Did You Know

Women’s History Month 2019

Pictures of women throughout American history

March is Women’s History Month, a time to recognize the contributions women have made throughout American history. The first official celebration of Women’s History Month was in 1987, when Congress passed Public Law 100-9 designating March 1987 Women’s History Month. But the origins of the celebration go as far back as 1909, when a Women’s Day was celebrated in New York City.

Looking for a good book to learn more? We’ve got some great recent books for kids, teens, and adults on women’s history. Some interesting titles I ran across include Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History, about a group of aviation pioneers who fought to participate in the popular air shows of the 1920s and 1930s. As a runner, I was also intrigued by the children’s book Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb and the Boston Marathon. It tells the story of the first woman to finish the Boston Marathon. Don’t forget to explore our wide variety of e-books and audiobooks that also have fascinating books about women’s history, women’s biographies, and memoirs. Our new streaming movie service Kanopy offers independent films and documentaries about the contributions of women throughout history and contemporary women’s issues.

If you want to research women’s history online, try History in Context and History Reference Center. These online resources contain American and international news and journal articles, as well as information from reference and primary sources. You can find biographical information on women from yesterday and today in Biography in Context. Finally, for historical information about African American women, try the Oxford African American Studies Center resource.

Be sure to mark your calendars for these events honoring Women’s History Month –

Finally, the Friends of the Library, Montgomery County and the Montgomery County Commission for Women are celebrating Women’s History Month with their 3rd Annual Girl Power Contest. This year’s creative prompt is, if you had a superpower, how would you use that power to help girls and women?

From great books and movies, to engaging events, MCPL is there to help you celebrate Women’s History Month.

Did You Know

Celebrate Black History Month 2019

Collage of famous African Americans

Did you know that February is Black History Month? MCPL has free online resourcesbooks, and events to help you learn and celebrate!

If you’re looking to explore and research online we’ve got some wonderful, authoritative resources for you. The Oxford African American Studies Center online database is focused “on the lives and events which have shaped African American and African history and culture.” It is a place where you can read articles, primary sources, maps, timelines, and biographical information.There are also many images included on the site that you can view.

Students at Lincoln High School

If you are looking for biographical information, you should have at look at Biography in Context. There you browse and search for information on notable African Americans. You can also search by nationality and occupation. The site provides articles from reference works, academic journals, magazines, and newspapers as well as images, audio clips, and videos.

You can discover history though song as well. Listen to streaming music from American Song which includes genres such as jazz, blues, gospel, ragtime, folk songs, and narratives, among others. If you are interested in jazz try the Jazz Music Library where you can choose from thousands of jazz artists, ensembles, albums, and genres.

African Americans during the American Civil War

Have you heard about the Lincoln Park History Project? It’s a partnership MCPL has with several local historical and cultural organizations. Its purpose is to find, document, and preserve the cultural heritage of one of Rockville’s oldest African American communities, Lincoln Park.

Lincoln Park, started in the 1890s, was one of the first real estate ventures for African American homeowners in Montgomery County. We invite you to learn about its history, the families that lived there, the houses they lived in, and more. There is also information included about Lorenzo Dow Turner. He was a professor of English and he pioneered research of Gullah language in the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia.

Looking for some fascinating books to read? We have some great book suggestions for adults and teens, as well as kids, to help celebrate Black History Month. We also have numerous African American book discussion groups at branches throughout the County.

DVD cover for the movie 42

Looking for events? We’ve got some exciting programs you won’t want to miss. Here are some program highlights.

We’re happy to help you start your journey exploring Black History today at MCPL!

Don’t forget to check out our latest Library Matters podcast episode, all about African American literature.

Kensington Park

Organize and Create in the New Year – 2019

Colorful drawing of a neat living room

How would you like to start this new year?  Do you have a bunch of things to sort out from the holidays? To help you get started, you can join us with a “neat” program on decluttering your life on January 19 at 12:00 PM.

What else is new at the Kensington Park Library for 2019? Pajama story time is taking the month of January off. It will resume on the second Monday of every month beginning February 11 at 7:00 PM. Don’t forget your pajamas so you can lay back and enjoy some great stories before bedtime.

