Monday, May 21, 2018

Info about Info!

Library customers occasionally ask us, “Where’s the Children’s Area Information Desk? Do you still have Children’s Librarians?” They recall the earlier incarnation of Olney Library, where we had separate Information Desks for Adult and Children’s services.

With re-opening of the new Olney branch in 2014 (how time flies!), MCPL made the decision to create one centralized Information Desk. This way, both children and adults would be able to come to one place to have their questions answered. And, because we often have two Information staff working side by side, multiple customers’ questions can be answered more efficiently.

Children and adults stretching at Olney Library But you may still be wondering, “How about Olney’s Children’s Librarians?” Yes, never fear, we still have (and expect always to have) Children’s Librarians! You’ll see them around the branch leading storytimes, craft programs, and other children’s activities. These staff members are specially trained in understanding children’s literacy needs and conducting children’s programs. Plus, they have a special interest in children’s books and literature.

We’d like to introduce you to our Information Desk staff, starting with our Children’s library staff. All Information Staff members are trained to answer questions about library resources for ALL ages. And we’re always ready to assist customers—in the hunt for a favorite book, tracking down an online article, learning about a new author or library program—or whatever inquiry you may have. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Olney Librarian HeatherHeather is Olney Library’s Head of Children’s Services. She’s worked for MCPL for the past 27 years, with stints at Potomac, Quince Orchard, and Rockville Memorial, before coming to Olney when it re-opened in 2014. Prior to working for the County, Heather earned an MBA in Marketing and worked for corporations such as Marriott and AC Nielsen doing market research. But her heart wasn’t in the work, and she switched to becoming a children’s librarian, as she’s always enjoyed children’s books. In fact, she’s even written a few herself! Heather comes from a creative family. Her late father was a journalist/writer and her sister has published children’s picture books. She enjoys working at MCPL because she “learns something every day” and loves creating picture book ‘bundles.’ Heather adds, Olney has a lot of readers in the community who need help finding good books,” which is another role she relishes.

Favorite children’s book/authors: Bark George by Jules Feiffer; CS Lewis; Madeleine L’Engle; Edward Eager
Favorite children’s program: “Act It Out," where she leads children in performing roles in children’s books
Favorite genres/types of books: Suspense; time travel like Replay by Ken Grimwood
Favorite authorsDiana Gabaldon, Jodi Picoult, Mary Roach
Hobbies and interests: Heather is a librettist, writing lyrics for song parodies for birthdays, retirements, and special occasions. She also enjoys the challenge of the New York Times’ Sunday crossword puzzles.

Meredith Olney Librarian Meredith
Meredith is Olney Library’s longest-serving librarian, spending her entire professional career at MCPL. She started as a substitute in 1978, started working part time in 1982, and finally became a full-time Children’s Librarian I in 1987. She’s also worked at Rockville Memorial and temporarily at Twinbrook. Growing up in Olney, Meredith decided to become a librarian at age sixteen, because she liked reading and coming to the local library. She enjoys working with children because, “Every day is different… I like the community and the variety of ages we have here.” When asked what has changed about the local Olney community, she says, “It's grown larger... though for children's programming the number of children varies from year to year.” Olney Library values Meredith for her long-term experience, and institutional and community knowledge.

Favorite children’s authorsKeiko Kasza; Karma Wilson; Tamora Pierce
Favorite children’s books genre: Fantasy; mystery; all types of nonfiction
Favorite library program: 2-5 year old preschool storytimes
Favorite genres/authors:  Mysteries by Janet Evanovich and Donna Andrews
Hobbies and interests4-H, especially their Maryland summer camp (which Meredith has directed for 17 years); candy making; supporting the local fire department

Lori of Olney
You may have seen Lori dashing around the branch, leading a storytime or fun crafting event, or helping with creating a book display (and she loves shelving books!) Lori started working at MCPL in 2013 as a Circulation Substitute, during which time she had the opportunity to work at almost all of MCPL’s branches. In 2014, she became an Olney Library circulation staff member, and about 2 years ago was promoted to a Children’s Library Associate. Before working at MCPL, Lori spent her career in sales for companies of all sizes. When asked why she chose libraries, Lori said, “I’ve always loved libraries, and this is a dream job for me.” As to why she enjoys working at Olney, she replied, “I like my teammates and I like the community.”

