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Library Matters

Library Matters is a podcast by Montgomery County Public Libraries exploring the world of books, libraries, technology, and learning.
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Now displaying: May, 2018

Library Matters is a podcast of Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) in Montgomery County, MD. Each episode we explore the world of books, libraries, technology, and learning. Library Matters is hosted by Julie Dina, Outreach Associate, Lauren Martino, Children's Librarian at our Silver Spring branch, and David Payne, Branch Manager of our Davis branch and Acting Branch Manager of our Potomac branch.  

May 23, 2018

Listen to the audio

David Payne:  Welcome to Library Matters with your host David Payne.

Julie Dina:  And I’m Julie Dina.

David Payne:  And in today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about Summer Read and Learn 2018.  The summer period is, for those of us who work in public libraries, without a doubt, the busiest time of the year.  And while summer reading has changed in the way it’s organized, the way it’s done over the years, the overall aim is still very much the same of stimulating and encouraging reading.  And talking about MCPL’s upcoming Summer Read and Learn Program, we have two guests today, first of all, Christine Freeman.  Welcome, Christine.

Christine Freeman:  Hi, thank you.

David Payne:  Christine is the Manager of the Noyes branch as well as the Early Literacy and Children Services Manager as well.  So thank you for taking time in your undoubtedly busy schedule to be with us.

Christine Freeman:  I’m glad to be here.

David Payne:  And joining us today as well, we have a voice you may well recognize if you’re a regular listener, that of Lauren Martino, our head of Children’s Services at the Silver Spring Branch.

Lauren Martino:  Hi, David.  Thanks for having me.

David Payne:  And if you’re confused, don’t be.  Lauren is, as you may well know, usually found in the hosts chair.  She’s now in the guest chair.  I will know if you’re really confused if you start asking me questions about something.  Anyway, welcome, Lauren.

Lauren Martino:  Thanks David.

David Payne:  So let’s start with our first question and let me start with Christine.  Tell us about yourself, your role as MCPL’s Early Literacy and Children’s Services Manager.

Christine Freeman:  So my name is Christine Freeman.  I was previously the – I’m head of Services and Children Services at Noyes Library and I’m the Branch Manager of Noyes Library.  As the Early Literacy and Children’s Services Program Manager, my responsibilities include all of our reading programs, which include Summer Read and Learn and 1000 Books before Kindergarten.  And don’t forget you can sign up for both of them at the same time if your children are under fives.  Summer Read and Learn is going to be a lot of fun this year.  The theme is Libraries Rock because we do.

And we have lots of fun programs that feature actual rocks and rock music.  So there’s something for everyone.  We have game boards for the kids.  You can log things online.  It’s just fantastic.  We also have game boards for even little kids for zero to five.  We have early literacy and game, so we won’t need the little ones out this year.  And children’s, we have six to 12, and then of course our teens, we don’t want to forget them, they are 13 to 17.

David Payne:  And Lauren, and your role as Head of Children’s at Silver Spring, tell us a bit about your department how you’re preparing for summer reading.

Lauren Martino:  Oh, gosh.  We’re doing what we can.  Right now we are contacting all of the schools and, well, I’ve contacted them and now I’m following them, getting back to the ones that haven’t gotten back into me just to make sure we visit all the schools and get the word out.  We are coordinating volunteers to help us out because this is a big undertaking.  I know a lot of people, I guess you come to the library and you see all of these faces but so many – we’ve got so many volunteers that help out every year, teens that come out of the woodwork ready to help.  We are just getting our materials organized.

I feel like I’ve got like battle plans drawn up in my office, kind of my organizational software out there, it’s color coded.  Yeah.  So this is – and just getting everybody on board, just making sure all the staff members know like this is what you do.  And we have so many like subs that come through Silver Springs.  So it’s like not only the people that are here all the time, the people that, you know, may not be here all the time.

David Payne:  Do you find with each year that you do it, you have more of it nailed down?

Lauren Martino:  I do.  I do.  This has been – let’s see, this is year number – this is the fourth year I’ve been doing this as the person in charge of a branch or a – not a branch but a department, so, yeah, slowly, I’m getting, you know, the first year I was like, “You want me to do what?  What?  We never did this.  What are you doing?”  But, yeah, we’re getting better and just as, you know, we have a place to put everything now.  That first year, we were open at Silver Spring.  It was like we’re carrying all our summer reading materials around in bags, like, it was just, you know, anytime you open a new branch, it’s like you can figure out what you’re doing.  But, yeah, we got that all down this year.  I think it’s going to be a good year.