If you are feeling too cold and you want to get in your pajamas early, you can take advantage of one of our recent new databases, Kanopy. It allows you to watch up to 10 movies for free each month. There is a great variety of films to choose from including: entertaining and popular films for all ages, documentaries, instructional videos including the very popular series, Great Courses, and much more. Put your feet up and turn your computer into a home movie theater. To log in, you will need your library card. The first time you log in, you will also need to create your own account just for Kanopy.

Superman book cover and craft

You know what else is really cool for January, besides the weather? On January 3 at 4:30 PM, get your creative groove on and make your own super hero. You won’t believe how easy it is, and, of course, it ranks high on the fun meter. Children can also attend a special STEM program to learn how to code with Code-a-pillar and Cubetto learning toys on January 17.  You may choose to come to a session at either 4:30 PM or 5:00 PM. Please be sure to register online as there is limited space for these events.

Very exciting news to all those crafters out there and I know there are many. If the weather still has you down or your muse is stirring, check out our new database called Creativebug. There are over 1,000 courses to choose from and some courses are even live and all of it is free. Now it is up to you to create.


Wheaton Interim December Update

Programs and Services

InterAct Family Story Theatre will be presenting a Book Fiesta on Saturday January 12, 2019 at 11:00 AM. The program will be in the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad Green Room attached to the Wheaton Interim library. Registration for the program has begun.

As of November 5, 2018 MCPL Express @ Mid-County Community Recreation Center has been closed. The equipment is being moved to provide holds locker and book drop service at the Marilyn Praisner Community Recreation Center in 2019 while Marilyn Praisner Library undergoes renovation.

New Building Update

Progress is being made on the new Wheaton Library building interior now. Drywall is being installed and rooms are taking shape. The pictures below show the interior of the new library. There will be eight collaboration group rooms and two quiet study rooms. There will be two collaboration rooms next to the children’s area and two next to the teen area.

Windows are being completed and the storefront enclosure is being worked on. Grading and equipment placement for the park is in progress. Drywall installation on the second floor shared rooms is in progress as well.

Adult area quiet study rooms
Adult Area Quiet Study Rooms
Maker room and collaboration room
Maker Room and Collaboration Room
Teen area collaboration rooms
Teen Area Collaboration Rooms
Front entrance off Georgia Avenue
Front Entrance off Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring

Discover the Children’s Floor at Silver Spring Library!

At Silver Spring Library, children have their own inviting space, the entire 5th floor of the library! We invite you to come and explore. It’s a great space for children to discover books, attend programs, do homework, read, use our computers, and play in our Early Literacy Center.

Aisle with shelves of books on either side

Step off the elevator or turn from the stairs and you see two halves to the 5th floor. On the left are materials for older children, generally those in elementary school. To the right is the baby, preschool, and beginner reader area. Wander from one to the other if you wish.

Here’s a look at the area for older children. Lots of books! Fiction and fact books and graphic novels.  You can also find audio books on CD, children’s magazines, family DVDs, and series books.

Try one of our internet computers for children with Microsoft Office software. Lots of children use them for homework and for fun, too! We also have AWE station computers. They are loaded with child-tested software that makes learning science, math, geography and reading fun.

Play area school busCheck out the area for younger children and
their grown-ups.  Explore our Early Literacy Center. It is designed with interactive structures for you and your child to enjoy and play with together.  Every corner is filled with opportunities to develop young children’s pre-reading skills and help them become lifelong readers and learners.

There are plenty of board books for babies and toddlers. Those are the hard-backed ones designed help very young children learn how books work.

Picture books get lots of room here, too!  Picture books are the foundation of reading together with parents and developing a love of stories and learning and reading! They’re great entertainment even for older children and adults.

Chairs around a rug in glassed-in program roomTry out our AWE learning station computers for younger children.  Learn letters and numbers, follow puzzles, draw pictures, play with shapes, and more!

