Monday, April 24, 2017

How Money Smart Are You?

Olney branch Money Smart display
Stop by our Money Smart display
Want to improve your financial literacy and get on track to secure your financial future? Olney Library is hosting a number of programs for Money Smart Week, which begins April 22! Stop by and check out our display with handouts from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Social Security Administration and the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Take part in workshops such as:
→“Create a Financial Road Map(registration required), and

Teens doing money puzzle at Olney
Challenging money puzzle
Teens in grades 6-8 can submit an essay on the connection between financial health and physical health—learn more here. Kids can start thinking about the importance of saving money by guessing the number of pennies at the Circulation Desk. Prizes will be handed out for both activities! And our Money Smart Week Game Day on Friday, April 28, will be a fun way for children and teens to begin thinking about money-saving strategies for their future.
MCPL has a full range of books, videos and online tools to help you set and reach your financial goals. Test your knowledge of MCPL’s finance resources by taking our “Finding Financial Info at the Library” Quiz. We’ve included some sample questions below to help get you started (if working from home, you may need to enter your library card number to access online databases). Answers will be uploaded at the end of the month. Good luck!

Harriet Tubman1. Which honored Marylander is expected to grace the front of the US $20 bill?

Hint:  She escaped from slavery in 1849 and later became a prominent abolitionist, humanitarian and suffragist. Last month, a new National Parks Service center was opened in honor of her life's work and legacy on MD’s Eastern Shore, near the former plantation where she was born.

ANSWER:  ___________________________

Zinio app on tablet
2. Does MCPL offer business e-magazines, or electronic magazines? Please list any two.

Hint:  From MCPL's website, go to “Books, Movies, Music,” click on "Find," then “E-Magazines.”  Under Zinio, scroll down to “Available Titles.” Click on “Learn More,” then “Browse Magazines.” On the right side of the screen, click on “All Genres,” then drop down to “Business & Finance” for a full list of titles.

        1)     _____________________________

        2)     _____________________________

Dewey Decimal system 3. What is the Dewey decimal “call number” for personal finance? (first 3 digits only)

Hint:  This classification system, created by Melvil Dewey in 1873, organizes library materials by subject. Go to MCPL’s home page and type “personal finance” into the “Search Library Catalog” bar in the middle of the page. Look for “Call Number” in the first record and write down the first 3 numbers.

ANSWER:  ______________________

Warren Buffett
4. Does MCPL carry books (including CD-Books, e-books, and audiobooks) by or about Warren Buffett, considered one of the most successful investors in the world?  If so, how many?

Hint:  From the MCPL home page, type in “Warren Buffett” in the “Search Library Catalog” box in the center of the page.

ANSWER:  ________________________

Article The New Retirement

5. Does MCPL offer electronic access to Consumer Reports magazine?  A recent cover story was “The New Retirement” by Tobie Stanger, who wrote, “Everything you thought you knew about retirement has changed, but it’s never too late to pivot to a new approach—or too early to start planning.” Can you track down the month this story was published?

Hint:  From MCPL’s website click on "Research," "Subjects," then "Consumer Information." Follow the steps listed for "Consumer Reports Articles" and type in “New Retirement” in the search box.

ANSWER:  __________________________ 

A blue car
6. You are shopping for a reliable used car. Which resource would be most helpful?

a.  Your neighbor’s 10-year-old son.
b.  Consumer Reports magazine, which evaluates products, and is available in print at most MCPL libraries and on the library website.
c.  Washington Consumer’s Checkbook magazine, which evaluates local services. It is available on the library website (at library branches only), and it is also available in print at many MCPL libraries.

Book cover: A Random Walk Down Wall Street7. Does MCPL’s catalog show that it owns copies of the classic text on investing strategy titled A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel?

1.  Yes, the library system owns print copies of this book.
2.  Yes, the libraries own both print copies and audiobook copies.
3.  No, the library does not have this book.

Questions 8-9 can be answered by visiting the Investing & Personal Finance page on MCPL's website. Select the Research tab, then Subjects, then Investing & Personal Finance.

Wall Street Journal
8. MCPL provides access to articles from the Wall Street Journal. How far back are full-text articles available online?
a.  You can read the articles back to about 1999.
b.  Only the current year’s articles are available.
c.  Library customers can get the full text of articles dating back to 1984.

Man watering a money tree9. On MCPL's Investing & Personal Finance page, users can click a tab called “Managing Your Money” to see a list of retirement planning organizations known for their educational focus. Which website is NOT listed here?

a.  The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Retirement Planning website

b.  The U.S. Department of Labor’s Retirement Savings Education Campaign website

c.  The 1-888-GIV-CASH website

d.  The Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) website

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Is Olney the only Olney?