David Payne:  Great.

Julie Dina:  Yay.

Christine Freeman:  I do think too that since the last past couple of years, we’re trying to make it easier for customers and more simple of a program for staff so that is more fun and easier too.

Lauren Martino:  Yeah.  And I think it has gotten a lot better.  Yeah, I think we’re getting in the groove of it.

Julie Dina:  So with all of this excitement, you know, and I – not only staff is excited but I bet the kids who are going to be participating are also excited, when exactly does the summer reading program begin and end?

Christine Freeman:  It begins on June 9th and we will go all through the summer up until September 9th, so there’s plenty of time to get it finished.  So everybody should complete their summer reading challenge this year.

Lauren Martino:  Yes, don’t just start, complete everybody.  You can do it.

Julie Dina:  Is there anyone who doesn’t?

Christine Freeman:  Just a few.  We’re working on that this year.  We’re working on that this year.

Julie Dina:  Now, another question that I wanted to ask is why exactly is it important for kids to read over the summer.

Lauren Martino:  Well, there’s been a lot of talk about this phenomenon called the Summer Slide where some research suggests that kids that don’t read over the summer especially lower-income kids, kids that are kind of disadvantaged in general can actually start the next school year a month behind where they stopped.  So imagine going to school in September and you’re, you know, a seventh grader who’s, you know, gotten through school in April instead of May and some people suggest that this is actually cumulative so, you know, you lose one month one year and then you lose another month the next year and, you know, you can see how you’d go through and be almost a year behind at the end of your schooling.

This has come under some scrutiny there are people that suggest that, you know, studies say different things.  I’ve seen a lot of people that suggest too.  It’s like, “Well, if you’re forgetting it or if you’ve really learned it –” like library programs in general and just reading for fun in general really focuses kids on doing stuff that’s fun, it’s learning but it’s fun and that fun is going to make whatever they learn stick in their brains that much better.  So anything that they would have learned that, you know, is just going to slide off of them because they’ve learned it for the test because, gosh, I know that was like for college career, you know, but you’ve read it.  It’s like, you know, what you get from reading the entire Captain Underpants series?  You know, seriously, you know, it’s, you know, and the parents will come in and it’s like, “I don’t want my kids reading that trash.”  And, you know, there’s, you know, something going to be said for expanding horizons and –

David Payne:  They’re reading, that’s the main point, yeah, yeah.

Lauren Martino:  Yeah, but, you know, it’s like the quantity really makes a difference.  When you’re reading a lot of stuff, and kids read a lot of stuff and they’re reading stuff that’s fun, so we’re really just out to get kids to look at that and to try some of this stuff out.  And we’ve got other activities that we’re going – that we’re encouraging kids to do through this program, things like make a pet rock or, let’s see, read a book that takes place in another country.  They’re going to, you know, ask them to expand those horizons a little bit.  But we will count any book in place of any of these activities.  So if you want to read all the Captain Underpants, you know, you can – that’s your program, you know.  We will count that.  Do you have anything to add, Christine?

Christine Freeman:  I just said a lot of the activities that we have on our boards are not only to keep the kids engaged but also to have families and kids engaged together.  So like one of them is listen to a grown-up favorite song.  So you have to ask your grown-up what is your favorite song and then you can listen to it together, then you can talk about it, maybe do a little dance.  So just –

Lauren Martino:  Karaoke.

Christine Freeman:  Yeah.

Lauren Martino:  Yeah.

Christine Freeman:  Just mashed potatoes twist, I’m not sure.

Lauren Martino:  Oh, yeah.

Christine Freeman:  So it’s just getting parents and kids to do things together instead of just sitting on the couch watching TV but actually doing activities together, I think.

Julie Dina:  I like the sound of that.

David Payne:  Sounds good.

Julie Dina:  Yeah.

David Payne:  Yeah.  So each summer reading program every year has a different theme.  And perhaps, you can tell us, Christine, a bit about this year’s Summer Read and Learn theme and what kinds of events that we have lined up that tie-in with that theme.

