Events & Programs

MoComCon 2022 Essay Contest Winners

First Place

Chess: My Life Changing Game, by Joseph Mathew

In my early years of education, especially in the first three years of elementary school, I was always reprimanded for my bad behavior in the form of a color-coded behavior chart. Every time I made silly mistakes the teacher would move my name on the chart down a color. This chart constantly reminded me that I wasn’t worthy enough to be in my teachers’ class and that I was at a lower disposition compared to my peers. Seeing my actions reflected in bright color on the wall
that all my peers stared at, caused devastating blows to my self-esteem.

However, after I discovered chess, it changed everything. Chess is the game that impacted my life because it improved my intellectual abilities and my mental state. During the summer break of first grade, I visited my grandmother. The summer heat was unbearable. There was nothing to do but watch TV, and even that was boring. I would lay on the ground, hoping that the marble tiles would cool my body. One day, my grandmother gave me a puzzle to do. I got interested in them, spending days solving puzzles. Recognizing my puzzle solving skills, she registered me in a nearby chess club which was the starting of my interest in chess.

After that, I played chess continually with a passion. It improved all my intellectual abilities including problem-solving, creative thinking, and memory skills. All these benefits can be seen as proof of my new academic achievement. In the following school year, I took a national cognitive test and scored very high. Chess also helped me to solve the nonverbal batteries and the other three batteries in the CogAT test. This allowed me to get into the gifted and talented programs.

After discovering chess, my behavior on the color chart was always good. I strongly believe that playing chess helped me to think ahead, calculate, and solve problems. Winning in many chess competitions changed my attitude. Mentally, I became strong and confident. I felt like I was worthy in front of others because of my chess skills. My higher interest in chess left me no free time for horseplay. My teacher more often recognized my good behavior and reflected it on the color chart. This higher self-esteem acquired because of playing chess,
helped me to develop leadership qualities that helped me throughout my life. Overall, my mental state was much better after discovering chess.

I am always grateful to my grandma for finding my hidden talent in chess. She made me respectable among my peers. The game chess made my brain think versatile and solve harder challenges

Second Place

How Cards Became my Happiness, by Eliana Kim

My game is yet so simple, but so powerful that it can bring a whole family together in a time of global crisis. My game is still so ordinary, but you don’t know what it could do to a person in times of struggle. My game is cards.

Now, I know you all know about “go fish” and “Uno,” or any other card game. And you’re probably thinking I’m out of my mind. Well I’m not, because simple card games have changed my life. It all started on an ordinary day in the middle of a not-so-ordinary pandemic. My family and I decided to gather and play cards as a way to make time pass. I mean, what else are you supposed to do in the middle of a global pandemic when you can’t leave your house? We started playing go fish, and then a round of Uno. At first when we played, we didn’t realize it, but the more we played, the more our joy grew. Our worries faded from our heads during the 10 minutes we played cards. Also, the more we spent time together, the more we bonded as a family, and it was all because of this simple game. We played and played that night, and when we were finished, my family and I decided to do this the next night too so we could have some good ol’ family fun. That one night led to countless other nights of card games with my family, and doing so continued our joy and love as a family, and strengthened the bond we had.

Fast forward to an entire year later. I am still playing cards every night with my family. I know that whenever I have a bad day or I feel so sad, I can play cards at the and of the day with my family. When I play cards with my family, my whole entire body loosens because I know that I can be together with my family, and just be myself. Just because of a standard deck of 54 cards, my entire life loosened up and became happier every single night and day, because I could have a countless number of problems, but those problems fade away from my head as soon as a deck of cards hit my hand. My family and I also grew so happy and together, for almost the first time in my life since our Disney trip in 2016. Before cards, I felt like my life was empty. Now, playing cards is my happy place. No matter where I am, if I am with my family and a deck of cards, I will have fun.

How about you play some card games with your family? All you need is a deck of cards and it will guarantee a good 10 minutes of unfiltered joy. Now this is why the game that changed my life is cards.

Third Place

Friendship Across Time Zones by Bailey McFadden

Minecraft is a game that is often categorized as a ‘sandbox game’. This means that it’s a virtual land where users can create their own worlds and experiences, using building blocks that come with the main game and others that are created by users to add to the game. Users can also create multiplayer servers, which are worlds specifically designed for mass player use.