Favorite children’s book/authors: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll; The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
Favorite children’s program: Craft programs
Favorite genres: Fantasy; mystery; all types of nonfiction
Favorite bookJonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (she also liked the DVD adaptation). And Lori is a big Game of Thrones fan.
Hobbies and interests: “I like to garden, make up recipes, and hang out with my family. My hidden talent is organizing things. And I love animals and have 2 dogs and 2 cats.”

Olney Librarian Valarie
Valarie is Olney’s highly capable and experienced Adult Librarian I. She’s been working in libraries for the past 16 years, with her longest tenure at Loudoun County’s Public Library system (VA). There she worked for 11 years at 3 branches, ranging from a small, urban neighborhood branch to large regional branches. During that time, she also managed a small branch for a few years. Other library experience includes the Government Documents department at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins’ Medical Library. Prior to working in libraries, Valarie worked as an editor of trade journals and magazines. She's passionate about being a librarian at Olney and says, “I like libraries with a neighborhood feel, like Olney. Our customers are so enthusiastic about books and learning."

Favorite genres/authors:  Literary fiction, historical fiction, graphic novels and nonfiction; authors include Jhumpa Lahiri, Dinaw Mengestu and Madeleine Thien.
Favorite graphic novels: Graphic novels about history, such as March by John Lewis & Nate Powell and I Remember Beirut by Zeina Abirached
Favorite MCPL resourceMango Languages and Gale Courses
Favorite MCPL program: I like the history and current event programs that MCPL does, such as Contemporary Conversations.”
Hobbies and interests: Valarie likes art, history, music, movies and nature. She’s just gotten into bird watching and said, “I successfully managed to 'squirrel proof' our bird feeder after many failed attempts!” Some more unusual birds she’s seen recently are the house finch, white breasted nuthatch, and Carolina chickadee.

Olney Library Associate Peggy
Peggy is the newest member of Olney’s Information staff, having just started 9 months ago. As an MCPL Public Administration Associate, Peggy is an invaluable member of the team, especially during our busy Sunday hours! Before coming to MCPL, Peggy worked with the US Department of Veteran Affairs for over 30 years, and developed her expertise in health policy issues. Peggy elected to work at MCPL because, “I wanted to get out with people after retirement and this was perfect.” And she adds, “The customers and staff are terrific.”

Favorite book series: “Currently a huge fan of Louise Penny’s Gamache series, but I have too many favorites to name…. and I’m looking forward to November 2018 for the next Louise Penny.”
Favorite genres: History and mystery books
Favorite MCPL resource: Online education resources, such as newspaper databases and Gale Educator’s Reference Complete
Currently reading: Robert Kennedy: His Life by Evan Thomas
Hobbies and interestsI have gardened for over 50 years and I also love to read and cook. My dogs are also a passion for me. I currently have 4 at home and they keep me very busy!”

Olney Library’s Information staff also includes Marilyn, Head of Adult Services; Carol, Teen/Young Adult Library Associate; and Caroline, Adult Library Associate.

Coming up in future blog posts—meet Olney’s Circulation and Management staff.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Are You Money Smart?

It's that time of the year again! April is National Financial Literacy Month, and this week, April 21-28, 2018, is Money Smart Week.

Olney Library is hosting several programs, including our popular Million Dollar Puzzle. Learn about them here. Don't forget to stop by for handouts and resources from the Security and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other authoritative governmental and non-profit sources.

Below is our Money Smart Week Quiz. Did you know that MCPL's resources can help you reach your financial security and prosperity goals? Take our quiz and test your knowledge. When completed, stop by the branch to check your answers and pick up a prize. Good luck!

1) Although current US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin hasn't yet committed to the change, 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 anti-abolitionist and suffragist. Last year, 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: ___________________________________

2) Considering taking a trip but don't want to carry paper magazines? MCPL has "e-magazines" in its collection that can be read on your tablet, phone or computer. Can you tell us if MCPL's e-magazine collection includes Kiplinger's?

Hint: From the MCPL website, go to "Books, Movies, Music," "Find," and click on "E-Magazines." Under RB Digital Magazines, school down to "Available Titles," then click "Browse Magazines." On the right side of the screen, you'll see "All Genres;" drop down to "Business and Finance"!

ANSWER: ____________________________________

3) Did you know MCPL's collection includes the "Safari Books Online" database, which are e-books you can read right in your web browser? No need to download! Please answer the questions below.

a. Which 3 primary topics does it cover?


b. Does Safari database include Investing In Your 20s and 30s for Dummies?