Christine Freeman:  So this year’s theme is Libraries Rock and that’s for all of our age groups.  And I think the most exciting program we’re going to have is going to be our dance parties and we’re going to have them all across the county and libraries throughout the system.  And those dance parties, we have a bubble machine, we have some colored lights to fastened on the ceiling.

Lauren Martino:  I’m so excited when I read about that.  It’s going to be awesome.

Christine Freeman:  We have some day-glow bracelets for the kids.  We’re going to have a photo op so the kids will could then become just as the favorite rock star or music musician or they can just come with some crazy hair, and we’re going to have photo opportunities for them to take pictures and hopefully tag us on Instagram or Facebook.  I think it’s going to be a lot of fun this year.  I’m excited for our theme.

David Payne:  That’s great.  And, Lauren, how are you preparing for Libraries Rock?

Lauren Martino:  Libraries Rock.  Oh, I got this one program that we’re really excited about called Video Games at the Symphony.  We actually have this group called The Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra coming and presenting this event where they’re going to, you know, talk about video game music a little bit, which is, you know, a thing.  This is a thing.  People create this gorgeous music for video games.  And then, you know, they’re going to perform and then the kids get to play with the instruments, which I’ve kind of been wanting to do something like that forever and then, you know, this kind of fell into our laps like, yeah, yeah, we’ll do this.

Somebody that actually listened to the CD that came with my Wii that’s like nothing but Zelda Music.  And, yeah, my daughter like just starts dancing to it.  I’m like, “Yeah, this is good music.”  So we’re really excited about that.  Let’s see, we’ve got a clown coming for our kickoff June 9th.  Everybody, I think just about all the libraries are doing some sort of kickoff event or some sort of open house event, so we’re really hoping people will come out for that.

David Payne:  Sounds exciting.

Julie Dina:  Yeah.

Christine Freeman:  Yeah.  That should be good.  We also have that program at Rockville as well.

Lauren Martino:  Oh, the gamer program, yes.

David Payne:  So, Christine, did you come up with a theme?  How do you arrive at with this theme?

Christine Freeman:  So the theme was selected by the CSLP, which is a Collaborative Summer Library Program, that’s a nationwide program that libraries use for themes.  And they have graphics that we can use.  They have activities we can use, booklist, that type of thing.  But this year I think it’s going to be really fun to incorporate music and rocks into our program.

Lauren Martino:  I love the summer reading theme where it’s like, you know, dig into reading or it’s like, archeology or construction or you get someone to play with it.

Christine Freeman:  Yeah, archeology.

David Payne:  Yeah.

Lauren Martino:  Yeah.

David Payne:  Great, thank you.  And so do they come up with the theme sort of year by year or do they have a sort of five-year plan of –

Christine Freeman:  They do you think ahead and next year will be type of a space theme.  It’s being blogged at the moment.

Lauren Martino:  I’m excited with that.

David Payne:  Interesting.  Okay.

Christine Freeman:  I think that’ll be a lot of fun.

David Payne:  Correct.

Christine Freeman:  But they do think ahead of time.  They actually will get this I think from the moment it stops, they start up again.  Basically, the same as we do here at Montgomery County.

David Payne:  Great.

Christine Freeman:  We take like a two-week break and then start up again for next year.

David Payne:  Right, it never ends, yeah, yeah.

Christine Freeman:  It’s ongoing.

Julie Dina:  I know you mentioned the dance parties earlier, will that be at all of MCPL branches or only specific ones?

Christine Freeman:  It won’t be at all of them but it will be at the majority of them.  So you can check our ongoing calendar on our website and that will tell you all the dance parties will be located or you can check your branch specifically and look for the dance parties or ask your librarian and they’ll be happy to tell you.

Julie Dina:  And now a brief message about MCPL services and resources.

Lisa Navidi:  Summer may mean vacations, beaches, travel, and sunscreen.  But at MCPL, it also means summer reading.  Whether you and your family are on the beach, on your porch or in a plane, we have a reading list tailored to your child’s age and grade, and a special list just for adults.  You can find a link to our reading lists in this episodes show notes.

Julie Dina:  Now back to our program.

David Payne:  So one of the important parts important, important elements of summer readings are always the programming that goes along with it.  And I think animal programs are probably some of the most popular ones that we find.  As in past years, can we expect animal programs throughout the MCPL system?  And how can we find out when and where?