When I was 10, I downloaded the Minecraft desktop version. A couple months prior, I had moved to a new state and the only people I knew were the family that lived there and a few family friends. I was
lonely. Around that time, I had discovered (and subsequently gotten obsessed with) the gaming side of Youtube, particularly Minecraft. My favorite was a Youtuber who owned his own Minecraft server and
made videos on it. The first thing I did, when I had the chance, was join his server. The server, Skycade, had its own microculture built around the server’s capabilities and add-ons. For instance, you could claim land and then switch that claimed land over into somebody else’s control, so many people would build houses in groups and then sell them to people using the in-game currency, creating mini-towns. It’s through this process that I met my first ever internet friend – Anna.
She was 2 years older than me and one of the smartest people I had ever talked to. She was eloquent, kind, and she played like somebody who had played for years. I still remember the day she told me her real name; It felt like a huge honor. Internet safety had been drilled into both of us – it was like she was telling me “I trust you”. Over time, she stopped playing and we lost contact. Through her, I met another friend. She never told me her real name, I knew her as Husky. She and I would talk for hours almost everyday. She was Icelandic, and the two of us would play a game where I would run something through Google Translate, then change it into Icelandic and make her guess what it said. It was always funny, since apparently the translations were very far from correct. She had named herself Husky because her family
bred huskies. She had an older brother who was off at college and her grandmother lived with her family. Even though the two of us stopped talking years ago, I still know a million facts about her.

Minecraft provided an escape from a world that seemed out of my control most of the time, as well as provided a way for me to make deep friendships with people I never would have met otherwise. Minecraft is a conduit of friendship and deep bonds for so many people and has been since its creation. Playing Minecraft changed how I interact with people on and offline, as well as provided connection in a time when I needed it, and through this changed my life.

Events & Programs

MoComCon 2022 Art Contest Winners

Thanks to all who joined us for January’s virtual MoComCon 2022!, our virtual celebration of all things comics, graphic novels. and fandoms. We’re proud to announce the winners of this year’s art contest. Thank you to all who entered and participated!


Children’s Competition — Winners
Children’s Competition — Honorable Mention


Teen Competition — Winners
Teen Competition — Honorable Mention


Adult Competition — Winners
Adult Competition — Honorable Mention

Congratulations to all MoComCon 2022 Art Contest winners!

Did You Know Events & Programs

Join MoComCon 2022 this January 15

MoComCon 2022, MCPL’s annual celebration of all things comics, graphic novels and fandoms, returns on Saturday, January 15.

Check out our schedule of virtual events and join in all day long. Click on each event link below in the schedule to learn more. We will update with direct Zoom links on Saturday morning.

MoComCon Event Schedule

Super Hero Storytime
10:30 – 11:00am
Craft Demos11:00 – 11:45am
Toy Design: From Screen to Shelf with Jen Tan of Pixar12:00 – 1:00pm
Gaming Trivia1:15 – 2:15pm
Board Games: The Creative Process2:30 – 3:30pm
Art Contest Slideshow3:45 – 4:00pm

Stay tuned to the blog for MoComCon 2022 art and essay contest winners.

Did You Know Library Branches

Montgomery County Public Libraries to Add Branch Service Hours in January

MCPL will offer additional hours of branch service to the community, effective Jan. 2, 2022. 

“Our libraries are critical gathering epicenters throughout our communities where many residents rely on, not just access to books, but to the internet as well,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “I appreciate the work of our employees and I thank our residents and patrons of the library for their patience as we worked to ensure that our libraries are COVID safe and accessible for both visitors and employees.”

The hours of operation at all MCPL branches, except Maggie Nightingale (Poolesville) and Noyes Library for Young Children, will be: 

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Friday and Saturday – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

The hours and schedule for Maggie Nightingale (currently closed for refresh) and Noyes libraries will remain as they currently stand.

“One of my highest priorities is to work towards providing equity of service to our community members,” said MCPL Director Anita Vassallo. “By equalizing and restoring hours at all of our branches, we are taking a huge step in continuing this mission.  I thank everyone who was involved in this process, as well as our customers for their patience.” 

For more information on MCPL services, please visit

Events & Programs Library Branches

Enter the MoComCon 2022 Art & Essay Contests!

MoComCon Returns to MCPL in January!

MoComCon happens January 15, 2022, this year at the Germantown Library! MoComCon 2022 Art & Essay contests also return as part of the celebration of all things comics, graphic novels and fandoms. The deadline to enter both contests is December 15.

What are the MoComCon Art & Essay Contests?

Do you like to draw or write? Then our Art and Essay contests are for you. You can enter art, essay, or both, just make sure to read the entry form directions and submit a separate form for each contest. Completed Art and Essay entries will be accepted electronically Monday, November 1 – Wednesday, December 15. Art contest is open to ages 5 years – adult. Essay contest is open to ages 8-14 years.

