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July 2013
Where the County Reads, Where the County Meets, Where the County Learns 
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 B. Parker Hamilton, MCPL Director 

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support during the four years of reductions to MCPL's budget. Within those years, our Library system went from a budget of $40.4M to that of $26.1M - staffing decreased, branch hours were reduced and fewer materials were purchased. We challenged ourselves to find ways to innovatively and creatively deliver service to you while positioning ourselves to rebuild.


Through it all, you have supported Libraries and championed our cause at public forums, public hearings and in letters. In fiscal year 2013 (FY13), our budget was increased to $31.4M. This increase was due to your strong advocacy, and the support of the County Executive, who stated publically many times, that he would restore funding to library services when the fiscal situation allowed.


With those funds, we were able to add back hours to Bethesda, Germantown, Quince Orchard, Rockville Memorial and Wheaton libraries; open one hour earlier at the Sunday service branches; launch a new user friendly catalog; purchase new materials for the collection; and hire additional staff, including a team of Outreach staff to ensure MCPL's reach into all communities.


On May 23, 2013, County Council approved the FY14 Operating Budget and all of County Executive Leggett's recommendations for Libraries. The Council further increased Mr. Leggett's operating budget recommendation of a $200,000 increase for e-book investment by $100,000. MCPL's FY14 budget, which takes effect on July 1, is $34.8M. Our plans for FY14 include:

  • Establishing a Digital Media Lab and loaning laptop computers at Long Branch Librarysupporting the work of students, job-seekers, small businesses, teens, seniors and others who need access to modern software tools for business and creating content.
  • Substantially enhancing the e-books collection, to meet greatly increased customer demand for e-books, while continuing to meet the diverse needs and high demand for print and media library materials.
  • Fully supporting the staffing necessary to re-open the Gaithersburg and Olney branches from renovation this fall.
  • Increasing library public service hours at Long Branch, Olney, and Poolesville libraries.

Your continued efforts to impress on our stakeholders the importance of public libraries has been critical in getting MCPL where we are today - stronger, better and ready for the future.


Please help us better serve you - preview our new website and tell us what you think.



 B. Parker Hamilton signature

B. Parker Hamilton, Director 

Save the Date

Meet a Farm Animal!

The teen 4-H Royal Court will share a story, songs, a simple craft, and information about the county fair, with a special appearance by an animal farm friend at selected branches.  Designed for preschool through grade 2, families with children of all ages are welcome. Free. No registration required. Sponsored by the 4-H and the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair.  Find a program near you

"Digging in the Dirt"

This dynamic, interactive program with Diane Macklin highlights great achievers with claws, paws, fins, feet or wings. Travel the world through folktales that use chants, music, and movement. For children of all ages.  Sponsored by the Friends of the Library Montgomery County, Inc.
White Oak Library, July 9, 2 PM
Silver Spring Library, July 30, 10:30 AM
Poolesville Library, July 30, 4 PM

Diane Macklin
Diane Macklin


Discover Your Super Powers!  

Teens and Tweens!  Do you like to draw?  Join super artist Paul Merklein and learn "How to draw Super Heroes."  Merklein draws people right from the audience.  He inspires students to use their imagination, discover their super powers, and have fun drawing!
Little Falls Library, July 20, 2 PM
Damascus Library, July 27, 2 PM   

Draw Superheroes
Discovering Your Life Lessons


This five-session class for adults will explore life lessons you have learned from your relationships and life experiences; brief personal reflections will be written. The class is scheduled to be held at Chevy Chase Library on Tuesdays from July 9 to August 6; 1- 3 PM.  Registration through Montgomery College is required for this class (Course: ILL580 10 hours CRN#: 132335). Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only $79 + $69 fee = $147; Non-MD residents add $120.


Celebrate Damascus 2013


The Damascus Library staff will be marching in the 12th annual "Celebrate Damascus Days" parade on Friday evening, July 12.  There will be food, music and fireworks after the parade. 


On Saturday July 13 "Keyote", the Frederick Keys mascot, will host a meet and greet at the Damascus Library from 11 AM to 1 PM.  All ages are welcome.  It's drop-in, no tickets required.

County Happenings

New Online Summer Activity Calendar for Kids


Montgomery County Recreation, in partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), has created an online Summer Activity Calendar for children. Much like a summer reading list, the calendar lists games, activities and fitness challenges for kids to mark off each day of the summer break.


The calendar is one part of the "Be Active Montgomery!" initiative introduced by County Executive Ike Leggett. Helping to address the problem of childhood obesity in the Washington, D.C. area, the campaign makes residents aware that a healthier lifestyle can be achieved in incremental steps.


In addition to the calendar, the "Be Active Montgomery!" website features weekly wellness tips, opportunities for recreational activities in Montgomery County, wellness resources and suggestions for pool games, outdoor neighborhood games and other fun summer activities. For more information, call 240-777-6821 or visit the Recreation Department.

County to Host Two Fourth of July Fireworks Displays


Montgomery County will again host two Independence Day fireworks displays on July 4 -- Germantown Glory at the SoccerPlex in the South Germantown Recreational Park, 18041 Central Park Circle, Boyds and Mid-County Sparkles at Albert Einstein High School, 11135 Newport Rd., Kensington. Both fireworks displays will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m.

Germantown Glory will kick off at 7 p.m. with a concert by Bobby and the Believers. Mid-County Sparkles activities begin at 7:30 p.m. with a concert by Quiet Fire Soul. For more information, including parking, go to the Recreation Department or call 240-777-6821.


Check Out other County Happenings


To check out what else is going on around the County -- meetings, events, programs, hearings, cultural holidays, etc. - visit the County Calendar that also includes a direct link to Library Events.