No, Olney is not the only Olney!

Lately we've received calls from customers who were trying to access their MCPL library accounts online but were having trouble logging in. We checked their accounts. Were they up to date? Did they use the right PIN? After exhausting the possibilities we finally concluded these callers were on the wrong website. And guess what? They were! They were visiting the website of our doppelgänger library—Olney Public Library in Olney, Illinois 

To clear up the confusion, Olney Library in Illinois added a helpful note to their website:

Message on Olney, IL library website directing Maryland patrons to MCPL's Olney branch

We were so appreciative (and delighted!) they posted our information that we reached out to thank them and learn more. Below are highlights of our conversation with Judy Whitaker, Olney Public Library Director (IL), and Kathryn, library staff.

MCPL: Thanks so much for placing MCPL’s contact information on your website! We had no idea Olney customers in Maryland were confusing the libraries. How did you first discover this?

Map of Illinois showing location of the city of Olney. Judy: We received phone calls and would ask customers for their name and what they had checked out, and nothing would come up. At one point I received a call from a teacher asking to bring students for a class trip and the visit was scheduled, but something she said was not right. She said, We’re just down the street… and I thought, we don’t have any schools down the street! Another time, a salesman called and was convinced we had talked in person, but then I mentioned we were in Olney, Illinois.

I think there are about five Olney Libraries, but we’ve only received calls from Maryland residents.

MCPL: That’s too funny! Well, Olney Library in Maryland is part of the Montgomery County Public Library system (MCPL) with 21 branches, including one at a correctional facility. Can you tell us a little about Olney Public Library in Illinois?

The original library in Olney, IL
The original Carnegie Library in Olney, IL,
now serves as a local history museum
Judy: Sure. The original library was established around the 1900s as a ‘Carnegie Library.’ [Andrew Carnegie originally funded many public libraries—more than 1,600 across the U.S.-- at the turn of the 20th century. You can learn more here.] It was moved in 1995 to a new, accessible building and is a city library. Olney, Illinois has about 9,000 people, so we hope the library can serve as one of the centers of the community.

The new building has an open concept with a lot of windows. We’re also part of a larger consortium of libraries up to central Illinois, through the Illinois Heartland Library System. The original building now houses the historic Carnegie Museum.

MCPL: That's really interesting. Olney, Maryland has a population of about 34,000 people, so you probably know many more customers on a first-name basis!

Now that it's spring, I'm sure you're as busy as we are planning for new programs. This month we're hosting Financial Literacy Month programs such as Estate Planning 101 and Creating a Financial Roadmap, as well as fun Spring Break programs for kids and teens. We're also gearing up for MCPL's Summer Reading program, starting in June.

What kinds of programs are in the works at your library? We saw on your Facebook page that you recently held a Weight Loss Challenge. It sounds like a fantastic program… can you tell us more?

Chocolate displayed for the chocolate lover's library program
Another popular program:
Chocolate Lover's Tour
Kathryn: After a long winter and in the fall, the community comes together for the Weight Loss Challenge. Teams pay an entry fee and stop in for the initial weigh-in. After eight weeks, those with the highest percentages of weight loss win. This is very popular in the community.

Other programs include our Garden Club, two books groups, “Ag in the Classroom”-- this is a big farming community-- and a very popular Summer Reading program.

Judy: We also have a “Battle of the Books“ program for elementary students, a “One Book, One Community” program for middle school students [a recent selection was Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart], and we hope to eventually start a "gentleman’s book club." This month, we have a special "Grandparents/Grandkids Outing" with reading, games and face painting.

MCPL: It sounds like you have a lot of wonderful programs, thanks for sharing some good ideas with us.

One last question is about technology. At MCPL we introduce young children to science through "Go Kits" that include tablets with apps. 3M and Overdrive are our ebook vendors, and we hold monthly eReader clinics to introduce customers to the technology. How popular are ebooks and audiobooks to your customers?

Kathryn: 3M is our vendor and ebooks are increasingly popular. We have older people who receive Kindles and tablets from their grandkids for Christmas, so we teach them how to use them and help bridge the technology gap. We have kids and soccer moms, the whole spectrum. We have a Walmart distribution center in the area, so their truck drivers check out our audiobooks and return them to another library in the consortium.

MCPL: Thanks very much for taking the time to speak with us. If you're ever in the DC area, please stop by and visit your counterpart in Maryland. And, we hope this post will result in fewer wrong calls to your library!

