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July 2014
Where the County Reads, Where the County Meets, Where the County Learns 
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From the Director   


As we head into a new fiscal year (FY15), I want to take this opportunity to thank you, our customers; County Executive Leggett; and the County Council for the support of Public Libraries.

In FY14, your advocacy lead to our funders approving a budget for MCPL that was a 10.8% increase from the FY13 approved budget.  This enabled MCPL to: 


  • Establish a Digital Media Lab and loaning laptop computers at Long Branch Library, supporting 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 enhance 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 support the staffing that was necessary to reopen the Gaithersburg and Olney branches in January and March, respectively.
  • Increase library public service hours at Poolesville and Long Branch libraries in response to community input and our strategic needs.

This fiscal year, MCPL's budget will increase 10.0% over the FY14 approved budget and will continue to address elements of the department's strategic plan by supporting further increases in access to library services in the branches, continued investment in library materials, and support for maintaining the new technologies implemented in FY14.   


The County Council approved the County Executive's recommendation to add up to four hours per week to eleven library branches in FY15, adding $550,000 to the Executive's proposal.  Council asked that I make the determination as to which branches and which hours should be further expanded using those funds.  I completed analysis and review of options and have submitted a package of library service hours increases that total up to 106 additional service hours per week, with increases to 16 of the 21 branches, over FY14 levels.  The new hours will be announced this summer and implemented this fall.  


In addition to increasing library hours and staffing, the FY15 Recommended Operating Budget will maintain the $300,000 increase in the library materials budget approved last fiscal year, and an increase of $500,000 for a total materials budget of $5.35 million.  The budget also accounts for the salary and benefit cost increases approved in the Collective Bargaining Agreement and maintenance funds for new technologies.

We will also be "refreshing" two branches during FY15.  MCPL has received two FY15 State Capital Grants totaling $387,000 which will be used to fund the identified refresh work at Kensington Park and Twinbrook libraries. We plan to review the projects, update cost proposals, and begin design work in early July 2014.  These will be the first refresh projects under the County Executive's Library Refurbishment Level of Effort, which provides $1M in matching funds to the State's contribution.  MCPL will also have $500,000 of funding in FY15 to make other 21st century library  enhancements such as improvement to our public Wi-Fi, Internet and electrical wiring in the branches. 

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. 


B. Parker Hamilton signature 



B. Parker Hamilton, Director 

Save the Date

All branches and offices of Montgomery County Public Libraries will be closed on July 4, 5 and 6, in observance of Independence Day.


GSK Science in the Summer™

  Kids performing chemistry experiments.


Put on your safety goggles and explore the exciting world of Chemistry at White Oak Library on July 7 and 14, 2-4 PM! GSK Science in the Summer™ is sponsored by GSK and administered by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in partnership with MCPL. Classes are limited to 15 students, so register early! Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Students must attend both July 7 and July 14 sessions.  For more information, please call the White Oak Library at 240-773-9555.  For students entering grades 4-6.


Demystifying Medicare


On July 10, 7 PM at Quince Orchard Library, Leta Blank, Program Coordinator, State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) will explain how Medicare impacts you and what you need to know.  To register or for more information call 240-777-0200.


Summer Gaming for Teens


Do you like strategic board games, trading card games, video games, or role-playing games?  Do you and your friends just want a new place to game for a few hours?  Try something new at Quince Orchard Library on July 11, 2-4 PM! Teen Afternoon Gaming is for ages 13 - 18.  No registration required.


How to Write a College Application Essay


Get inside strategies on writing your college application essay at Damascus Library on July 14, 6-7:30 PM.  This free workshop is provided by Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions.  Pre-registration is required.  Register online or call the Damascus Library at 240-773-9444.


Introduction to Social Media


Learn how to tweet and post to Facebook on July 19, 11-1 AM. This class will be an introduction to social media for adults and seniors. Class is presented by Montgomery Community Media and Studio i at the Digital Media Lab at Long Branch LibraryRegistration is required.

Aspen Hill Library Film Festival


Come to Aspen Hill Library on July 28, 7:30 PM and enjoy Evil Under the Sun, a murder mystery featuring Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, and chat with fellow movie-goers.  This series is sponsored by the Friends of the Library, Aspen Hill Chapter.

Eric Energy: Science Spectacular

Girls performing a chemistry experiment. 

A wild and wacky scientist will have you mesmerized by the combination of some  of his greatest eye-catching experiments. A summertime program for children and families at Chevy Chase Library, July 29, 10:30 AM.  No registration needed.  Sponsored by the Friends of the Library Montgomery County, Inc.

Did You Know . . .