Christine Freeman:  Yes.  We will actually have Glen Echo Park Aquarium.  They do Touch the Sea Programs throughout and we have different themes.  Like one of them will be sharks, so they’ll probably have a baby shark, love it.  They bring live animals out in an aquarium and they had this really cool microscope that they can project that up to the wall so everybody gets to see even if they’re a little bit in the back.  And then at the end, usually less people walk by and they can get a close-up look of the animals.  But he breaks it down and makes it very interactive with the children and the adults and it’s learning as well as having fun.

Lauren Martino:  See, we’ve got a number of other programs going on around the system as a – see, we’ve got Nature on Wheels presenting “Raptors!” on June 7th at Rockville.  We’ve got a program called Reptile Rangers going on in the Maggie Nightingale Library on Saturday June 23rd.  And the Maryland Zoo is presenting a number of programs as well.  They’re going to Kensington on July 28th and they’ll also be at Germantown on August 22nd, presenting amazing adaptations.

Julie Dina:  So it’s to no surprise that the Montgomery County Public Library runs a great summer reading program.  However, I will like for you, either of you, to tell us some of the challenges that you actually come across in running a great program.

Lauren Martino:  Wrapping your head around everything that is to happen?  Yeah, it’s a lot.  I found having really good volunteers on-hand helps a lot.  Let’s see, just making sure everybody knows what’s going on.  I work at a very, very big branch.  I don’t know, this is probably a different challenge than maybe what Noyes, for example, faces with, you know, three people.  But just making sure everybody knows what’s going on and what to do and where everything is located and things like that.  Just also that in the libraries, which is super busy during the summer anyway.

Julie Dina:  I imagine.

Lauren Martino:  Yeah, yeah.  So, yeah, I just – I always forget just how exhausting summer is but it’s all worth it, it’s all worth it.  You see kids that you don’t see as much during the year and they’ve got big smiles on their faces and they’re just so excited.  And when they come in and they’ve gotten their prize, you know, it’s like, yeah, that makes it all worth it.

Christine Freeman:  I think for me in planning the program, the challenge I find is finding prizes that everybody will like.  So this year, this year –

Lauren Martino:  This year.

Christine Freeman:  – we have a big treasure chest and it’s going to have all kinds of prizes in it.  So I’m sure that you can find something you like.  And some of those things will be recorders.  There’ll be mustache whistles.  They’ll be, for the little ones, Play-Doh.  There’ll go charts for the little ones.  I’m trying to think of all the cool stuff that’s in there.  But lots of music type things, blow-up guitars, everybody wants a blow-up guitar.

Lauren Martino:  I really want to see those book parts at our dance parties.  I’ve seen them.

Christine Freeman:  Yeah.  We have bandanas -- bandanas that are decorated for our theme, Libraries Rock.  So I think the good thing is the kids can choose a prize that they like, and hopefully that will encourage them to keep it over the summer because the more they read, the more prizes they get.

Lauren Martino:  I’m also digging these like Rockstar themed rubber duckies.  Yeah.

David Payne:  Yeah.

Lauren Martino:  Oh gosh.  And these are ribbons to dance with.

Christine Freeman:  The dance ribbons are fun.

Lauren Martino:  Oh, yeah.

Christine Freeman:  And we have the sticks.

Lauren Martino:  The didgeridoo type of sticks?

Christine Freeman:  The groan sticks.

Lauren Martino:  Oh, so the groan.

Christine Freeman:  So you turn them upside down and they go, "Rrrawn!" and then you put all handful of them together.

Lauren Martino:  Hey, kids, take this down to the fourth floor where the grownups are all studying.

Christine Freeman:  You can use the kazoos to wake up your parents in the morning.

Lauren Martino:  Oh, yeah.

Christine Freeman:  Lots of fun stuff in the treasure chest.

David Payne:  Yeah.  Yeah.

Christine Freeman:  And for the teens, we have cool stuff too and they live in a teen prize bag, not a treasure chest, a teen prize bag.

Lauren Martino:  Oh.

David Payne:  Oh.

Christine Freeman:  And in there, we have like fidgets, we have some coloring pencils and color books.  We have PopSockets for phones, we have ear buds that type of things.

Julie Dina:  Teens always love that.

Christine Freeman:  Yeah.  They get to pick something cool also.