Hint: From the MCPL website, go to "Books, Movies, Movies," "Find," and click on "E-Books." Scroll down to "Safari Books Online." Once you answer Questions 1 & 2, click on the Safari Books Online icon to open it. Once you're in the database, go to the search bar at the top left side of the page. Type in "Investing In Your 20s and 30s for Dummies" and press enter.

4) Does MCPL carry books or CD-books by Michelle Singletary, the "Color of Money" finance columnist for the Washington Post? If so, how many?

Hint: From MCPL's home page, type in "Michelle Singletary" in the "Search Library Catalog" box in the center of the page.



5) Thomas Piketty's best-selling book on the concentration of wealth and inequality, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, was published in the US in 2014 to acclaim and criticism. An economist in France, Mr. Piketty conducted years of data analysis and research to support assertions he made in Capital. Can you tell us the number of years he worked on this 700+ page tome?

Hint: Use MCPL's catalog to look up the location of the book (call number), find it on the shelf and check the first line of the Acknowledgements page!

ANSWER: ____________________________________

6) Does MCPL offer paper or electronic access to Consumer Reports magazine? A recent cover story on "Planning for a Secure Retirement" by Penelope Wang, stated, "There's plenty of uncertainty today about whether you'll have enough money to stop working... take these savvy steps, whether you're in your 50s, 60s, or 70s." Can you track down the month this story was published? 

Hint: Ask at the Information Desk about where paper copies of Consumer Reports magazine are kept. If you'd like to try finding the date online: from MCPL's website, click on "Research," "Subjects," then "Consumer Information." Follow the steps listed for "Consumer Reports Articles" and type in "Planning for a Secure Retirement."




7) For his latest book, behavioral economist Dan Ariely teamed up with writer/comedian Jeff Kreisler to "challenge many of our most basic assumptions about the precarious relationship between our brains and our money." The book is titled, Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter. Can you tell us how many MCPL branches carry the book, and does the list include Olney?

Hint: From MCPL's home page, type in "Dollars and Sense" in the "Search Library Catalog" box in the center of the page. Click on the title and scroll down to see how many branches carry this title!

ANSWER: ____________________________________

Stop by Olney's Information Desk
to check your answers and claim your prize

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Becoming a Genealogical Detective

Senior Librarian AdrienneFormer Olney Senior Librarian Adrienne (now based at MCPL's Germantown branch) has always wanted to delve more deeply into her family’s past. Since 2006, she’s been an avid viewer of Professor Henry Louis Gates’ PBS programs, starting with African American Lives and more recently the hugely popular Finding Your Roots (MCPL has the companion books for this series). Between the two, she’s seen every single episode!

Interest in genealogical research is more popular than ever, but where to start? Back in December, Adrienne shared her story and how MCPL’s resources played a role in getting her to the next level in studying her family’s history. She also gives some tips for customers who’d like to get started.

How did you become interested in researching your family’s roots?
“I’ve always been interested, especially since my father never knew his biological parents. We didn’t know his heritage or ethnicity. That was always something that was on my mind and my dad would often talk about not knowing who his parents were.”

PBS DVD African American Lives
You mentioned your love of Professor Henry Louis Gates’ PBS programs.
“That was my inspiration. After watching 'African American Lives,' my dad did a DNA test in 2006. But back then DNA, tests didn’t tell you who your matches were within a broad database, it just told you your DNA or ethnic background. That was eye-opening and was a good experience for our family. My dad could cancel out what he’d heard and get a little closer to what his ethnicity was.”

What came next? We understand you had to wait for the census records to be released.
“Given the timing of everything I had to wait until 2012 to find the Census Records for 1940. Based on my dad’s age and what he knew about his birth mother, 1940 was the year she would show up in the census. So in 2012, I looked at those results and they confirmed what we already knew.

The US Censuses [per decade] are released every 72 years. I had a name, a state and a rough age.  Based on those things you can usually find someone, I just had to wait until those records were available. Even before 2012, I’d gone to city hall in the city my birth grandmother was said to have been born in and we couldn’t find anything. We did our best, but the census records were the confirmation we needed.

After we found the census record, I kind of sat on the information for a couple of years. We didn’t really pursue it more.“

Then Professor Gates’ “Finding Your Roots” started…
PBS Video Finding Your Roots
“About two years ago is when-- I guess it was from watching “Finding Your Roots” I was inspired again! I started looking at MCPL’s resources. I looked in Heritage Quest to confirm the census records again, and then I also used MCPL’s obituary research tool. After I found some family members, I also looked at my maternal grandmother’s parents, I kept going back as far I could, looking in census records to find out where their family originated. I hit a wall in the 1840s so I couldn’t find anything before then.”

