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Weekly Shhhout-Out


Roaming librarians file dispatches from the world of information.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Welcoming Spring (or Is It Summer?)

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve probably noticed that we seem to have lost a season somewhere between fall and spring. And now it appears that we’re headed straight for summer, albeit about three months too soon. No matter what season we started on yesterday’s Vernal Equinox, your local MCPL branch can help you enjoy it or spend it productively.
 
On the productive side, spring is everyone’s favorite time to spruce up house and home. Check out the 648.5s for a selection of helpful reads on cleaning and organization.  (Clutterbugs should check out the 648.8s.) For the digitally inclined, check out an electronic copy of titles such as The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green CleaningEBSCOHost Masterfile is the place to look for Consumer Reports ratings of vacuums, cleaning products, and other related items. For those who would prefer to have others do their (ahem) dirty work for them, the Washington Consumers’ Checkbook online (in-branch use only) offers customer ratings for everything from air duct and carpet cleaners to power wash and housekeeping services. (And while the cleaning crew is at your house, why not take your car for a spin to one the area’s best car washes, according to the WCC.)
 
Once you’ve maxed out on productivity, take some time to enjoy the warmth and sunshine. Check out a local park or hiker/biker trail. (Rock Creek Park, Brookside Gardens, and the Capital Crescent Trail are some of my faves.) Root on your favorite local softball or baseball teams or go pro and take in a game at Nationals Park in D. C. (could this finally be the winning season Nats’ fans have been waiting for?) or Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore (now celebrating its 20th season), both within 40-45 minutes of Montgomery County. Of course, the crown jewel of this season in our area is without a doubt the famous cherry blossoms, gifted by Japan exactly 100 years ago. It appears this week may be the best one to catch them (just as the expanded 5-week Festival kicks off). Did you know that some of those prized trees reside right here in our county? You could also take a page from Mary Poppins (not literally, please!) and go fly a kite at the Blossom Kite Festival on the National Mall.

Chris Chris B.
CATEGORIES: Seasons , Spring , Chris B. , Festivals , Sports , Local Events , Consumer Information , Hiking
POSTED: 2:47:00 PM |

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Maryland, My Maryland

Every month has a holiday or two some well-known and some obscure. In March, for instance, we have: National Pig Day and Peanut Butter Lover’s Day, simultaneously! And who could forget the Ides of March? Not Julius Caesar! (There is an Ides in every month, you know; right in the middle of each one.)

March also contains Dentist’s Day and Panic Day – but not at the same time.

National Pi day is 3.14, of course (think about it), but since 1918 March twenty-fifth has been Maryland Day – commemorating the settlement of the proprietary colony of Mary Land in 1634.

State House dome with flag in foreground Click on the flag to hear our State Song from Music Online.

How about a terrific wallow in all things Maryland, in honor of the occasion? Books and audio books about Maryland, Maryland people, places and history? Books by Maryland authors? Crab cake recipes? The potential is endless!

book cover for Other Wes Moorebook cover Sisters of FortuneFrederick Douglass memoir

Maryland authors such as:  (click on the author photo to see our holdings of their works)

Laura Lippman
Laura Lippman, creator of Tess Monaghan, Baltimore's own Reporter-turned-PI
Nora Roberts
Did you know that Maryland is the lifelong home of New York Time multi-Bestseller and oft-award-winning Romance author Nora Roberts?
Tom Clancey Southern Maryland is the home of the originator of the techno-thriller genre -  Tom Clancy
Stephen Hunter Along with Pulitzer Prize-winner Stephen Hunter
Mary Downing Hahn

And for the kids and 'tweens, two authors who not only live in Maryland, but who do not hesitate to set their stories here, too.

Mary Downing Hahn  

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Why don't you check one of these out at your nearest branch, pour a glass of milk and settle in for a great read with a Berger's (made in Maryland) cookie or two. What a great place we live in!

Chocolate over shortbread decadence

CATEGORIES: Maryland , Holidays , Literature , Jan D. , writers
POSTED: 10:00:00 AM |
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Last edited: 11/6/2007