Lauren Martino:  Yeah.  We felt really old around them just like, “What does this PopSockets thing we’re giving out?”  No, it’s cute.  And I noticed them on every teen’s phone, like, cool, you guys are way ahead of us.

David Payne:  Some great prizes there.  So, now, I’m going to put you on the spot a bit and ask both of you, if you had a choice, who would be your dream Summer Read and Learn performer?

Lauren Martino:  We can choose anybody?

David Payne:  Yes, absolutely anyone.

Lauren Martino:  Oh, gosh.  I love Laurie Berkner or Jim Gill.  We just went to a workshop with him.

Julie Dina:  Jim Gill.

Lauren Martino:  Oh, my gosh, I want Jim Gill.  Jim Gill, if you’re listening, I love your workshop the other day.

Christine Freeman:  Do you want to see librarians fan girl?

Lauren Martino:  Oh, my God.  Oh, yeah, yeah, no, we saw it.  We saw it.  Some girl brought her ukulele to be signed at this workshop and I’m like, “Oh, I should have brought mine”  Oh, my goodness.  I should have brought my banjo.

Julie Dina:  Should have brought everything.

Lauren Martino:  I should have brought – oh, gosh, I could have him signed everything.

Christine Freeman:  He is amazing.

Lauren Martino:  He is amazing.  Just somebody who really – it started off like in special – he was doing like family playtime like in college, just working with kids with special needs and then he got a Master’s in Education.  You know, he is a fun musician.  But he just gets kids and he gets what’s he needs to do.  He gets it, so, okay.

Julie Dina:  Wow.

Christine Freeman:  And everything he does so looks so well with every child ready to read because he is all about play and he is all about seeing, he is all about reading, he is all about writing.  So it’s just – it works so well.

Lauren Martino:  Yeah.  Although you know –

Christine Freeman:  We'll stop fan girling, really.

Lauren Martino:  And fan girl.   Oh, I don’t know.  So Damascus is having milkshake, I think that would be pretty awesome too you know.  And Jacks Are Wild, you know, you know, some of these dream programs that I would like to have at my branch or happening at other branches this year.  So, go out and take advantage, guys.  It’s like, yeah, I feel like – I had a co-worker the other day who was like, “Jacks Are Wild.  Let’s get them, let’s get them.”  And we can get them for our branch.  But Gaithersburg has them June 16th, so.

David Payne:  Maybe next year.

Lauren Martino:  Yeah.  Oh, gosh.

Julie Dina:  It’ll be your turn.

Lauren Martino:  Christine, if you’re scheduling.  That’s what we want.

Christine Freeman:  And we have some other great performers.  We have Eric Energy.  We have Groovy Nate.  We’re going to have just many, many performers, too many to name, all over the system.  And if you miss them at One Library, check out calendar because more than likely, they will be in another library during the summer.  You can always ask our librarians, they can help you.  Look at all calendar and see if they’re available at the library.

Julie Dina:  So while we’re on that same topic, is there a specific picture book or chapter book you wish every kid could read over the summer?

Lauren Martino:  I was thinking about this last night.  Picture book, I have to go with Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall.  I’m sorry if I’m slaughtering her name.  But, yeah, it’s about this little boy and it’s just he goes up, climbs that – he gets to that diving board and he’s in front of the line and then he’s next in line and then he’s, you know, a couple of people back in line because he’s perfecting his technique.  He is, you know, thinking really hard about the way he wants to jump down this diving board and, you know, basically, you know, he’s conquering his fear of going up on the diving board.

and his dad and his sister there and they’re cheering him on and they’re, you know, walking him through this whole process of fear and, you know, it’s like, “Okay, you don’t need to be afraid, that’s all right, you know, this is how you deal with it,” and it just was really moving to me especially since as a kid during the summer I had an experience like that.  Like, I got to the top of the diving board and like stopped and, you know, waited like for five minutes, I couldn’t jump while the rest of the people are like – so this happens.  And, I mean, gosh, this is about like a seven-year old.  I think I was like 13 at the time, you know, so it happens.  And it was just – it’s just – it’s surreal and just something that we all face and just beautifully drawn and just, you know, sun-washed.  It’s like this is what a pool, you know, this is the color, this is the pool midsummer.

Julie Dina:  Christine?

