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.

Events & Programs

Maryland Stem Festival 2021 Celebrates Health & Wellness at MCPL

The 2021 Maryland Science Festival (MdSTEMFest), presented by the Biogen Foundation, is a month-long celebration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics that takes place every fall. In 2021, Maryland STEM Festival brings hundreds of events focused on fun, interactive science learning opportunities. Students, families, friends, STEM professionals, teachers, volunteers will all enjoy events taking place throughout Maryland.

MCPL MdSTEMFest Events

We’re proud to host many Maryland STEM Festival events at MCPL this year. Ours are among hundreds of community events this October and November showcasing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for people of all ages across Maryland.Check out the direct link to all events on our calendar and join us!

The Maryland Science Festival, founded in 2015, is one of the first statewide science or STEM festivals in
the United States. Celebrating its 7th anniversary in 2021, the Festival continues to showcase the
economic, educational, and cultural impact of science in Maryland. MdSTEMFest 2021’s theme is
“Health and Wellness”—a nod to the state’s large community of scientists; and to the ingenuity of
citizens who have been addressing the Pandemic throughout the last year.

“The MdSTEMFest is an event whose time as certainly arrived, “says Phil Rogofsky, the Festival’s
Director. “There can never be enough events to show the importance of and connect Marylanders with
the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Our future depends on how we use

Enter the Maryland STEM Festival Art Contest

Students in elementary, middle and high school can enter the Maryland Stem Festival 2021 Art Contest by October 31, 2021. Find more details and the entry form here.

Check out all of MCPL’s MdSTEMFest events here.

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. 

Events & Programs Online Learning Wheaton

Graphic Novel (10+) and Cartooning (50+) Classes Produce Amazing Art!

A drawing class is a wonderful venue to tell a story, express emotions, communicate and connect with others. Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) conducted two five-session virtual classes in May and June: “Create a Graphic Novel” (for ages 10 and up) and “Cartooning” (for ages 50 +). In partnership with MCPL, illustrator, cartoonist and animator Leila Cabib taught the classes, offering a unique opportunity for participants to demonstrate their creativity and imagination.  Both classes were funded in part by a Wheaton Cultural Project Grant from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. 

As they worked on their cartoons, students in “Create a Graphic Novel” learned to combine the conventions of graphic novel storytelling: narration, dialogue, character design, dynamic page layouts and cinematic techniques. They refined their rough pencil drawings into finished art with pen and ink and watercolor pencils.

View the artwork from Elisha J., Binyam, Mehak, Michelle, Stella, and Sofia in this gallery.

Participants were asked to pick a Wheaton locale for the setting of their stories. Brookside Gardens, Urban Artistry Dance Academy and Pine Lake at Wheaton Park were just a few of the settings of the cartoons created by students attending this class.

View the artwork from Sandra S., Patricia, Rosa, Peter, Peggie, James, and Nirmala in this gallery.

“Cartooning” class participants created caricatures, original characters, single- and multi-panel cartoons and experimented with pen-and-ink techniques. The Wheaton Library, the pond and the dog park at Wheaton Park were some of the scenarios participants chose to frame their artwork. Attendees at both 5-week session classes enjoyed sharing their artwork with each other during the Zoom sessions, which encouraged collaboration and fomented social interaction. MCPL and Cabib will offer “Create a Graphic Novel” (for ages 10 and up) and “Cartooning” (for ages 50 +) again virtually during fall 2021. Sign up today!

Culture Events & Programs

MCPL Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Join us for these events in September to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

Miercoles, 9/15, 9:30am

Baby Storytime @ MCPL – Virtual – Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month!
Enjoy Baby Storytime live with one of MCPL’s children’s librarians via Zoom!  Help kick off Hispanic Heritage Month with songs, rhymes, lap bounces, and simple stories in Spanish and English for infants up through about 18 months.  Baby Storytime is designed for adult caregivers to enjoy together with babies, and can help develop your child’s growing language skills and encourage a lifelong love of reading and learning.

Lunes, 9/20, 6:30pm

Taller de resolución de conflictos para jóvenes y familias hispano-hablantes
This workshop will be conducted entirely in Spanish. Durante este taller vamos a explorar el significado de conflicto para cada uno de nosotros y que informa nuestras ideas sobre el conflicto. Presentado por el Centro de Resolución de Conflictos del Condado de Montgomery (CRCMC).

Jueves, 9/23, 4pm

Create Your Own Hojalata
In honor of National Hispanic/Latino Heritage month, join us as we discover the Mexican folk art called Hojalata!

Cuerpo Sano, Cerebro Sano, Vida Sana… Consejos de las últimas investigaciones
This workshop will be conducted entirely in Spanish. Este taller cubre cuatro áreas de hábitos de estilo de vida que están asociados con un envejecimiento saludable.