That’s amazing you were able to go back to the mid-1800s! What other tools did you use?
“Eventually we used social media. My brother went on Facebook and started looking at the names of family members. He searched for people in the geographical area where the family lived, based on the obituaries. We started to find family members.

Screenshot from the Heritage Quest genealogy database
So we used a lot of technology. Without the internet, it wouldn’t have been possible. With social media, MCPL resources, search engines, we were able to find a lot of information and put the pieces together. Using the obituary data and Heritage Quest, we used the names from the 1940 census and then we went back to the 1930s and looked at some of the names, then the 1920s and kept going back to the 1860. They didn’t count slaves in the censuses, so we started to see our other family names after 1870.”

Were you able to connect with family members?
“When my brother reached out on Facebook, we were able to connect with some of them. Some family members weren’t so receptive and didn’t want to hear about the story of how we were related. But we did happen to connect to one family member, my father’s cousin, who was very open and asked questions and did the research to confirm that the facts we had were correct and we were probably related. After that, we did a DNA test, Family Tree DNA. We were able to take 2 people’s DNA and compare them to see if there are matches between them. It tells you how they closely you’re related, if you’re first cousins, second cousins, aunt, uncle, etc. We did that with one of my dad’s aunts and it was a match, so that was the confirmation our family needed. We only met them a year and a half ago.”

Wow, that must have been a powerful experience.
“Yes. We’ve met with some of the other family members independently. We went down to Virginia about a year and a half ago. And I did a DNA test too and my dad’s aunt came up as a match for me too. She’s older but she’s very spunky and lively!

What’s difficult is that my dad’s mother didn’t talk a lot, so she didn’t ever tell anyone my dad existed. They didn’t know she had a child. She didn’t have other children and never married, so they didn’t know any of this. She lived in New York City from 18 or 19 until she was in her 70s, so they didn’t keep in touch with her for many years. She moved back when she got older and they all re-connected.

She passed away in October 2015 before we got to meet her, just months before we found the family, so she never got to meet my dad. The irony is we were only able to confirm our connection to her through her obituary because it listed her life story. In her obituary, it said she had lived in New York City, where my dad was born, and had lived there for this many years, so that’s how we actually put together that this was her. So the obituary research was bittersweet because it proved that we found her. Everything lined up with her life story and my dad’s story. Unfortunately it was in her obituary so it meant she was no longer alive.”

How heartbreaking, that’s devastating... how tough for your family.
“But there were also some surprises. I found out that we have Puerto Rican heritage. We still haven’t identified my father’s father yet, and that’s something I’m working on now. We found out my father is of Puerto Rican descent, so that’s really cool. My dad grew up in New York City, he was born in Manhattan and lived in Queens, so he was around a lot of diverse people. They would always say, “You look Puerto Rican!” His Puerto Rican friends would say, “Oh, you’re one of us.” But he didn’t know, so he didn’t really identify as Puerto Rican and he wasn’t raised as Puerto Rican. We’re still looking into who his father was and where he was from. We found lots of DNA matches in the database. The majority of my family is from Puerto Rico, but we don’t know beyond that.”

Thanks for sharing so much about your family’s genealogical journey. What’s next? What would Henry Louis Gates do?
“We need to do the ‘Y chromosome’ for my dad and my brothers. You can do it on FamilyTreeDNA. We need to go find the Y chromosome and then where it and the family name come from. Once we do that we’ll be on such a good path; I can’t do it because I have ‘X’ but I think my brother and dad would be open to it. That’s what Henry Louis Gates would do!

The process is ongoing, but finding his mother’s family was a lot. We’re wanting to do more, but life gets in the way, it takes time, etc., but this is something we’re definitely going to do next. I’ve already had someone contact me asking if I knew someone they were looking for because we’re related, because you have a shared chromosome it’s like you’re family. It makes the world smaller, but you don’t want to give false hope. There are still a lot of questions that remain. It’s not easy, there is so much more, so many more mysteries.”

There will always be more questions so don’t get discouraged. Perhaps this is a good place to end. And finally, what are some tips you have for customers just getting started?
“You have to be emotionally aware that it’s hard work and you have to be strong, because you could be disappointed. And also, reaching out to people, they may not want to talk to you, so you have to be prepared to get some resistance and it may hurt a little. Be sensitive to others, even in your own family, because they may not like that you’re doing it. Not only that people you don’t know may want to reach out, but your family may feel uncomfortable.