Cosplay Contest Happens at MoComCon 2022

Is Cosplay or dressing up more your style? Then our Cosplay contest is for you! Open to all ages, the day of MoComCon Saturday, January 15, 2022. Print and fill out your entry to bring with you to MoComCon 2022 at Germantown Library. Limited to the first 20 entries in each age group. Parent signature required for ages 17 & under.



Learn more about MoComCon 2022, including the events schedule, at the event website. And join us at Germantown Library on January 15th!

Events & Programs

Montgomery County Commission for Women Partners with Montgomery County Public Libraries to Offer Free Financial Health and Wellness Seminars

The Commission for Women and Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) will offer four free financial seminars in October to help women strengthen their financial knowledge and understanding. The sessions are geared to assist women with financial planning but are open to everyone.  

These free events will be presented on Zoom on Tuesdays in October from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Registration is required. The link will be forwarded after registration. 

Oct. 5: Financial Planning 101 

Learn the basics of financial planning along with terms and tools to equip yourself with the knowledge you need to succeed financially. 

Oct. 12: Planning for Retirement 

Not running out of money before running out of time is most people’s biggest concern. Our goal is to maximize your resources and autonomy. 

Oct. 19: Social Security and Medicare 

Learn how to utilize and maximize the government programs you have invested in for your working lifetime. 

Oct. 26: Divorce and Money 

Divorce is a strain on your finances as well as your nerves. Will you be fiscally ok when it’s over? What is your role in making sure of that? 

For more information or to register, click here. Visit MCPL’s website for a complete listing of upcoming virtual programs. 

Did You Know

October is Energy Action Month

Montgomery Energy Connection is celebrating Energy Action Month in October, 2021, by focusing on energy efficiency. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, lighting consumes 10 percent of the total electricity used in homes. Energy Action Month is an opportunity to for residents to take proactive steps to lower their energy usage and their utility bills.

Swapping out your old incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs for LEDs @ MCPL is a great way to make your home more energy efficient. There is a limit of three bulbs per family at each event.

Energy Action Month – Lighten Up Events

Montgomery Energy Connection will be at these branches throughout October. Bring your bulbs and receive LEDs!

Aspen Hill, Friday-October 1, 11am-1pm
Chevy Chase, Saturday-October 9, 11am-1pm
Connie Morella, Tuesday-October 12, 1pm-3pm
Damascus, Wednesday-October 13, 11am-1pm
Davis, Thursday-October 14, 11am-1pm
Gaithersburg, Friday-October 15, 11am-1pm
Kensington Park, Saturday-October 16, 11am-1pm
Little Falls, Monday-October18th, 11am-1pm
Long Branch, Tuesday-October19th, 1pm-3pm
Marilyn Praisner, Wednesday-October20, 11am-1pm
Noyes Library for Young Children, Thursday-October 21, 11am-1pm
Olney, Friday-October 22, 11am-1pm
Potomac, Saturday-October 23, 11am-1pm
Quince Orchard, Monday-October 25, 11am-1pm
Rockville Memorial, Tuesday-October26, 1pm-3pm
Silver Spring, Wednesday-October 27, 11am-1pm
Twinbrook, Thursday-October 28, 1pm-3pm
Wheaton, Friday-October 29, 11am-1pm
White Oak, Saturday-October 30, 11am-1pm

Bring us your bulbs in October, and find out other ways to be more energy efficient in your homes. Balloons soar–your utility bills shouldn’t. For more information on lowering utility costs and keeping money in your pocket, visit

Events & Programs

MCPL and Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection Celebrate Energy Action Month in October

Join the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection and Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) for a light bulb exchange event taking place during Energy Action Month, October. Energy Action Month is an opportunity to encourage residents to take proactive steps to lower their energy usage and their utility bills. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, lighting is used in all homes and consumes a substantial share of electricity—10 percent of the total electricity used in homes.  

These light bulb exchanges offer an opportunity for residents to lower their utility costs by switching to more energy efficient light bulbs, light emitting diodes (LEDs). Replacing just five of the most frequently used light fixtures with energy efficient bulbs can save more than $65 a year in energy costs.  

While compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs use one-third of the electricity, and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs, they contain a small amount of mercury and should be handled carefully and always disposed of properly. These light bulb exchanges give residents an opportunity to recycle these bulbs the right way and lower their energy costs at the same time.    