Our children’s program room is where storytimes and other special children’s programs take place.  It’s a glassed-in room right in the middle of the 5th floor. You can even watch what’s going on from outside the room!  Try out our many storytimes:  Baby Storytime, Toddler Storytime, Preschool Storytime, Science and Math storytimes, Pajama Storytime, bilingual French and English Storytime, and more!  Come build with Legos on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.  Sometimes we have dance sessions, crafts, and more!

We also have a Reading Nook. This is a quiet room away from the usual bustle where parents and children can sit and read together. This is also where we have our monthly Read to a Dog program. Great nonjudgmental reading practice especially for new readers!

Cozy room with bookshelves, rug and chairs

The children’s floor at Silver Spring Library is truly a special space.  Come explore!

Quince Orchard

Welcome to Our Conversation Clubs!

Learning a new language and adjusting to an unfamiliar culture can be difficult. Residents in
Montgomery County, however, can participate in conversation clubs, led by volunteer facilitators,
where everyone is welcome and registration is not required. Our clubs include a diverse group of
participants from varied countries with different languages.

English conversation club meeting room
Quince Orchard Library Conversation Club Meeting Room

In 2015, MyMCMedia created a video featuring the Quince Orchard Library English Conversation Club that explains the concept and the benefits for participants and volunteers, including interviews with Ann Stillman, the former Quince Orchard Library Manager, participants, and facilitators.

Facilitators lead the sessions and introduce topics to spark comments and discussions about the similarities and differences between American and other cultures.

Here are samples of recent discussions from our facilitators:

“Walter and I had seven total participants. Four regulars, two from China, one from Korea, and one from Iran, and three participants new to the Saturday class from Iran, Korea, and China. Discussion topics covered “anything interesting that happened to them last week” and “what is their passion/goal to keep them busy and engaged in life.” Additional topics included the bucket list and interesting travel locations. It was noted that people still had difficulty pronouncing the words like“world” vs. “word.” –Hank

Participants gathered around a table
Tuesday Morning English Conversation Club

“Walter and I had 11 participants yesterday, some regulars and some brand-new. After introductions, we split into two groups. Walter’s group mostly talked about communication. My group talked about reading books, including classics and children’s books, and ways to listen to spoken English for improvement (radio, news, songs, podcasts). We also talked about Veterans Day, and we learned that in South Korea and China, that is a big shopping day sponsored by a candy 
manufacturer. We moved on to Black Friday and the shopping frenzy that goes with that, again learning from our Korean participant that people in South Korea order items online on Black Friday because of the amazing deals (even accounting for shipping and customs duties)! We had a brief discussion of the recent practice of opening stores on Thanksgiving, and what that means for employees of those stores. Overall, a very engaged group as always.” –Bernadette

On August 15, 2018, the MCPL Library Matters Podcast published Chatting with Friends – MCPL’s English Conversation Clubs, a conversation featuring Nancy Sillcox, Quince Orchard Library librarian, and Annie Etches, one of our English Conversation Club facilitators.

Nancy explained the purpose of the Conversation Clubs. “Well for many English speakers or English learners, I think the hardest part is speaking. I think that’s the most difficult part of learning a new language. And so at our Conversation Clubs, our facilitators, make them very comfortable, make them relaxed, and they ask the right questions, so get them talking and speaking. Also it helps them with listening to the language as well. And we depend on our facilitators to help our English learners to develop the speaking skills and I think they do a great job”
Participants gathered around a table
Tuesday Morning English Conversation Club
Nancy also spoke about the structure of the sessions at Quince Orchard. “They have three tables and each table has a volunteer that helps about five to eight people and they have a lesson plan where everyone talks about the same topic. At the Thursday Conversation Club, each of the volunteers have their own topic that they want to talk about. So they decide what topic they want to talk about.  In the Saturday Conversation Club, it’s just whatever the participants want to talk about, if they want to talk about politics, you know, something is happening, they would talk about that or food or anything that was happening in current events. It’s like, it’s the mix and there is no organization to their talk.  And I think they like it that way. Participants in a Saturday one, they just like this very loose format and then the Tuesday evening I think there is only one volunteer, oh actually I am sorry there is two volunteers and I think they just bring up a topic and then they discuss it.”