Genealogy books
Talk with a librarian. MCPL has great resources. You can pay for research but MCPL’s resources are free. It’s a good starting point. Obituaries, censuses, etc. That’s what started part of my search. You can go to Personally I like our resources because they’re easier to navigate. Heritage Quest is set up nicely and I like the library’s interface. Obituary research is under newspaper databases. For example, the Washington Post can be found under the National Newspapers Premier database.”

Thank you Adrienne, for sharing so much of your story! It was fascinating and very moving. I’m sure customers will be inspired to take some first steps in starting their own family research.

Book cover for Genealogy for Dummies

In addition to HeritageQuest and a link to the National Archives, MCPL’s genealogy resources include:
  • Polk’s City Directories for Rockville, Silver Spring, Chevy Chase, and other neighborhoods, telephone directories for Montgomery County, church records on microfilm, and more at Rockville Memorial Library
  • Obituary research from national newspapers

And don't forget our books/e-book collection!

Did you know?
According to the "72-Year Rule," the National Archives releases census records to the general public 72 years after Census Day. As a result, the 1930 census records were released April 1, 2002, and the 1940 records were released April 2, 2012. The 1950 census records will be released in April 2022.

Image from the National Archives website

Select recent newspaper articles
They Considered Themselves White, but DNA Tests Told a More Complex Story (Feb 6, 2018; Washington Post)

What You're Giving Away with Those Home DNA Tests (Nov 30, 2017; NBC News)

With a Simple DNA Test, Family Histories are Rewritten (Aug 28, 2017; New York Times)

Who Was She? A DNA Test Only Opened New Mysteries (July 27, 2017; Washington Post)
Olney Library is planning a genealogy workshop in the coming months. Please check our Calendar of Events or call 240-773-9545 to find out when it has been scheduled. We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

"Afternoon Delight" at Olney Library (Starland Vocal Band, 1976)

Open Mic performers and friends
Open Mic performers and friends

More than 50 customers stopped by for the event
More than 50 customers stopped by
Despite record-breaking cold temperatures and several cancellations due to illness, Olney Library still managed to hold its 1970s and 80s Open Mic during the first weekend of 2018. Performers of all ages tested out their vocal chops with classics from the Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, Simon & Garfunkel, the Carpenters, Janis Joplin, and Barbra Streisand, as well as 80s hits by Cyndi Lauper, Bonnie Tyler, and Gary Numan. An unforgettable show was put on by Olney staffer Lady Theresa, who wowed audiences with her renditions of “I Say a Little Prayer” and Saving All My Love for You” with a near-scandalous climax. And with the singalong portion of the program, everyone had a chance to be part of the action and get their groove on!

Check out all the videos and photos here.

Fans voting for their favorite songs
Fans voted for their favorite songs
In the run-up to the event, Olney Library created a colorful display that pitted the 1970s against the 1980s and read, “We love them both, but which is your favorite decade?” The display featured eye-catching images of bands, fashion, movies, books, CDs, and DVDs from both eras. More than 50 customers voted for their favorite songs/bands by decade, and… The winner was the 1970s. Top mentions were Bruce Springsteen; the Jackson Five; Earth, Wind & Fire; Queen; David Bowie; ABBA; and anything disco. Perhaps it’s true, the 70s’ music scene was a lot more eclectic and electrifying!

Woman holding up two small vinyl records
A "Name that Tune" winner
Part of the program was a “Name that Tune” quiz on songs from each decade, and we were awe-struck by how quickly people could name a song, often by the first few opening notes! All 80+ songs were downloaded from MCPL’s Freegal database. Did you know Freegal allows customers to download 5 songs per week for free? The .mp3 files are yours to keep forever, and you can play them on all your devices. 

A man and woman singing and playing guitars
The Campbells rocked the house with
Bon Jovi, Bob Marley & Elton John
And finally, if you’re inspired to come to our next Open Mic, but want to brush up on your vocal skills or guitar playing, don’t forget MCPL’s awesome database, ArtistWorks. Professional, award-winning musicians lead self-paced online courses in a range of instruments and styles, including rock, classical, jazz and bluegrass, from beginner to advanced levels, all for free.

