Friday, July 4, 2014

A Fond Farewell to Walter Dean Myers (1937-2014)

Walter Dean Myers speaking at Library of Congress
Myers was the Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.
Photo courtesy of Library of Congress. 

Readers everywhere lost a gifted storyteller and literacy advocate with the passing of Walter Dean Myers on July 1. One of the first African American writers to break into the teen publishing market, Myers found inspiration for his stories from his growing up years in Harlem, NYC. In his most popular books—such as Hoops, Fallen Angels, and Sunrise over Fallujah— young people cope with and triumph over the most difficult of circumstances. Although Myers did not shy away from gritty topics, his stories were often ultimately hopeful and emphasized courage, perseverance, and character.

Myers' books earned prestigious literary awards, including the Newbery Honor Award (for Somewhere in the Darkness and Scorpions). His screenplay-style novel about a young man on trial for robbery, Monster, won the Michael L. Printz Award for Young Adult Literature. Myers also wrote about Americans who inspired him; his biographies of Dr. Martin Luther King and Muhammad Ali can be found at the library. To find more books by Myers, please check our library catalog and visit the display of his works in the teen area of the Olney Library.

Myers also told his own story in Bad Boy, describing the path that led him from high-school dropout to beloved author of more than 100 books. Growing up, he found solace in reading fiction and poetry, and was encouraged by a favorite high school teacher to develop his writing. Meeting venerable author James Baldwin was another turning point.  Susan Katz of HarperCollins spoke of Myers' writing gifts on the publisher’s website: “He wrote with heart, and he spoke to teens in a language they understood.” He will be missed.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Spanish books are here!

You asked, and we have responded!  Due to the many requests we received, the Olney Library has just added Spanish Language books to our collection.  For children, we have picture books for the youngest, popular fiction, and nonfiction to help with homework assignments.  Some titles are in both Spanish and English.  For adults, we have both classic and popular fiction, as well as nonfiction books on many wide-ranging topics.
Come in and take a look!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Young Voyager Go!Kit on "Bridges"

Not too many libraries offer telescopes, microscopes, Legos and mini I-pads for children to check out, but  the Olney Library offers  these and more!  Olney’s  “Go-Kits” will awe and astound Olney’s littlest scientists and explorers.  Olney is among the first libraries in the Montgomery County Public Library system to provide “Go! Kits” to our youngest patrons.  These kits are part of our commitment to providing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) resources for all Montgomery County students.

“Go! Kits” are backpacks, each with a special science-oriented theme, that may be checked out for two weeks.  Each kit contains a mini I-pad preloaded with librarian-selected apps  that are fun and educational.  They also contain books and special educational toys for a true hands-on scientific experience.  For example, the Go! Kit on “plants” contains a cross-section model of a flower!  The Go! Kit on the” solar system” contains a telescope!  The Go! Kit on “robots” contains a Lego Rescue Robot!

These kits are designed for two ages.  Our “Little Explorer” kits are for preschoolers to second grade, and include kits on insects, dinosaurs, volcanoes, and more.  Each  includes early literacy info and I-pad apps to help your child develop reading and writing skills.  Our “Young Voyager” kits are for grades 3 and up, and include topics such as robots, bridges, weather and more.  Parents will find that the use of these special Go! Kits will help prepare kids for school success (fitting into the Common Core curriculum), while having fun and gaining technical expertise.

Just make sure to return all the parts that came with it, and kits checked out of Olney must be returned to Olney.  These kits are currently also available at Gaithersburg,  Aspen Hill, Noyes, Twinbrook, Silver Spring and White Oak.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

New Meeting Room @ the Library

Among the significant changes at the newly renovated Olney Library will be a more inviting meeting room space that will accommodate approximately ninety people. The meeting room will also have the capacity to be divided into two smaller spaces so that two programs or meetings could be held concurrently.

The meeting room in the newly renovated Olney Library will be used for library programs and events, whether for children, teens, adults, seniors or families.   For your convenience, the meeting room will be located near the entrance to the library and will have a large window looking out into the landscaped parking area. The room will be equipped with WiFi capability.

The meeting room will be available as a rental for private and public organizations, businesses and individuals through the County’s Community Use of Facilities. Once the meeting room is made available for booking, an announcement will be posted on the Olney Library Blog. When the meeting room is not being used for a library program or event rental, the space will be available for laptop use and as an additional reading and study area for library customers.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

New Children's Room Features

The children’s room of the newly renovated Olney Library will provide a spacious area for children and their families or caregivers to learn, explore and create in a well-lit and child-friendly environment.

This space replaces the cramped children’s room in the old library, which was inadequate to serve the needs of Olney’s children.  The new children’s room features lower shelf heights for books for toddlers and preschoolers and additional shelving space for all children’s materials.  Holiday and seasonal books will be shelved year-round in the public area, increasing the accessibly and visibility of these materials.

Two AWE Early Literacy computer Stations in the children’s room will provide a variety of educational software programs for younger children.  Public computers will be available for children to access MCPL digital resources as well as the Internet.

A new program room will provide a bright space for librarian-led programs for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and their parents or caregivers.  When not in use for library programs, the program room will be available as a discovery room where younger children and their families can learn together.    Products that encourage interactive play will be located in this room as well as on the shelf ends in the children’s room.

Seating in the new children’s room will be greatly expanded as compared to seating for children in the old library.  Three tables will provide seating for four persons at each table; window alcove seating and lounge chairs will also be available.