May the Fourth Be with You: Using the Force

Star Wars Research GVRL library

By Robert Lisiecki

May the fourth be with you. Wait, I thought it was, “may the force be with you.” You know a film made a monumental impact on society when people assign a date in the calendar year to geek out. Let’s get geeky, Star Wars friends.

I’m admittedly not a self-proclaimed Star Wars nerd, but I’ve had a few light saber fights in my day, and I was Jar Jar Binks one year for Halloween; so, that counts for something… right?

It’s fascinating to think about the impactful nature of Star Wars, and how it still remains a force today (they just released the cast for the new movie!). Not only was it a monumental cinematic success, but it also impacted Hollywood, pop culture, and merchandising.

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Out of the Office: In Germany!

Explore travel DK publishing

By Bethany Dotson

For Christmas last year, my husband bought me the Rosetta Stone German Level 1-5 Set. He was so excited to give it to me, in fact, that he convinced me to open it five days early (I have to admit—I wasn’t hard to convince).  But upon opening the gift, I had to wonder out loud—why German? I had never expressed any interest in learning German—had I?

My patient husband, who is a mechanical engineer by education, by natural inclination, and by trade, responded that he knew that I wanted to take another trip to Europe, and he had settled on Germany as his #1 choice: not because of the fantastic history or culture, or even because of the food and beer, but because, and I quote, “they have a lot of engineers there and their trains run on time.”

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Discover new titles for Explorers like Chris

Explore travel ebooks DK publishing

By Kim Martin

Meet Chris, the explorer. He’s passionate about adventure, travel and discovering the world. Ever since he can remember, he wanted to know as much about other countries—their people, cuisine, geography, whatever he could possibly take in.  As someone who loves to immerse himself in other cultures, he needs the right resources and tools, for excursions near and far.

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In Other News: Shakespeare

By Susan Fishburn

In Other News – Week of April 21

Have your friends and family been talking to you in what sounds like a different language? Maybe it’s because this week we celebrated “Talk Like William Shakespeare Day” on April 23rd. So it’s time to get in the groove, or as Bill would say “It’s timeth to starteth reading!”

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Large Print Books Mom Will Love

By Ginny Raye

When I was given this topic, I thought, “Oh, please . . . piece of cake.” I started thinking about the types of books that I love, because, hey, I’m a mom! Then I realized that, even though I love a good steamy romance (probably more than I should), my 91-year-old mother would be less likely to sit down to “50 Shades of Grey” and probably leans more toward Nora Roberts. She absolutely loved the Boonsboro Trilogy that I got her for Christmas last year. And it was in large print. Even better. Oh, there is some steam there, but it’s toned down to a small kitchen fire, unlike the five alarm, burning inferno that is my usual choice. Hmm . . . this assignment suddenly became harder than I thought.

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A Day in the Life of the COHS Principal

By Teresa Salafrio

Whenever I meet someone and they ask me what I do, I respond, “I am the principal of an online high school for adults who have not previously earned their high school diploma.” The reaction of people is always the same: “What does the principal of an online high school do? You don’t have to deal with behavior problems and since you’re working primarily with adults, you don’t have to work with parents either, like in a typical brick and mortar high school. So what do you do?”

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I Can See Clearly Now: Window & Wiper Care

windshield help

By Tracy Junker

April is National Car Care Month and since April showers bring May flowers, it might be a good time to prep your vehicle with some best practices for window and wiper care.

How to check and clean wiper blades
We’ve all been there. It is raining just enough to make a mess of the windshield, but not enough to really clean it. And the wiper blades just make the situation worse!

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Career Online High School Coach’s Corner

academic coach

By Darlene Lawrence

As an Academic Coach, I am not immune to learning. I learn something every day from students. I welcome and embrace the opportunity and challenge.

Recently, I took some time to reflect on my day. I asked myself what went well, what did not go so well, and what positive impact did I have on my students’ lives. During my time of reflection, I noticed some recurring themes. Students want to be supported, valued, and to succeed.

Here are a few examples:

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Howard County Goes Big with STEM for Teens

Teen STEM public library

By Valerie Gross

Two years ago, when Howard County Library System (HCLS) began planning a 50 percent space increase for its Savage Branch, a team of HCLS visionaries proposed an opportunity: Why not design a cool, jazzy space to serve as headquarters for HiTech, HCLS’ cutting-edge STEM education initiative for teens?

This idea led to the HCLS Savage Branch & STEM Education Center, opening this summer. The venue will boast an Einstein Classroom, George Washington Carver Science Lab, Oscar Micheaux audio/video room, Curie Café, Leonoardo DaVinci Conference Room, and Gallileo Laptop Bar — all perfect for HiTech!

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Happy National Library Week!

National Library Week

By Kim Martin

Today, we announced the winners of its “Libraries Are Beautiful – Inside and Out” photo contest. Launched in celebration of National Library Week, taking place this week – April 13-19, the contest showcases libraries who make their communities a more beautiful place—physically or metaphorically. The top five per category were selected by experts in art, architecture and design.  From the 25 finalists, winners were chosen by popular vote – and include:

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