Attendees had a blast and are already asking when the next Open Mic will be held, so check back on MCPL’s website or call Olney at 240-773-9545 to learn more. We hope to see you soon! Special thanks to the Friends of the Library, Olney Chapter, for sponsoring this event.

Four people, some playing guitars, some singing and one with a tamborine
Fran, Head of Children's Services at Aspen Hill Library,
 and Wendy, Olney volunteer, sang "La Bamba" from the 1987 movie

Friday, December 1, 2017

Workforce Development @ Work

Do you have professional aspirations or goals you’re trying to reach? If so, stop by Olney Library to get started! Did you know Montgomery County Public Libraries has a Jobs and Careers guide on our website that can serve as an excellent starting point for information, education and training? Plus, we have loads of books, CD-books, and digital resources that can help you explore careers, improve skills and help you on a new professional path. Don’t wait to get started!

To further inspire you, we wanted to share stories from some of our superstar customers who’ve used MCPL facilities and resources to help fulfill education goals, find jobs or pivot to new careers. While we see thousands of customers each week, these Olney customers are among the standouts who have taken the initiative to develop new skills and are on the path to even greater achievements.

Ms. Simone standing next to an Olney Librarian who is seated at a computer
Simone (left, standing)
with Olney Librarian Valarie Hoover
Ms. Simone 
We used to see Simone every week like clockwork, working with a math tutor in one of Olney’s collaboration rooms. She came each week, twice a week, for more than a year. Simone was incredibly disciplined and seemingly never missed a session. Then, one day, we stopped seeing the two of them and assumed she had finished her course.

A few months later, Simone stopped by with her daughter with a huge smile on her face, radiating excitement. She said, “I passed my GED!” Now that she’s received her high school diploma, Simone has continued to take math classes at the local community college. Library staff have been more than happy to help her find the books and resources she’s looking for. Congratulations Simone, on a job well done and continued academic success!

Ms. Ronnie
Ms Ronnie using a keyboard and iPad
Learning tips on the iPad
Over the years Ronnie has worked a variety of jobs, from teacher’s aide to computerizing books at the Library of Congress. But to stay competitive she felt she needed to refresh her computer skills. So Ronnie not only enrolled in MCPL/Senior Planet’s iPad course for older adults at Olney, she took a computer basics course at Germantown at the same time. Talk about dedication!

To complement her new skills, Ronnie recently finished a workshop at Olney, Applying for Jobs in Montgomery County, with a recruiter from the County’s Office of Human Resources. She’s currently finessing her resumé and will be receiving assistance from WorkSource Montgomery career specialists at Rockville Library. And now that she’s gained confidence in her computer skills, Ronnie is the proud owner of a new laptop. Great job, Ronnie! Given your many accomplishments, we know you'll continue to succeed in all you set your mind to! 

Mr. Henry
Mr Henry smiling while holding an open book.
Henry is always ready to
learn something new
Henry hails from the beautiful West African country of Liberia, where he had a long career in education and social services. When he first arrived at Olney Library, he was a computer newbie. But with help from library staff and his fellow church members, often on a daily basis, Henry learned how to use Microsoft Word like a pro, then graduated to online education sites. He became adept at using MCPL resources to practice driving tests and learn other skills.

Eventually Henry not only applied for and found local part-time jobs but he also found volunteer opportunities in his area of expertise, using MCPL’s public computers. Perhaps the biggest testament to his success (and newly busy schedule) is the fact that we see him less often than in the past! Three cheers for Henry! You are the perfect example of a customer who, with a little guidance, parlayed your learning to a new level of rewarding professional and personal experiences.

Stop by MCPL’s Jobs and Careers Guide, which includes local help for those who are unemployed,
Waving yellow and blue ribbons above the words "LearningExpress Library"
job hunting skills, education and training, and resources en español. MCPL also offers online Education Resources, such as Career Online High School, an accredited, non-traditional online high school diploma program, and the Learning Express Library, MCPL’s newest database with thousands of online tutorials, practice tests, and e-books to help customers of all ages.

Learn more about Olney Library’s programs and events by visiting our Calendar of Events.

Upcoming computer workshops at Olney include (registration required):

Stop by for One-on-One Computer Tutoring from 4 to 5:15 pm on these upcoming Mondays (sign up begins at 3:15):

  • Monday, December 11
  • Monday, January 22

MCPL is also partnering with Senior Planet/OATS to provide computer and iPad courses. Visit the Senior Planet Montgomery website to learn when new classes are starting in 2018!