Annie remarked on the camaraderie of these groups. “I love the idea that every Tuesday morning I have people from all around the world who are sitting there enjoying each others’ company even if they don’t always understand quite what’s being said, you know.  And one day we had a I think there were about 12 people at my table, … And a guy from Iran, we had all been laughing and joking about I don’t know what now, maybe food or something, and just before we finished he just said, “Everybody I think it’s so wonderful that we can sit here. We are all different, different countries, different religions, different ideas and yet we all get along and we love meeting together.” And that to me summed up what I want life to be about and it was just great.”

For more information, check out this link for MCPL Libraries with Conversation Clubs and other helpful resources for English Learners.

The Quince Orchard Conversation Clubs meet three times a week for English: 
Tuesday at 10:00 AM, Thursday at 10:00 AM and Saturday at 10:00 AM 
and once a week for Spanish: 
Monday at 6:00 PM.

Please join us at one of these special sessions.
Thank you to all of our participants and, especially, to our Volunteer Facilitators.

Little Falls

A Triceratops’ Journey at Little Falls

A little while ago, we made a sad discovery at the Little Falls Branch. One of our younger customers, Lucian, lost his treasured golden triceratops toy into the abyss of the elevator shaft. It’s not uncommon to see pen caps and loose change take a bad bounce into the impenetrable dark, but it’s always heartbreaking to watch something special sail bravely into the dark. Unfortunately, we had to tell Lucian that we weren’t able to retrieve his toy.

gap where the elevator meets the floor
The Dark Chasm

Luckily, when routine maintenance was being performed on the elevator, our generous elevator technician hopped down into the pit and retrieved the golden triceratops for us. We were so delighted that he could be rescued that we immediately got in touch with Lucian’s family to let them know the good news. It was close to closing time so our triceratops friend got to spend the night in the library.

And he was active.

First, he was very thirsty from having spent so many days in the elevator pit, so he journeyed to the staff workroom where he drank his fill from the sink. With his thirst slaked, he realized that his tummy was grumbling, so he set off in search of food.

toy triceratops in the sink

His first stop was the 500s section of non-fiction to pick out his choice of meal. Though the flora of his time period was a bit different than what we offer today in North America, he did start drooling thinking about all the tasty leaves on the trees. He was psyched to see that the Little Falls non-fiction section covered all sorts of topics like gardening and even how to draw comics. He’d have to be sure to attend MoComCon.

toy triceratops with book titled Trees

With his menu decided, he took a peek out the window to see what tasty shrubs the Little Falls campus offered. What a view!

toy triceratops near window

On his way out of the building, he was distracted by the gorgeous Little Falls mural downstairs and all of its glorious greenery. He paused for a second to imagine himself in the woods munching away.

toy triceratops near leaf painting

Finally, he made it outside the branch and ate. And boy, was he hungry. He stopped at the Little Falls entry for a little nap.

toy triceratops near sign saying Little Falls Library

Now that he was full of good food and water, he decided to play in the downstairs meeting room! Since there were no programs or meetings going on, the Little Falls collaborative play space was in full effect. He tried out the early literacy activity wall, and he particularly enjoyed rearranging the magnetic gears and riding them around.

toy triceratops on plastic, magnetic gears

On the floor, he pretended he was Godzilla stomping around a little town on the city rug. But, he was a good triceratops, and he obeyed traffic signals and yielded right of way. He loved being able to hang out in this room, and he made a mental note to come back for storytimes and other programs. 

toy triceratops on road themed rug

Once he was upstairs again, he decided to take a look at the Friends of the Library, Little Falls Chapter book sale. He loved the selection, but he did not have a wallet, so he just browsed.

toy triceratops on shelf near sign saying Rita's Corner Book Sale

On his way back to the Lost and Found bin, he stopped behind the upstairs desk to gaze at the beautiful mural. He really enjoyed taking it all in.

toy triceratops near mural

He also stopped by the magnifier to see what he looked like on the big screen…a good looking dino if he did say so himself. He was impressed at the adjustable table, magnifier, and ADA workstation. He thought it was so cool that MCPL offered so many assistive technology options.

toy triceratops on electronic magnifier

Something in the fiction section caught his eye. It was a book that had a dinosaur’s shadow that reminded him of his sister, T-Rex, on it! Hanging out near the book made him homesick, so he decided to retire to the Lost and Found bin for the rest of the night.

toy triceratops near book Lost World by Michael Crichton

Before he knew it, it was morning, and he was being lifted out of the bin. Suddenly, he heard a familiar voice, and it spread the biggest smile across his face. It was Lucian! And he was here to take him back home.

boy hold triceratops

Lucian and his triceratops were super happy to be reunited, and triceratops couldn’t wait to share all of his adventures and the cool things he discovered were offered at Little Falls and Montgomery County Public Libraries.