Friends of the Library Happenings

Middle school winners of the Celebrating Diversity through Creative Writing contest were honored recently at an awards reception and ceremony held in the Academic and Research Building on the Montgomery Campus of Johns Hopkins University.


The event was presented by partners Friends of the Library, Montgomery County (FOLMC), Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL), and Montgomery County Public Schools and sponsored by Johns Hopkins University: Montgomery County Campus (JHU), The Sulica Fund and The Donors InVesting in the Arts (DIVA) Giving Circle.


The nine honorees were selected from 94 entries from 16 middle schools in the categories of poetry, essay, and short story. 


Winning 6th grade students
Winning and Honorable Mentions 


Winning 6th grade students are Mikaela Dodson-Floyd (A. Mario Loiederman), Amisha Kunvar (Parkland) and Gwendolyn Boe (John Poole). Winning 7th grade students are Dharma Gonzalez-Ferrette (Earle B. Wood), Chloe Shankley (Gaithersburg) and Trude Padila (Julius West). Winning 8th grade students are Jisue Gonzales (Earle B. Wood), Sam Eticha (Herbert Hoover) and Vasna Khademian (A. Mario Loiederman). 


Students read from their works and received a certificate signed by County Executive Isiah Leggett. The students' works were published in an anthology, copies of which were given to students and were also made available for circulation in their schools' media centers and MCPL.  Winning entries can be read on MCPL Teensite.


The winning entries were selected by the following judges who scored the works based on technical and creative ability: President of Jones International, Kim Jones; Howard University Professor, Linda Berg-Cross; retired MCPL Librarian, Rita Tull; young adult authors, Amanda Brice and Alethea Kontis; former Mayor of the Town of Chevy Chase, Mier Wolf; and Montgomery College professors, Barry Thomas and Charmaine Weston. 


Honorable mentions in the 6th grade are Claudio Pachano (Robert Frost), Noah Kang (Herbert Hoover) and Hannah Suh (Herbert Hoover). Honorable Mentions for the 7th grade are Nandita Kohli (Westland), Geneva Reese (A. Mario Loiederman) and Alice Aubert (Thomas W. Pyle). Honorable mentions in 8th grade are Claude Gomes (Francis Scott Key) and Gunleen Deol (Robert Frost).


Congratulations to all!

Did You Know . . .

That children in Kindergarten through 2nd grade can read to our Grandreaders this summer?


Children will have fun increasing their reading comprehension and fluency by reading to Senior volunteers from Interages. The Grandreader program runs through August 14 at several MCPL branches. See our schedule of Grandreader programs for more information.


Grandreaders is a literacy program of Interages, a Montgomery County non-profit organization that builds bridges between generations and cultures.

Branch Out

Teens learn about financial literacy this summer at Bethesda Library!


The Financial Literacy Organization for Women and Girls (FLOW) and Bethesda Library sponsor "Girls Just Wanna Have Funds" from Monday, July 8 to Friday July 12, 2013. Financial experts will provide this unique and age appropriate workshop for young women ages 12 - 18. Topics include financial responsibility and decision-making, investing and entrepreneurship. For more information and to apply, email Girls only. Space is limited.

Also for teens at Bethesda Library: Are you interested in having an opportunity to read and review new teen books before they are in the bookstore or your local library?  Want to meet an author or two, and participate in informal discussions about favorite books for the year?  Then consider joining Bethesda Teen Reads! Student Service Learning credit can be assigned for participation in this project.  Contact Bethesda Library for more information.


On July 18 at 7 PM, young adult author Debbie Levy visits Bethesda Library to talk about her new book Imperfect Spiral.


Bethesda Library also hosts adult book discussions and lectures by literary experts. For the month of July, check out Bethesda Reads: Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes on Tuesday, July 9 at 10:25 AM and Classics in Context with Michael Bevel: The Red and the Black by Stendhal on July 16 at 7 PM


For more information on Bethesda Library programs, check MCPL's Calendar of Events or call Bethesda Library at 240-777-0970.


Library Board Happenings

Thank You


The Library Board has completed its legislative activities for this season. Thanks to all the members of the library community who volunteered their time and talents to join the Board for visits to the Council members and Council tours of branches. The Board is especially grateful for community members who testified at Council hearings or wrote letters on behalf of the Library system. The budget season could not have been as successful without your help. The grassroots campaign with our orange T-shirts and unified petition was a winning strategy. Keep up the good work!


The Board also thanks the Council for supporting the County Executive's budget increase and adding additional funding for e-books.


Councilmember Elrich tours Twinbrook Library


A Visit to Congressman van Hollen's Office


Board members finished off the legislative season by joining a MCPL delegation to Congressman Chris van Hollen's office where they met with his legislative aide for a lively discussion of library issues. Board members Jill Lewis and Sri Ram talked about their role on the Board and the Board's advocacy efforts for the system. Others spoke about what is happening at their branches and how the libraries and schools work together. Congressman van Hollen's aide spoke of the Congressman's strong support of libraries and how his interests and issues tie in nicely with MCPL's mission.


Library Advisory Committee Awards


The Library Board presented the Eleanor Ablard Award and the David Chiles Member of the Year Award on June 12.


Chair Ai-Ling Louie accepted on behalf of the Bethesda LAC which won the Ablard Award for their promotion of Snapshot Day through a unique program featuring a contest to crown a customer as the King or Queen of Bethesda Library for the Day.


Ai-Ling Louie

Ai-Ling Louie Accepting Ablard Award

on the behalf of the Bethesda LAC

Ed Hsu, Chair of the Quince Orchard LAC, won the Member of the Year Award for his tireless and highly effective leadership which helped create a vigorous and organized LAC.


Ed Hsu LAC Awards
Ed Hsu, Member of the Year Award


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