Freegal iogo
...that you can download 5 free MP3 songs each week from Freegal?  The songs are legal to download.  Choose from over 3,000,000 recordings on Sony and independent record labels.  Freegal works with any computer, any portable music player, and iTunes.  It also has apps for Apple and Android devices.  The music is yours to keep.  Download some great songs to listen to while you travel this summer!
Branch Out

Programs at Kensington Park Library


Kensington Park Library
Kensington Park Library


Come see the Robots! 


The Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Maryland presents Robotics Demonstrations on Friday, July 19 from 1:30-3 PM at Kensington Park Library.   Led by Professor Dr. S.K. Gupta, students from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland will present unique and innovative robotics demonstrations including Robo Raven, Scale Bot (Autonomous Robot for Climbing Stairs), R2G2 (Robot with Rectilinear Gait for Ground Operations), Robo Terp, Robo Crab and NaviGator!  This program is for ages 10 and up, ideally middle school and high school students and their families. 


Shazam Magic 

Magician Peter WoodOn July 10 from 6:30-7:30 PM at Kensington Park Library children of all ages are invited to come see the Magic of Peter Wood.  He has the energy needed to connect with children of all ages, while still possessing a level of polish and showmanship that goes beyond entertainment.  It will "Shazam" you!  No registration or tickets are required.  This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Library Montgomery County, Inc


Simple Gifts Music Program 

Come watch two women play 12 instruments and three women playing 15 instruments on July 24, 6:30-7:30 PM at the Kensington Park branch.  Enjoy a performance of Romanian, Klezmer, Greek, Irish, Scottish, Scandinavian and Appalachian folk music!  This event is for all ages and no registration or tickets are required.  Sponsored by the Friends of the Library Montgomery County, Inc. 
Also at Kensington Park Library: Did you know that you can reserve a group study room online or by calling 240-773-9515?


For more information on Kensington Park programs, and all MCPL programs, please check our our Calendar of Events or call Kensington Park Library at 240-773-9515.

Library Quote
Chinese proverb
Learning is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily. - Chinese proverb
County Happenings

Montgomery County Celebrates Independence Day  



Mid-County Sparkles
July 4, 7:30PM *Live Music | 9:15 PM*Fireworks
Einstein High School
11135 Newport Mill Rd., Kensington, MD
Shuttle Bus at Westfield Wheaton Plaza- JCP

Germantown Glory
July 4, 7:00 PM*Live Music | 9:15 PM*Fireworks
South Germantown Recreational Park
18041 Central Park Circle, Boyds, MD
Featuring in Gratitude, A Tribute to Earth, Wind & Fire

For information, call 240-777-6821 or visit the Montgomery County Recreation Department website.


Office of Human Rights Seeks Nominations for Hall of Fame


The Montgomery County Office of Human Rights (OHR) is currently accepting nominations for its Eighth Human Rights Hall of Fame. Nominations should be individuals - either living or deceased - whose ongoing work, service and contributions have positively impacted human and civil rights in the County. This year's theme is "Advancing New Strategies for Human and Civil Rights."  The deadline for nominations is August 22.

A select number of nominees will be recommended for the Hall of Fame by a panel of community judges. The induction ceremony is planned for Sunday, October 12 at the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown.

The OHR Hall of Fame began in 2001 and is held every other year.  More than 75 individuals have been inducted over the years.

Nomination forms are available online, or by calling the Office of Human Rights at 240-777-8456.

MCPL - Moving Forward


MCPL Partners with KID Museum for STEM Makerspace 


On June 19, 2014, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett announced completion of a three-year agreement between Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) and the new Kids International Discovery Museum (KID Museum) that will bring a nationally recognized model of hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and arts programming for children and families to the region.  To be housed on the lower level at Davis Library, the "MakerSpace" will offer opportunities for local children and families to explore what they can make using a wide range of materials, tools and technologies.


 Kid Museum at Davis Library.


MCPL Wins Two NACo Achievement Awards 


MCPL has received two National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Awards this year for outstanding programs: Service Beyond Our Walls:  The System-Wide Outreach Model and Express Kiosk @ Olney.  Started in 1970, the NACo annual Achievement Award Program is a non-competitive awards program that recognizes innovative county government programs.  Congratulations!  


NACo Awards for MCPL.

FOL Happenings


Seasoned Spellers: A Senior Spelling Bee!


It's not too early - - - start practicing now for "Seasoned Spellers: A Senior Spelling Bee!"  Join the FOLMC on November 8, 2014, 11 AM at the Olney Library in a day of friendly competition and a celebration of words.  If you are a senior (55 or over), register today for the Senior Spelling Bee!  Invite your friends to join the competition.  Registration ends Monday, November 3, 2014.  Registration fee is $25.00 per competitor.  There are limited competition slots. Register today.  Download and send in your registration information.  All contestants will receive a registration packet within five days of receipt of registration.

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