Patrick Fromm,
Little Falls


Twinbrook Times November 2017

Twinbrook Library Hours Expand!
Our new hours are:
Monday – Thursdays 10 AM – 8 PM
Fridays and Saturdays 10 AM – 6 PM

We hope you’ll enjoy those extended Monday nights and Thursday mornings.  The hours at Twinbrook, Kensington Park, and Little Falls branches were increased as part of the FY18 approved budget.  In addition to more service hours, you can look forward to an increase in our story time programming in the near future!

Upcoming Programs in November:  

  • Tuesday, November 14 at 7 PM:  Know Your News, a fun and engaging way to get some tips on how to assess what is real news and what is fake news (Registration is encouraged but not required).
  • Thursday, November 16 at 6:30 PM:  Reducing Stress through Meditation around the holiday season.

We also have a regular stream of programs that include:

Here’s a complete list of upcoming events for the next 30 days at Twinbrook.

What did you miss?

Thank you to our partners for some special programs we had, such as the Marlow Guitar International concert on September 30 featuring award-winning young classical guitarists, a fair on Energy Conservation held in partnership with our County Department of Environmental Protection, and a seminar on how to apply for a County job, with our Montgomery County Office of Human Resources.

Energy Express Information Fair on Energy Conservation at Twinbrook Library
Energy Express Information Fair on Energy Conservation at Twinbrook Library

Job Hunting and School Work

Two things we see a lot of customers doing in the library are applying for jobs and doing school work.  MCPL has many good resources for Job Hunting, Career Growth, and planning your next move.  We also have pages for Kids and Teens which include a wealth of resources and advice to help with that school work, including when the library is closed.

Our Building

Cool Bug in our Window Planter
Cool Bug in our Window Planter

We hope you’re enjoying the Refreshed Twinbrook Library.  All of the Energy Conservation work done on the library this year is now complete, and while we hope there is nothing for you to notice, the electric bill should be substantially lower going forward.  Work on the buildings lights, electrical transformers, weather proofing, and part of the air conditioning system was done as part of the County’s Energy Conservation efforts, managed by the Department of General Services.

Library Advisory Committee

Our Twinbrook Library Advisory Committee meets about six times per year.  Library advisory committees (LACs) are a part of the library board and advise the library system on library services at each branch.  We encourage customers to attend LAC meetings, provide feedback during, before, or after the meetings, and of course, to join the LAC. Our chairperson, Andrea, Secretary Ron, and members Shirley, Beatrice, and James also attend branch events and often set up a table the week before the LAC meetings to answer questions and gather feedback.

The next three meetings are:

  • Thursday, January 11 at 6:30 PM  (Focus:  Services)
  • Thursday, March 8 at 6:30 PM  (Focus:  Materials Collection)
  • Thursday, May 10 at 6:30 PM  (Focus, Elections, agenda for next year)
New Earbuds and Flash Drives
New Flash Drives and Ear Buds for Sale

Other News

In other news, customers will be pleased to learn that the system is now selling ear buds ($1) and flash drives ($3).  We continue to benefit from restored materials funding, we’ve been steadily taking in brand new travel books all summer long, and the stream of best sellers and new movies and TV shows is very healthy.  We hope you’ll enjoy some soon.

We hope to see you again soon at the Twinbrook Branch.  If you haven’t been since we re-opened, see our Twinbrook Flickr album to get a flavor for what’s inside our branch.

Twinbrook Refreshed

Eric Carzon, Library Services Manager, Twinbrook.
Eric Carzon, Library Services Manager.