Christine Freeman:  For textbooks, I’m going to go old school and go with Watson’s Go To Birmingham.  It’s one of my favorites, it’s just classic.  I love it because it’s about a real family.  And even here’s tragedy in the book, there’s like laughter and there’s just a family being a family.  And I think everybody can relate to some parts of this book.  And it’s historical fiction, which I think kids don’t normally go to unless to do an assignment.  But once they start reading this book, they’ll forget that it’s historical fiction book because they’ll just relate so much to the family, I believe.

Lauren Martino:  Well, you just have to start that first chapter where he’s got his tongue stuck to the mirror of the car.  I think that’s enough to sell it.

Christine Freeman:  So in his books, his – Christopher Paul Curtis’s books are so great for listening to on audio.  I know I listen to Bud, Not Buddy on audio.  And the people in the car had listened to it because I was listening to it and I could hear my kids laughing in the back, like they were getting into it even though I thought they were sleeping, so it’s –

Lauren Martino:  Isn’t it nice?

Christine Freeman:  Yeah.  It was – it was great to listen to it aloud.

Lauren Martino:  I got to have those audio books for car trips.

Christine Freeman:  Yes, for sure.

Lauren Martino:  Also put down Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Garcia Williams.  And I had to think about this.  I feel like, “Oh, yeah, it’s the third book in the series.  That’s my favorite.”

Christine Freeman:  Oh, yeah, it’s the third book.  I only have the first book.

Lauren Martino:  Oh, yeah, yeah.  I mean, I feel like they get better because I enjoyed the first one and then I enjoyed the second one even more.  And by the third one, I’m like, “This is the best one.”  But, yeah, so, like, three girls and I – it gets – it’s sort of, you know, like Watsons Go to Birmingham.  They’re in the Deep South for the summer.  They’re from up north, they’re Black, it’s, you know, but they’re with their family.  And, you know, kind of gradually realize their family, you know, goes back a ways to the fact that, you know, you got the family, the Black family over here.  And, you know, they’ve got family that was like plantation owners.  You got this guy over here, he’s a member the Ku Klux Klan and he’s still a part of their family.

you know, it’s like it’s really complicated, like look into family relationships and, you know, what does it mean to be family.  But, yeah, and – but the three sisters are just so real, like, they love each other, they’re going to be there for each other but they are going to annoy the heck out of each other on the way.  And something happens in the middle of the book, I don’t want to spoil it or anything but, like, just blindsides you, like to the point where it’s like, I don’t know how this book’s going to end, you know, nothing – I can’t take, you know, I’m not taking anything for granted at this point.  So, yeah, I think it’s the best, you know, read the whole series, please.  But if you don’t read any of the other ones, read Gone Crazy in Alabama.

Christine Freeman:  You’ve convinced me.  I’m going to go get it.

Lauren Martino:  Yeah.  Yeah.  You know –

Christine Freeman:  I’ll try – I got the first one.  I know there’s a second and third, so I’m going to go check them out today.

Lauren Martino:  Yeah, PSPL love it and it’s good.  Yes.  And the audiobooks are quite good.

Julie Dina:  How many books are there in this series?

Lauren Martino:  There are three.

Julie Dina:  Okay.

Lauren Martino:  Yeah.  And the first one is like, “We spend the summer with mom who’s in California and she’s a Black Panther.”

Christine Freeman:  Which is in Oakland, close to my hometown.

Lauren Martino:  Oh, yeah, okay.

Christine Freeman:  So, that’s why I was interested in the first one but –

Lauren Martino:  But, yeah, it’s, you know, all the historical stuff and also, you know, I’m going to annoy the heck out of my sisters because they’re annoying me back.  Oh, yeah.

David Payne:  Well, reading this is always very helpful in terms of connecting readers to books.  Will MCPL be providing reading lists for all ages?  And how can parents find new books for their kids to read?

Lauren Martino:  Well, when you’re signing up for summer reading, you’re also signing up for something called Beanstack.  And, so, automatically, you’ve got something built in right there.  You can – there’s a box that you check or leave unchecked that will send recommendations right to your email for kids that are your kids’ age.  So that’s a good way.  We’ve also got lists on our website.  And I think most of the branches have lists available of just lists that our librarians have put together for each grade because I know parents come in and they’re like, “Oh, where are the first grade books?” or “Where the fifth grade books?”

it’s hard if you don’t know, you know, how to choose a book for, you know, how old your child is, and we get that.  And for, you know, fairness reasons, we don’t categorize stuff by age.  You know, I’ve seen libraries that did this and I actually was – had a pile of books with these ages written on them and had a group full of kids and they’re like, “I can’t read this book.  It’s a fifth grade book, I’m a 6th grader,” you know, and that’s what, you know, you’re trying to avoid because, you know, there’s plenty of books that work for fifth graders and sixth graders and fourth graders.  You know, the lists are kind of good that way because there’s a range.

