  You're done and ready to leave the library.  If you have any account questions or issues or need to renew books, please ask our staff at the customer service desk on the 3rd floor.  Happy reading!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Summer Read & Learn

A clown entertains on the plaza outside the Silver Spring Library as children sign up for our Summer Read and Learn program.  Young Daniel Weaver signed up and received a great big popsicle from the Friends of the Library, who sponsored this special sign up event.  Children of all ages, teens, and adults can register for the Summer Read and Learn program online or at the library any time between June 1 and August 10.

Children earn badges while reading and doing other activities.  You can read and do the activities by yourself or with others.  Keep track of your progress with your online log. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Learning About the Chesapeake Bay

Tessa Barbero wears a snail costume to help Andrew Wilson explain about animals of the Chesapeake Bay
Tessa Barbero wears a snail costume to help
Andrew Wilson explain
 about animals of the Chesapeake Bay
Andrew Wilson from Under the Sea, a marine education organization, recently presented a program at Silver Spring Library all about the Chesapeake Bay. We learned a lot about the Bay's ecosystem and the critters who call it home.

For instance, did you know that the bay is made up of brackish water, a mixture of fresh water and salt water?  Did you know that animals and plants interact to survive in the Bay ecosystem? Some animals have seen a steep decline in their populations.  For example, the number of oysters in the Chesapeake Bay today is only 1% to 2% of what it was when Jamestown was settled.

Hermit crab and other crabs in observation tank
Animals include a hermit crab (on the left)
 and its friends.
Mr. Wilson brought live crabs with him to show us:  a blue crab, a spider crab, a horseshoe crab, a mud crab, and a hermit crab.  He also brought oysters, toadfish, eel grass, and a whelk,  Children and adults had a great time observing them and even touching some.

The library has lots of books you can read to learn more about the Chesapeake Bay and its animals.  You also might want to look them up on the library's Kids InfoBits site.

Friday, May 13, 2016

中文讀書會 Chinese Book Discussion

Participants at table discuss Daughter's Taiwan, Father's China by Chen Hao
The first meeting of our Chinese literature (written in Chinese) book group was a big success. Participants gathered to discuss Chen Hao's Daughter's Taiwan, Father's ChinaAt the end of the meeting, there was a special tour of our new library building and our world language collections.

Our second meeting is June 2 at 7:00 PM, when we will discuss Start from the Heart by Chen Yueqing.

Customers can visit the 3rd floor Customer Service Desk to check out copies while available.  

書名: 從心開始,每天清除心靈癌細胞