A cualquier edad, podemos adoptar hábitos de estilo de vida para ayudar a mantener o incluso mejorar nuestra salud, mantener nuestro cerebro en forma y posiblemente retrasar la aparición del deterioro cognitivo. Este taller cubre cuatro áreas de hábitos de estilo de vida que están asociados con un envejecimiento saludable. Este programa está diseñado para personas de cualquier edad que buscan información y herramientas prácticas para ayudar a incorporar recomendaciones en un plan para un envejecimiento saludable. 

Jueves, 9/30, 7pm

Book Discussion “Mexican Gothic”
Join us for a lively discussion of the award winning gothic horror novel “Mexican Gothic” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

You can obtain your copy of Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia by placing a hold online or calling your local branch. The book is also available on overdrive as an e-book and e-audio book

Events & Programs

Join Our June Tails & Tales Summer Read & Learn Events

Join us for this week’s Tails and Tales Summer Read & Learn Events! And don’t forget to sign up for the Summer Read & Learn Program at to start tracking books and activities now!

All events are listed on our calendar at Please click through and for registration and/or login information for each.

Monday, June 21: 4-5pm
Tails & Tales Trivia – Test your knowledge of animals!
How much do you know about animals? Come find out! Our questions will be about any animal – as long as it has a tail! We will be using both Zoom and Kahoot. You will need a mobile device to play or you may split your PC screen.  Recommended for elementary school age participants.

Tuesday, June 22: 11am – 12pm
Energy Express 2021 – Tales and Tails Edition
This year for Energy Express, we focus on the theme of “Tales and Tails”. This program is intended for 6-12 years old and is limited to 40 participants. Register at

Wednesday, June 23: 11am-12pm
Gregory May: Circus Science – A Summer Read and Learn Event
Join professional knucklehead and silly scientist Gregory May on a tour of the scientific principles behind his circus skills.

Thursday, June 24: 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Sonia Manzano: Actress & Author – A Summer Read and Learn Event
Please join us to hear Sonia Manzano, author and one of the first Hispanic actresses on television. She inspired, educated, and delighted children as “Maria” on Sesame Street for over 40 years.

Saturday, June 26: 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Pan-Asian Storytelling– A Summer Read and Learn Event
Hang onto your “Tails & Tales” as Master tellers, Nancy Wang and Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo take you on a journey of Pan-Asian folk tales and myths.

Sunday, June 27: 4:00pm – 4:45pm
1-2-3 Andres: Musical Duo – Virtual – A Summer Read and Learn Event
Andrés and Christina are teaching artists who get kids and families excited about learning and moving together in Spanish and English.  Join them on an exciting cultural exploration of Latin America through an introduction of language, music, and dance.

Events & Programs

Cartooning for Adults 50+ with Artist Leila Cabib

Create your own original characters, caricatures, one-panel gag cartoons, and comic strips in this five-week workshop with artist Leila Cabib, funded in part by a Wheaton Cultural Project Grant from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.

Adults 50+ can register at, and experiment with pen-and-ink techniques and play around with all the elements of a cartoon: figure and background drawing, perspective, lighting, lettering, composition, and dialogue. Registration and attendance to all 5 sessions are required (May 4, 11, 18, 25 & June 1, 2021). 

Once you are registered, please contact Kensington Park Library at 240-773-9515 to schedule an appointment to pick up a supply kit before the first session! Supplies are limited so we can only provide kits to registered attendants. If any participant is registered and cannot attend, please contact Kensington Park Library to cancel the registration so that individuals on the waiting list can participate.

Space is limited to 20 participants age 50+. The zoom link will be sent 24 hours before the first session.

Don’t have an MCPL card right now? Try our newly improved Digital Library card and you’ll be ready to go in minutes.

Events & Programs

The Weekend @ MCPL: April 23-25

The weekend’s loading @ the library! Join us for these events:

Friday, 4/24

3pm— #AspenHill & #Olney Knitting & Crochet Club 🧶

4pm— First Chapter Friday. Every Friday we read aloud the first chapter of a book for Grades 4-6. 📚

4:30pm— TeenHub Intermediate Python Programming Workshop 💻

5pm— Virtual Take, Make & Meet, Piggy Banks 🐷 🏦

5pm—Family Dance Party 💃🏼🕺🏻

Saturday, April 24

10am—Family Storytime. This week it’s about feelings & emotions 😊🤪😒😬😔🥳😭

1pm—Virtual Dungeons & Dragons 🏰 🐉

4pm—Harry Potter Book Discussion, for ages 10+. April’s book is “Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire,” available for instant checkout on Hoopla with your MCPL card. 🧙🏼‍♀️

7pm—Contemporary Conversations with columnist & author Michelle Singletary. Register here. 🖊

Sunday, 4/25

10:30am—Family Storytime 📖

1pm—Virtual Dungeons & Dragons 🏰 🐉

3pm—Germantown African American Authors Book Club discusses “Tough Love: my story of the things worth fighting for” by Susan Rice, available to borrow through Overdrive in ebook. 📚

We hope to see you this weekend!