Metal tube catepillar, Sir Readsalot, outside the new library in Olney, IL
 Adorable "Sir Readslot" at Olney Library in Illinois

Want to read more? Check out our earlier blog posts

Friday, February 24, 2017

Movie Memories

It's awards season, which always finds me reminiscing about movies and special movie memories, movies that have made me laugh and cry, movies that have inspired me, and those that have provoked me.
Carol holding a DVD copy of the Sound of Music
Carol with one of her favorite movies

One of my favorite movie memories is being one of about half dozen bored kids on a blazing, hot summer afternoon. My friends and I were following the time honored directive, "go play outside." While we were figuring out something to do, a calm, cool, collected mom emerged from an air conditioned house. "We're going to the movies," she announced. Serendipity! Off we traipsed our way up Flower Avenue in Takoma Park. Along the way we bombarded said mom with questions. "What movie are we seeing?" "What's it about?" "Can we get popcorn?" "The Sound of Music, you'll see when you get there, and yes you can have popcorn if you brought your own allowance money to pay for it" came the replies. 

I will always remember settling into the seat, in the comfortable, cool darkness of the Flower Theater. When the movie started, the huge screen, the vivid colors and the wonderful sound of music was such a visceral sensory experience. 

Historic Flower Theater in Takoma Park, MD
Historic Flower Theater in Takoma Park, MD,
circa 1962 (Montgomery Planning)
On the way home we pretended we were the von Trapp children and said mom was Maria. Swirling, twirling, and cartwheeling our way down Flower Avenue. So inspired and enamored of this movie were we that we now never lacked for something to do. The rest of the summer we played The Sound of Music. We fought over who got to be Maria. We fought over who had to be the Baroness. We begged, bribed or blackmailed any boy near to be the Captain, Max or Friedrich. Snatching curtains from our homes to construct easy care von Trapp Family clothing. It was a wonderful Sound of Music summer.

Then I started to ask other Olney Library staff about their favorite movie memories.

Our fearless leader, James, recalls seeing The Transformers. He was told by his parents he'd be allowed to take one Transformer action figure with him to the movie. One. Not two or three. One. Life is tough.

Circulation manager Joyce remembers seeing The Parent Trap with her mom. She loved  the movie soooo much, she convinced her mom to stay and watch the next showing. This was ok, they didn't clear theaters after each showing back in the day.

During February, Olney Library will be displaying and celebrating great movies. Anyone who comes to the Info Desk and shares a movie memory with us will receive a free pencil or book tote! So revisit an old favorite or watch a movie you've always wanted to see, but have never taken the time to watch. Make a marvelous movie memory.

Please enjoy the pictures of our Olney staff with some of their favorite movies.
-Carol R.

Lori with a DVD copy of The Princess Bride

"My favorite movie has it all-- adventure, love, action, friendship, vengeance, and Rodents Of Unusual Size. What other movie can say all that? Just The Princess Bride."

Marilyn with a DVD copy of Selma

"I thought Selma was a great movie. Everyone should go see it."

Tom with a DVD

Rosemary's Baby: "Scary!" 

Meredith with DVD copies of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Into the Woods, and Snow White and the Huntsman

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: "A good action-packed adventure."
Into the Woods: "An intriguing mix of fairy tales."
Snow White and the Huntsman: "An action-packed, PG-13 re-telling of the Snow White fairy tale."  

Rania with DVD copies of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and Irrational Man

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit: "The story was very interesting, I wanted to see what happened at the end of the movie. And I like the actor, Chris Pine."
Irrational Man: "I like the actors and music, and the scenery is beautiful."

Want to read more? Check out our earlier blog posts.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Experience African American History in Montgomery County

Did you know that...
  • Montgomery County, MD was part of the Underground Railroad network, which helped runaway slaves find freedom?
  • Josiah Henson, who worked as a slave on a county plantation, later published an autobiography that influenced the abolition of slavery?
  • Because of the community of Quakers living in the Sandy Spring area, many slaves were freed as early as the 1820s, 40 years before the Civil War?
In honor of Black History Month, we’d like to share the extraordinary stories behind some of Montgomery County’s African American historical sites and provide resources and links to explore them further. Each of these Montgomery Parks sites have been or are in the process of being restored. Visitors can gain insight into life as an African American in centuries past, reflecting on the brutality of slavery in colonial America, while also learning about the rich cultural practices of African Americans passed down to later generations. The information below is compiled primarily from Montgomery Parks’ literature, MCPL databases and newspaper articles. Please see the reference list at the end of this post for more details.