Residents can bring their old incandescent and CFL light bulbs to the following MCPL branches in exchange for new LEDs. There is a limit of 3 bulbs per family at each event: 

  • Aspen Hill, 4407 Aspen Hill Road, Rockville – Friday, Oct. 1, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.  
  • Chevy Chase, 8005 Connecticut Ave., Chevy Chase – Saturday, Oct. 9, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
  • Connie Morella (Bethesda), 7400 Arlington Road, Bethesda – Tuesday, Oct. 12, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. 
  • Damascus, 9701 Main Street, Damascus – Wednesday, Oct. 13, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
  • Davis (North Bethesda), 6400 Democracy Blvd, Bethesda – Thursday, Oct. 14, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
  • Gaithersburg, 18330 Montgomery Village Ave., Gaithersburg – Friday, Oct. 15, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
  • Kensington Park, 4201 Knowles Ave., Kensington – Saturday, Oct. 16, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.  
  • Little Falls, 5501 Massachusetts Ave., Bethesda – Monday, Oct. 18, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
  • Long Branch, 8800 Garland Ave., Silver Spring – Tuesday, Oct. 19, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. 
  • Marilyn J. Praisner (Burtonsville), 14910 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville – Wednesday, Oct. 20, 11 a.m. -1 p.m. 
  • Noyes Library for Young Children, 10237 Carroll Place, Kensington – Thursday, Oct. 21, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
  • Olney, 3500 Olney-Laytonsville Rd., Olney – Friday, Oct. 22, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
  • Potomac, 10101 Glenolden Drive, Potomac – Saturday, Oct. 23, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
  • Quince Orchard, 15831 Quince Orchard Road, Gaithersburg – Monday, Oct. 25, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
  • Rockville Memorial, 21 Maryland Ave., Rockville – Tuesday, Oct. 26, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. 
  • Silver Spring, 900 Wayne Ave., Silver Spring – Wednesday, Oct. 27, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
  • Twinbrook, 202 Meadow Hall Drive, Rockville – Thursday, Oct. 28, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. 
  • Wheaton, 11701 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring – Friday, Oct. 29, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
  • White Oak, 11701 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring – Saturday, Oct. 30, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

For more information on lowering your utility costs and keeping money in your pocket, visit

Did You Know Events & Programs

MCPL and Montgomery County Board of Elections to Celebrate National Voter Registration Day on September 28, 2021

The Montgomery County Board of Elections (BOE) will provide information tables at select branches of Montgomery County Public Libraries on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021 in celebration of National Voter Registration Day. The BOE seeks to create broad awareness of voter registration opportunities to reach voters who may not register otherwise and to ensure everyone can vote during next year’s Primary Gubernatorial elections on June 28, 2022.

BOE information tables will be located at the following branches on September 28:

12 p.m. –2 p.m.

Marilyn J. Praisner Library, 14910 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, MD 20866
Olney Library, 3500 Olney-Laytonsville Road, Olney, MD 20832
Rockville Memorial Library, 21 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850

5 p.m.–7 p.m.

Connie Morella Library (Bethesda), 7400 Arlington Road, Bethesda, MD 20814
Gaithersburg Library, 18330 Montgomery Village Ave., Gaithersburg, MD 20879
Silver Spring Library, 900 Wayne Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910

Events & Programs Library Branches

“Lemonade & LEDs” Lightbulb Exchange Comes to MCPL

Montgomery Energy Connection is excited to bring “Lemonade & LEDs” to MCPL. MEC is a network of County Government and community partners created to provide customized education on the benefits of energy efficiency, availability of programs, and opportunities for assistance. Find out how to keep more money in your pocket by reducing the amount of energy you use in your home.

Join us throughout the summer to swap out your old incandescent and compact fluorescent (CFL) lightbulbs for energy-efficient ones. Their motto is “lemons are sour, saving money is sweet!”

July Dates:

7/6 Little Falls Library, noon-2pm
7/8, Damascus Library, noon-2pm
7/13 Long Branch Library, 4-6pm
7/14 Quince Orchard Library, 10am-noon
7/20 Connie Morella Library, noon-2pm
7/21 Gaithersburg Library, 10am-noon
7/22 Silver Spring Library, 4-6pm
7/27 Noyes Library, noon-2pm
7/28 Olney Library, 10am-noon

August Dates:

8/3 Davis Library, noon-2pm
8/4 Aspen Hill Library, 10am-noon
8/5, Rockville Library, noon-2pm
8/10 Twinbrook Library, noon-2pm
8/11 White Oak Library, 10am-noon
8/12 Marilyn Praisner Library, noon-2pm
8/17 Kensington Park Library, noon-2pm

Visit our branches page for addresses of all MCPL locations, and the Lighten Up site for more information. There is a limit of three bulbs swapped per person.