So for each grade, there are some that are easier and some that are harder.  So there’s something on it that’s going to work for your kid.  And, also, you know, ask your librarian.  People don’t think about it.  But, you know, and they always act like they’re bothering us, you’re not bothering us.  Just ask us, we are happy, we are – I’m shelving books there or, you know, putting stuff on display just waiting for you to ask me a question.  So, please, ask me and I’m happy to find a book that’s going to be great for your child.

Christine Freeman:  Yeah.  And we do have to restate that parents can print them from home, they’re available in our website.  If you’re interested, you can print them at home also.  We can go to our library and ask the librarians to print them out for you.

David Payne:  So, listen, just ask a librarian.

Julie Dina:  And I’ll be asking you this question.  What would be your favorite summer reading memory from childhood or with your own kids?

Lauren Martino:  I have to say I don’t think we’ve participated much with summer reading as a kid.  I do remember being a volunteer in signing people up and I just felt so important and, like, this weigh of this responsibility they were trusting me with all the stuff.  And, you know, they just, you know, they put me in my place and they just kind of went off and did their thing and, you know, here I am, signing kids up for summer reading.  You know, I didn’t realize that then that I’d be, you know, doing this my whole life.

But, yeah, I’ve got a four-year old at home and, you know, we’ve been working on some of them but – and I want to encourage people to consider this, you know, like, your summer is busy, you may not always have time to do all these stuff, but if you have parents that get to take your kids for any length of time, grandparents love to do this stuff with the kids.  So, you know, we want you to spend time with your kids and we want you to have these experiences, these enriching experience.  But, you know, you can share them with grandma, you can share them with uncles and aunts and cousins.  Yeah, you can share the wealth, and it’s a really great experience for everybody.

Christine Freeman:  And I think for me, I remember my son, I was a library page, so I’m responsible for putting books on the shelf, and I would take my son  to work with me and I would make him put the picture books away because they were the easiest and that way I didn’t have to do it.  And then afterwards, he would –

Lauren Martino:  Nice.  Smart.

Christine Freeman:  Afterwards, he would go and he would do the summer reading game, and he loved it because they had, like, a little spinner.  So if you completed so many, you got to do the spinner and get a price.  So he really enjoyed doing that when he go to the library with me.

Lauren Martino:  Great memories.

David Payne:  So we always close our episodes by asking the guests what they’re reading now.  So let me ask, let’s start with you, Christine, what’s in your bookshelf right now?

Christine Freeman:  Right now, I’m reading travel guides to England because I’ve been traveling there and I’m trying to make a plan.  It’s a lot harder than it sounds.  So lots of travel guides live on my shelf right now.  I’m also reading Matt de la Pena’s We Were Here.  I’m a bit halfway through it.  I picked it up because the setup was done in Stockton and I relocated from Stockton so that’s why I went and had picked that up.  So that’s what I’m reading right now.  Nonfiction and fiction, which is unusual for me because I usually don’t read nonfiction.

Lauren Martino:  I am slugging my way through this book in French.  I actually read it in English and I saw the movie and I really liked it in English and then the – and the movie.  It’s called the Diving Bell and the Butterfly.  It is, I believe, the only book I know of that’s been dictated entirely with eye blinks because –

David Payne:  Right.  It was very, very unusual.

Lauren Martino:  Yeah.  The author, he was like chief editor, I believe, of Elle in France for a while and he had, like, a stroke or something and ended up, like, with locked-in syndrome.  So he basically can’t move –

David Payne:  Couldn’t communicate.

Lauren Martino:  Couldn’t move, he can winked one eye because his other eyes is closed.  He can wink one eye, he can’t talk, he can’t sign, he can’t do anything but he can blink one eye.  So, they developed this system of, like, they’d read the alphabet out and in an order in which, you know, just by the frequency they occur in French and he would blink an eye when he got to the right letter.  So it’s spell out word by word what he wanted to say.  And, yeah, and he wrote a book this way.

