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                                                                                   October 2013
Frederick County Public Libraries


As we leave summer behind and enjoy the cooler weather, the library is still a child's best friend. We can help students with homework, research, and special projects. Whether you stop by one of our eight locations or visit our busiest branch on the web, you'll find a wealth of services that directly benefit your child, no matter what age.


And for our future students, the fall is a great time to discover storytimes, high-quality educational programs, and special events. Of course, all of these services and programs are free.

In the event that this newsletter was forwarded to you by a friend and you would like to continue to receive information about library programs, services, and events, we invite you to sign up here for our email newsletter. 
Darrell Batson, Director
Frederick County Public Libraries

In This Issue
Check out Fall-O-Ween Programs
2014 Frederick County Spelling Bee
Calling All New Mom, Dads, and Grandparents
Online Reading for Children
Freegal Music
Fairy Houses
"Thank You" Catoctin Zoo
Summer Reading Book Tournament
Keep in Touch


Owls, Bats, and Opossums-OH MY!

(ages 3-5, with adult)

What comes out at night?

Lots of creatures do!

Thursday, October 17

1 pm and 6:30 pm 

Thurmont Regional Library

Registration is required.

Click on appropriate time above. 


The long, hot days of summer are over and the crisp, colorful days of autumn have finally arrived! That means it is time for apple picking, corn mazes, pumpkins, and, of course, fun and festive fall programming here at Frederick County Public Libraries!


This October, we will be celebrating fall with all sorts of programs! Visit Point of Rocks and Middletown for their Un-Scary Halloween celebrations! Celebrate at Walkersville's Fall Festival! Go crazy for pumpkins at Emmitsburg's Pumpkin Jamboree or participate in Thurmont's Pumpkin Decorating Contest! Looking for something a bit spookier? Visit Brunswick's Haunted Room, build your own Spooky Haunted House out of LEGO at Urbana, or listen to local author Patrick Boyton speak about the legendary monsters of Frederick County at C. Burr Artz's first Whadda Wednesday! And these are just a few of many programs!


For more program information, including dates, times, and registration requirements, view our events calendar at fcpl.org!


Submitted by Carly Reighard

C. Burr Artz Public Library

School Registration Ends October 15, 2013

Attention spellers! It's that time of year again--time to get registered for the 2014 Frederick County Spelling Bee. Are you ready for the challenge?


The 2014 Frederick County Spelling Bee marks the 2nd year that the winner will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Scripps is the nation's largest and longest-running local spelling bee sponsor, covering the United States, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan, and South Korea.


How can you get involved? The first step is to make sure that your school or homeschool group is registered with the Scripps National Spelling Bee at their website: spellingbee.com. The deadline to register is October 15, 2013. Every school or group that registers will send their top speller and one alternate to participate in the county-wide bee hosted by Frederick County Public Libraries.


The winner of the Frederick County Spelling Bee will represent Frederick County at the Scripps National Spelling Bee on May 25-May 31, 2014!


Jared Remsberg 
FCSB 2013 winner at Scripps

Wondering if you are eligible to participate? The spelling bee is open to all students in eighth grade or lower who did not turned fifteen before August 31, 2013. For complete eligibility information, go to spellingbee.com/eligibility.


We are very excited about this opportunity and we hope you will be, too. If you or your school has any questions, first take a look at the FAQ page on the Scripps website. If you have further questions, please contact Caroline O'Connell at the Brunswick Library, 301-600-7255. This spells success for Frederick County!


Submitted by Tara Lebherz

Thurmont Regional Library 
Petite Playgroup at Urbana Regional Library 

Being a new parent is stressful. I know because I am one. Between the crying, teething, epic diapers, and waking up every three hours at night, you start to wonder "how do people get through this!?" Luckily, new parents have a great coping resource: other new parents. There's nothing more reassuring than hearing how another new mom is also getting up multiple times at night! Or that you're not alone when it comes to wondering how much solid food you should feed your child. You are not alone!


The problem is that it can be hard to find and connect with these new parents. There are few public places that are baby friendly or developmentally appropriate, so casually meeting another new parent with a baby the same age as yours can be tricky. And if you're like me, all of your friends have kids that are much older (or they have no children at all).


Never fear, new parents! At the Urbana Regional Library we have started a weekly Petite Playgroup for ages 0-3. Meeting Wednesdays at 1:30 pm, the playgroup takes place in our storytime room and lasts until 2:45ish. We've made it casual to encourage lots of parental socializing: everybody introduces himself or herself and shares their child's name and age. We do a few rhymes and songs just to bring everyone together and then break out lots of educational toys for the kids to play with. With soft music playing in the background, the babies explore and play while the parents chat. It's a safe, fun setting with zero pressure!

And while the playgroup starts at 1:30 pm, parents are encouraged to join us anytime between 1:30 and 2:45 pm. Older siblings are welcome, and we always have great toys for them to explore as well.


So, new moms and dads (and grandparents!) - come join us! Your baby will love seeing other children and you will have an opportunity to meet parents going through situations just like you! You are not alone!


By Robyn Monaco

Urbana Regional Library

At fcpl.org children have easy access to free on-line books that help build literacy and a love of books and reading. These four sites (BookFlix, FreedomFlix, TrueFlix, and TumbleBook Library) can be used in or out of the library and offer a variety of services including educational games, books in French and Spanish, and read-along options.