Log cabin at Josiah Henson Park
This log cabin, built in 1850, was used as a kitchen
on the Riley Plantation.
Josiah Henson was born into slavery in 1789. As a child, he moved to Montgomery County as the property of Isaac Riley. In 1830 he and his family escaped to Canada. There, Reverend Henson formed a community for escaped slaves and later became a ‘conductor’ on the Underground Railroad. He also wrote his autobiography, The Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave, Now an Inhabitant of Canada, as Narrated by Himself, which was published in 1849. Later editions included an introduction by author Harriet Beecher Stowe, who drew on Henson’s experiences for her own book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Learn more about Henson and Stowe from MCPL’s biography databases. 

Josiah Henson Park sign
Montgomery County acquired the Riley home in 2006. The log cabin dates back to 1850 and was built after Henson escaped, but ongoing archeological excavations are underway to locate the slave quarters that may have housed Henson. At this time, the Josiah Henson Park is open only for special events and school visits. Montgomery Parks plans to build a museum and interpretive center at the site. In celebration of Black History Month, tours and special events are scheduled for the weekend of February 25 and 26.    

Log cabin slave quarters
One of the remaining slave quarters
 in Montgomery County, MD.
The Oakley Cabin African American Museum & Park is only 2 miles from Olney Library, just west of Brookeville, MD. Originally built as one of three cabins in the early 19th century, this home was part of a larger farm owned by the Brooke family. Before emancipation, slaves lived here and helped run Oakley Farm. Census records reveal that from 1880 to 1930, African American and white laborers, farm workers, blacksmiths, and other craftspeople resided here. Historians believe they formed a community that sold produce and hand-made items to travelers  along busy Brookeville Road. The cabin remained occupied until the 1970s. 
Oakley Cabin sign The Oakley Cabin has been restored and is now a museum that displays historical tools and artifacts used in the 19th century, such as a coin and crystal found buried by the back door, an African tradition. Visitors can get a sense of life during the Civil War, Reconstruction and beyond. The museum is open the 2nd and 4th Saturdays, 12:00 PM -4:00 PM, April through November. Special programs such as Emancipation Day are planned annually and school group visits can be arranged. Learn more about slavery in Maryland from resources in MCPL’s collection and our online resources.  
Underground Railroad Experience Trail
Entrance to the Underground Railroad
Experience Trail
The Quakers, a Christian movement first started in England, built a thriving community around Sandy Spring, Brookeville and Olney, MD, from the early 18th century. Because of their anti-violence beliefs, Quakers didn’t participate in wars. They were also early abolitionists who established “one of the largest land-owning African American communities in Maryland” (Sandy Spring Museum). Quakers were active in the Underground Railroad, helping runaway slaves escape to freedom. See MCPL’s resources about the Quakers and the Underground Railroad. Please also visit our research databases, such as the Oxford African American Studies Center. 

Woodlawn Manor visitors center
This 3-story stone barn was recently converted
into an interactive visitors center.
The Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park consists of several buildings built by Quakers in the 19th century. A multimedia visitors center, housed in an 1832 stone barn, opened in the summer 2016. Each floor displays a different aspect of life, from managing a large plantation to working on the Underground Railroad. The center also hosts a two-mile Underground Railroad Experience Trail that gives visitors a chance to experience the dangers confronted by escaped slaves and the skills needed to survive in the wild. The trail and grounds are open year-round; the Woodlawn Visitor Center is open Wednesdays through Sundays, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM, April through November. 

Learn more about MCPL’s programs in celebration of Black History Month. You can also learn more about local African American history and culture from the Montgomery County Historical Society.

Want to read more? Check out our earlier blog posts.

Montgomery Parks website 
Hembree, Michael. "Josiah Henson." Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History, Gale, 2006. Biography in Context, Accessed 30 Jan. 2017.
"Josiah Henson." Contemporary Black Biography, vol. 90, Gale, 2011. Biography in Context, Accessed 30 Jan. 2017.
Orndorff, Amy. “Three Hour Weekend: Oakley Cabin African American Museum and Park in Brookeville.” Washington Post. June 26, 2009.
Officials Unveil Designs For Josiah Henson Museum In North Bethesda.”  Bethesda Magazine.  February 5, 2013.
Shin, Annys.  After buying historic home, Md. officials find it wasn't really Uncle Tom's Cabin.”  Washington Post. October 3, 2010. 
Historic barn tells the story of the Underground Railroad in Maryland.Washington Post.  August 15, 2016.