Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Special Summer Programs for Children - Libraries Rock!

Libraries Rock music amplifier
Libraries Rock! Summer Read and Learn, our summer reading program for children and teens, is now in full swing at Silver Spring LibrarySign up online, at home, or in the library. Children receive a game board of activities and can collect cool prizes from our treasure chest.

Every summer we are privileged to have some extra special programs for children at the library.  The Friends of the Library, Montgomery County and our Silver Spring Friends chapter help provide many of these programs for us. Please check out what's happening and drop by. Take a look at the events calendar for all our branches. There's truly something for everyone. Here's a sampling of programs at Silver Spring Library that are associated with Summer Read and Learn and more:
  • KID Museum Coding Camp.  In partnership with Montgomery County Public Libraries, KID Museum is offering weekly Coding Camps for rising 5th to 7th graders. No experience necessary for this introduction to using Scratch programing. Free but registration is required.  Space is limited. Sessions Monday to Friday, 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM. July 9 to July 13 or July 16 to July 20
hip-hop artist Christylez Bacon
  • Chrisstylz Bacon Hip-Hop.  This progressive artist showcases a blend of musical genres during an interactive performance. An around-the-world exploration of rap, go-go, classical music and more. For elementary aged children and their families. July 14 at 3:00 PM
Joe Romano with books
  • Books: The Magic is RealJoe Romano brings books to life through magic and illusion. The program is designed for elementary aged students and their families. Free tickets will be available starting 30 minutes before the program. July 21 at 2:00 PM.
    Cover of Nim's Island DVD showing Nim, her father, and email hero
  • Summer Movie Night:  Nim's IslandNim loves her island home and the animals she shares it with even while her scientist father is away doing research. But trouble is on the way! Check out a copy of the book, join us for the movie and a discussion of which you like best. Common Sense Media recommends this adventure movie for ages 7 and up. July 25 at 6:30 PM.
  • Being Ourselves with Banjo Man Frank CasselJoin us for a string performance and background on the evolution of the banjo.  This program developed for elementary aged children and their families. August 4 at 2:00 PM. Free tickets starting 30 minutes before the program.

Cover of Wonder DVD showing Auggie with his helmet
  • Summer Movie Night:  WonderAuggie is a young boy with a genetic facial difference. He meets good friends and bullies as he attends school for the first time. Check out a copy of the book, then join us for the movie and discussion of which you like best. Common Sense Media recommends the movie for ages 10 and up. August 14 at 6:30 PM.

  • Under the SeaLearn about the sea and meet a variety of live sea animals. View marine artifacts and learn about ecology, habitat, and conservation during this program presented by a marine scientist. August 25 at 11:00 AM.  All ages.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Libraries Rock! Summer Read & Learn

Images of cartoon band members and sign that says "Summer Read and Learn Program"Get ready! Mark the dates! Our "Libraries Rock!" summer reading program begins June 9 for children, teens and adults. Sign up online or come on in to the Silver Spring Library to sign up. You can also sign up at any Montgomery County Public Library branch. The program runs through September 9.

Encouraging children and teens to read and learn during the summer vacation helps them beat what's called the summer slide. Skills and information students learn during the school year are often lost or forgotten over the summer and they can fall behind. Reading and learning over the summer helps improve reading skills and encourages discovery. It's important to make reading and learning fun, too!

Libraries Rock! logo of heart with wingsWe have volunteers at the library to help sign you up! Come up to the 5th floor children's area and our teen and adult volunteers will get your child set for a summer of fun activities and reading. When you sign up you get a gameboard with activities and reading ideas. Each time you finish one of the "tracks" on the board you can come into the library to pick a prize from our treasure chest. You can also be entered for raffles for Orioles tickets and tickets to the Maryland Science Center.

So, starting June 9 join our summer read and learn program and log your activities and books. Find great suggestions for reading by grade online or on display on the 5th floor. Teens and adults have their own programs and can sign up online. Enjoy some of our very special summer programs, too!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Would You Rather Listen to Books?

shelves of cd books at Silver Spring LibraryPlenty of people have discovered the benefits of listening to books.  Here are some of the reasons you might agree:
  • You don't have to sit in one place to read.  For multitasking, audiobooks are the best.  Think housework, exercising, walking the dog, mowing the lawn, or just lying back and closing your eyes.
  • Audiobooks are great for the car. Lots of time stuck in traffic? Try a funny or engaging audiobook to take away the stress. Practice a second language. Also, think children's books for those long "are we there yet?" car trips.
  • There's great vocal art in many of those audiobooks. Sometimes the author reads their own narrative. Sometimes professional voice actors and storytellers can make a story more vivid and real than reading print.  
woman with earphones and smartphone
  • You can choose how you listen. The library has a wealth of books on CD to lend. Those are great for the car or through a computer. With downloadable audiobooks you can listen to your favorites on your phone or an mp3 player. You can use your iPad or other tablet. Send your choices to a bluetooth speaker!
  • Audiobooks are, of course, great for anyone who has a visual impairment or other difficulty reading print. They are also useful for anyone, child or adult, who has difficulty learning from print and finds it easier to learn by listening.
There are surely many more reasons to enjoy listening to a book.. Silver Spring Library and other Montgomery County Public Libraries have a wealth of audiobooks on CD to lend. Your library card also entitles you to freely access downloadable audiobooks from our online ebook databases.