From our library website's banner, access these sites through fcpl.org/research/resource-guides/ebooks-kids. You will need your library card number to use the e-book resources. Browse each of these sites to see what is available. Here are some features of each:


BookFlix - these books are recommended for ages PreK-third grade. Among the special features are read-along books, books in Spanish, and "Meet the Author" and book related games sections.


TumbleBooks - here children can read or listen to picture books, chapter books, and non-fiction books. Among the special features are books in Spanish and French and educational games and videos.


FreedomFlix - the books on this site are all part of a collection for students known as "Bringing History to Life." All the books relate to different topics and periods in American History including contemporary issues and events. Among the extra resources for each book are project ideas, a quiz section, and links to "Explore More."


TrueFlix - a collection of non-fiction books that fall under the topics of "People, Places, and History" and "Science and Nature." Among the extra resources for each book are project ideas, a quiz section, and links to "Explore More."


Enjoy exploring these sites with your children and making available to them the valuable resources that can be found at fcpl.org.

Do you enjoy listening to music on your computer, tablet, phone, or mobile device? Then you should check out Freegal Music on FCPL's website under fcpl.org/eLibrary. Developed by the Library Ideas company, Freegal is a downloadable music service provided for you by your library. The name Freegal means "free and legal" so the music may be shared legally to library patrons without infringing copyrights or fear of piracy. There are hundreds of genres of music in Freegal Music and content is based on agreements with over 10,000 music labels, including the labels of Sony Music Entertainment. The music files are DRM-free MP3 files that can be played on any device (including iPods). With your library card you may download and keep three songs per week at no cost.


In a recent update Freegal has added MP4 format music videos which may be downloaded as well. These music video downloads will count as two of your weekly music selections. Freegal Music 4.0 has a fresh new look with larger album cover visuals of artists and easier genre and artist searches. Another new feature of Freegal 4.0 includes a wish list to save favorite titles for future downloads.


Freegal Mobile Apps are currently available for iOS and Android. Be sure to pay attention to the notes for using the apps since the iOS version saves songs in the app and they must be later downloaded into iTunes. The (FAQ's) frequently asked questions section is helpful in further explaining the ins and outs of using Freegal. If music is your passion and you enjoy taking it with you wherever you go, be sure to check out Freegal Music on FCPL's website. Browse the many titles available, FREE, courtesy of your library, and start downloading your favorites today!


Submitted by Shelba Bollinger

Thurmont Regional Library
Urbana library patrons, aged 6 to11, along with some family member helpers, came armed with their imaginations to two separate Summer Reading Programs to build fairy or elf houses. Teen volunteers were on hand to assist the young designers with hot glue guns. While many of the natural treasures used to decorate the fairy houses were collected by library staff, a few were generously donated by local businesses. Keith Schoonover of Wood Eye Wood Products, Inc., located in Jefferson, MD, provided the library with beautifully cut "tree cookies" made of cedar wood that served as the base of the fairy houses. Green moss to decorate the houses was donated by Potomac Garden Center, located in Urbana, MD. We were lucky to have such wonderful community support to help create this memorable program.
Fairy Houses at 
Urbana Regional Library

Brunswick Library also built fairy houses as part of their summer reading programming. Children (and their parents!) used their imaginations and creativity to construct fabulous fairy and troll houses and gardens.

Fairy Houses 
at Brunswick Public Library 


At Walkersville Library's Fairy House/Hobbit House program, builders were supplied with shoe box sized basic layouts that included a "grass covered knoll." Lori from aBloom florist in Walkersville provided supplies for the program. The kids added dried flowers, twigs, and other assorted items to create their home.


We were lucky to have such wonderful community support to help create this memorable program.


If you would like inspiration to build a fairy house of your own, the library has materials you can check out. Among them are a video called Kristen's Fairy House, a beautifully illustrated book Fairy Houses by Tracy Kane, and two photographic books, Fairy Houses and Beyond and Fairy Houses-Everywhere! by Barry Kane.


Submitted by Kim Gessner

Urbana Regional Library  

FCPL thanks the Catoctin Zoo and Wildlife Preserve for providing free admission zoo coupons for all children participating in the 2013 Summer Reading Program and also providing several free live animal presentations at many branches throughout the county.


The Catoctin Zoo Comes to Visit presentations included live animal interactions including an alligator, tortoise, lizard, and chinchilla. These presentations were well received by the public; in fact, Urbana and Brunswick recorded the highest attendance of any event held throughout the entire summer.

Many children cashed-in their zoo coupons (valued at $11.50) with large numbers being reported on the weekends throughout the summer. 


Submitted by Marlene Bordner

Thurmont Regional Library

This past summer, the C. Burr Artz Public Library tried something new to get kids to read. Based upon the NCAA's March Madness tournament, we created four categories of books and asked children, parents, and staff to vote on their favorites. Sixteen titles were selected from the following categories: Picture books for ages 0-5, Beginning to Read/Early Chapters Books for Grades K-2, Chapter Books for Grades 3-5, and Non-Fiction Books for Grades 3-5.


Over the course of the summer, the voting process weeded the titles down until we had our Final Four- a winner from each category: Children Make Terrible Pets (Picture Books) vs Once Upon a Royal Superbaby (Beginning to Read) and The One and Only Ivan (Chapter Books) vs Titanic: Voices from the Disaster.

Our final round put Children Make Terrible Pets up against Titanic: Voices from the Disaster.


At last, our readers spoke. Titanic: Voices from the Disaster was declared the overall favorite of our summer readers, proving that non-fiction and history, is still fun to read, even when you're not in school!
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