Monday, February 8, 2016

Best Gift Ever Writing Contest ... Levi Shares His Story

Thank you to all the young writers and artists who contributed to the Olney Library Holiday Writing Contest. Congratulations to Levi Leder, age 9, who contributed the winning story, below. Levi is a student at St. John's Episcopal School in Olney.

The Best Present I Ever Received Was...
by Levi Leder
The best present I ever received was something I had been asking my parents for, praying to God for, and even wishing every birthday for for at least five years.  Finally, I got it.  It came just in time for Christmas, and it arrived wrapped in a soft, pink blanket. 
          "A baby sister just for me!" I happily squealed when my parents brought her home for the first time.  "Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
Levi holds his baby sister
          My sister was very tiny.  Her head was about the size of a grapefruit, her eyes were blue (unlike mine), her fingers were smaller than French fries, and her feet felt like squishy marshmallows.  She had very little hair on her head, and her eyebrows seemed practically invisible on her face.  I wasn't sure if that's how all new babies generally looked, but it didn't really matter to me. She was pretty darn cute (like me) and definitely more interesting and entertaining to watch than any show on television! 
          True, I did receive a very cool Star Wars robot and an awesome remote control laser tank, as well, for Christmas.  While I still really enjoy playing with these new toys, I know I'll eventually grow tired of them.  I'll never get bored of my baby sister, though.  In fact, every day since she came home, I've noticed something new and different about her.  She never fails to amaze me at how fast she's growing and changing.  I'm sure one of these days when I'm looking at her to see what's different, she'll surprise me by blurting out her very first words, "Hello Levi!"
          Before my baby sister arrived, I was the youngest.  I've always looked up to my older brother and sister, and I still ask them for help with my homework.  Now, finally, I'm not the youngest, and I'll have someone looking up to me for a change and asking me for help with her homework.

          This Christmas was the best one yet, and I must say, I'm a pretty lucky and happy older brother!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Spend Fridays with the Lego Construction Crew

On several recent Friday afternoons, clusters of junior engineers created buildings, machines, and vehicles--all from legos! Volunteers and parents helped out, but kids were the principal architects of these fantastic creations.

Thinking like an engineer... will this creative design remain standing?

The Lego Construction Crew meets every Friday (when the library is open) from 3:30 - 5:00 pm. We'll supply the Legos, you supply the imagination!

To see more photos, please click hereWe can’t wait to see more Lego fans join our weekly crew!

Thanks to the Friends of the Library, Olney Chapter, for helping to make this program possible.

Library Advisory Committee member Walter Lee helps this youngster start building a jeep

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Olney Reads....Primates of Park Avenue

Reader:  Carol, Olney Library Staff Member
Book:  Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin

You'll notice I'm not touching this book.  That's because it's too hot to touch.  Made it difficult to read, but read it I did! What is so hot about Primates of Park Avenue?  Well, author Wednesday Martin exposes the inner workings and secrets of the rarified world of Upper East Side Manhattan. It's driven, grueling, and competitive.  And that's just making sure you're dressed up to snuff to drop your little one off at preschool.

The author does all this with the keen, observant eye of a social researcher.  Ms. Martin has a degree in Comparative Literature with a strong background in Anthropology.  She moved to the Upper East Side for several reasons, not the least of which was the educational opportunities for her toddler.  Initially she fails to find a pride to be accepted into.  Ms. Martin uses a  very creative strategy to help her succeed in her new jungle. Using her anthropological training - she basically handles matters Jane Goodall style.  You've got to do what you've got to do!  

But then, as often happens, real life intervenes, and a crisis ensues.  People whom you thought couldn't or wouldn't - can and do come through.  Primates of Park Avenue was by turns touching, insightful, and hilarious.  Bring on the Baboons of Beverly Hills and the Gorillas of Greenwich!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Great Books + Good Conversation = Fun

“I thought [the group] was very friendly and made me feel welcome.” 
-first-time attendee

“I like it because we all read the same book but we all have a different idea about what the book is about… and opinions about how it’s written and whether we liked it.”   
-Gail P.

Are you an avid reader who’d like to discuss books—characters, themes, plot points, writing style, etc.—with like-minded readers in a friendly and respectful environment?  If so, Olney’s book discussion groups may be for you!

We have three active groups at Olney:

  • Evening Book Discussion Group:  meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7 pm 
  • Daytime Book Discussion Group: 1st Tuesday of each month at 1:30 pm 
  • Jewish Book Discussion Group:  1st Sunday of each month at 3 pm 

There’s no need to register, just stop by the library to pick up the book selection before the meeting date. Each group has a volunteer facilitator; all members can suggest titles for future book lists and have the opportunity to lead a discussion. Depending on your time and interest, feel free to attend any (or all) of the groups!

To learn about upcoming book selections, please visit MCPL Olney branch’s Calendar of Events (bottom of page) or call us at 240-773-9545. The Jewish Book Discussion Group focuses on books by Jewish authors or with Jewish themes, but is open to everyone who’s interested.

The Daytime Discussion Group, a spirited and dedicated bunch of readers!

The Daytime Book Discussion Group has been meeting for many years, with a core group of regulars and new members who attend each month. Being part of the group enriches members’ reading experiences, and they look forward to gaining new insights and unexpected perspectives, and seeing friends, new and old. Said member Rosalie G., "I enjoy having the book discussion because it allows me to think more deeply about the books that I’m reading… It’s interesting to hear other people’s opinions about the same book.” 

This past month, the group read “The Burgess Boys” by Elizabeth Strout. “Some people liked it and some people hated it. That’s what makes the discussion so interesting and so much fun,” said Rosalie. Of recent books read by the group, Gail said she liked “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown (read as part of the “One Maryland, One Book” program, sponsored by the Maryland Humanities Council). “I liked the history part of it, and I learned a lot of interesting things that I had not been exposed to.”

We hope you’ll consider joining your fellow book lovers for illuminating discussions each month!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween Scavenger Hunt a Big Hit

How lucky to have a firefighter and regal queen in one family!

We were excited to have a great turnout at the Olney Library's "Halloween Scavenger Hunt." 40 kids of all ages stopped by to test out their skills. Costumes were optional, but we saw a great variety of them! Some popular ones included characters from the movie Frozen, as well as ninjas, a butterfly, and the ever-popular superheroes and witches. Olney was graced by at least 10 princesses on October 31. Participants in the scavenger hunt used their observation skills to find items hidden in the library, then reported back to the Info Desk for a prize. Congrats to all who completed the hunt!

A ninja and beautiful princess!

Cat in the Hat and Olaf from Frozen

Picking out a prize after finishing the hunt!

Pokemon's Pikachu and tiger

Staff enjoying Halloween, with a zebra and bride

Another princess and Minnie mouse