Check out our guide to audiobooks and get listening!

Thursday, March 1, 2018


Exterior of Silver Spring LibrarySaturdays at the Silver Spring Library are really something. This past Saturday, I was struck by how much the library offers and how very much it has become a place of culture and community since our new building opened about two and a half years ago. 

First, as I helped out, I had the great pleasure of watching the world-renowned mime, Mark Jaster, perform for a room of about 95 people --adults and children.  You might think a mime performance would be cliché and boring and too old school to be relevant or fun. Not so. Besides being so very talented, Mr. Jaster engaged and entertained us by captivating the audience, communicating with us so well, and providing pleasure and surprise.  We chuckled and laughed throughout. Quite a few people had come to the library just to see him. For others this was serendipity and delight while out doing errands. Thanks go to the Friends of the Library, Silver Spring Chapter for providing this special program.

Then, come early afternoon, the library was truly graced by the music of the Heritage Signature Chorale. The program, in celebration of Black History Month, was brought to the library by the Road to Carnegie Hall Winter 2017-2018 programs, Carolyn Scipio Glover Recital Series. The music was energizing, soulful, celebratory, and just plain beautiful. The Chorale sang from the raised platform in the library's 3rd floor open area. Music filled the 3rd floor and drifted up to the 4th and 5th, as well.  People stopped to take it in. The singing was transformative.

In the meantime, the 5th floor of the library was overflowing with children and their grownups reading, using computers, playing in our Early Literacy Center (especially around our "school bus") and checking out scads of books! The 5th floor program room was filled with children and their parents inventing and building with Legos. A Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) representative was meeting with local business people and potential business people over the course of the afternoon to offer free business advice. 

Of course, people filled our small study rooms. Some were studying while others were holding small collaborations for civic, personal, and business reasons. We have about 40 public computers. All were in use, of course, and were used all day. People came and went, checking out and returning books, DVDs, audio books, magazines, and more.  Others came by to use copy machines or work on their laptops.

A bit later in the afternoon came our monthly Amharic-English Bilingual Storytime. People from the local Ethiopian community gathered to read children's stories, sing children's songs, dance and teach the children about internet safety. It was great fun. As that was ending, a program for adults began,  Microsoft Office Specialist Word 2016 Certification Training.

Whew! I was just amazed at what was happening on that one Saturday at the Silver Spring Library.  There is so much going on here. I think this is what a public library was truly meant to be, a place of real service and education as well as a meaningful part of the community. So come in to the Silver Spring Library on a Saturday, but remember that there's plenty happening here the other six days of the week, too. Check out our Calendar of Events, find something to interest you, and come on in to see us!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Teens - You Might Be Interested in ...

Teens with an interest in current events, black history, writing, chess, or drawing, you may want to check out and participate in these February events. Hope to see you here at the Silver Spring Library!

I Am Not Your Negro -- Film and Discussion
I Am Not Your NegroI Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of Black Lives Matter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. Film screening and discussion led by Vivian Fisher, manager of the African American Department at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. Thursday, February 1, 5:30 PM to 7:45 PM at Silver Spring Library. All ages. No registration required.

Writers' Bloc (for Teens)
Do you dream of writing the next bestseller? Love blogging or creating poetry? Join in and develop your writing voice. Co-sponsored by the Maryland Writers' Association. Meets every other Thursday, The next meeting are February 1 and February 15 from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Ages 13 to 18. Study Room 3-01, 3rd floor.

Chess board
Chess Club
Come join or drop by our chess club! For elementary ages, teens and adults. Love to play or simply want to learn? You are most welcome to drop in for a few minutes or stay the whole time. No registration required. Most Tuesdays at 3:30 PM.  4th floor, Room 7.

Drawing Group
Colorful drawn bird next to color pencils
Are you a seasoned or developing artist? Come in to meet other artists twice a month. Draw and share ideas about art.  Devise projects to make in the first meeting of each month and bring them in for feedback at the third meeting. Jason Bunyan, presenter.  All ages. 3rd floor, room 3-01. Next meeting is February 7, 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM. No registration required. Learn more about our group on their MeetUp page.

Black History and Heritage
Attend this special event with keynote speaker H.E. Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, African Union Ambassador to the United States. Thursday, February 8, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. All ages. Registration begins at 6:00 PM. All ages. For more information check out Black History Month at the Silver Spring Library.