Christine Freeman:  That amazing.

Lauren Martino:  I know.  It’s incredible.

David Payne:  Yeah.

Lauren Martino:  And he’s also super well-educated and as you know, you know, French is not my first language, you know.  I’m just like, “Vocabulary, vocabulary.”  Yeah.  I had the same problem with the Elegance of the Hedgehog and, like, so, you know, it’s taking me awhile.  But the book in the English was very good.  And the movie – there’s a movie too that’s incredible that they made on the same subject, so.

David Payne:  I can see you’ll be busy with that for a while.

Lauren Martino:  Yes.  I’m almost to the end, you know.  So, you know, I keep thinking like, you know, it’s taking me awhile to read, you know, how long did it take him to write?  I can’t complain.

Christine Freeman:  Right.

Julie Dina:  So many blinks until you finish?

Lauren Martino:  Okay.  Luckily, I don’t have to blink.  Yeah.  But it’s just about, you know, he’s talking a little bit about the hospital, you know, and you just, you know, the intricacies of, you know, people coming to visit him and how they feel and how he feels and just –

David Payne:  Incredible story.  Yeah.

Lauren Martino:  Yeah, it’s an incredible story.  And he told them little snippets and, like, he composed this, he memorized everything like he, you know, spend hours, you know, alone in his room, in his bed like memorizing what he wanted to say until he could get somebody that would dictate for him and then he would just let it all out.  So it’s in like little chapters, like little bits at a time, but just fascinating.

Julie Dina:  You’ve guys have wowed us.

David Payne:  You sold us on summer reading.

Julie Dina:  Yes.  You really have been.  I want to thank you, Christine and Lauren, for all the wonderful information you’ve given us this afternoon.  Let’s keep the conversation going by following us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.  Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on the new Apple Podcast app.  Stitcher or wherever you get your podcast.  Also, please review and rate us on Apple Podcast.  We love to know what you think.  Thank you for listening for our conversation today and see you next time.

[Audio Ends]

May 22, 2018

Summary: Librarians Christine Freeman and Lauren Martino talk about MCPL's upcoming Summer Read and Learn program, which starts June 9 and runs through September 9. This program offers children and teens fun incentives to read and learn all summer long. There will be amazing events at MCPL branches throughout the summer as well. Join us for the fun! 

Recording Date: May 9, 2018

Hosts: Julie Dina and David Payne

Guests: Christine Freeman is MCPL's Early Literacy and Children's Services Manager, as well as Branch Manager for the Noyes Library for Young Children. Lauren Martino is a Children's Librarian at our Silver Spring branch. She is also one of the hosts of the Library Matters podcast. 

Featured MCPL Resource: MCPL offers reading lists by grade and age, including a list for adults. Find something new to read today! 

What Our Guests Are Reading

Christine Freeman

Lauren Martino

Books Mentioned During this Episode:

Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis

Other Items of Interest Mentioned During this Episode

1000 Books Before Kindergarten: Prepare your child for kindergarten with this fun, effective program that will engage your child with books, songs, fingerplays, and other learning activities.

Beanstack: A fun site for logging books and more. MCPL uses Beanstack for many programs, including 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten, our Reading Challenge, and our Summer Read and Learn programs. Customers can also opt to receive weekly emails with suggested books for their readers.

Collaborative Summer Library Program: A consortium of states working together to provide high-quality summer reading program materials for children, teens, and adults at the lowest cost possible for their public libraries.

Eric Energy: An energetic scientist who will amaze children during his hands-on, interactive science show. 

Jacks Are Wild: Don't miss Mario and Bella, a pair of spirited Jack Russell terriers who perform amazing tricks that will delight children of all ages. 

Libraries Rock! Dance Party: Put on your best pop star outfit or wear your craziest hair and come join us to dance! dance! dance! We will have photo props, a bubble machine and a music playlist to keep you moving.  

Milkshake: Join us at Damascus Library for an interactive show filled with fun, silliness, and dancing led by the Grammy-nominated duo Milkshake. 

Nature on Wheels - Raptors!: Learn about raptors. like bald eagles and hawks, while surrounded by your favorite books! 

Reptile Rangers: Join us at Maggie Nightingale Library and meet a live king snake, a corn snake, a terrapin, and more! Presented by a park ranger from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. 

Summer Read and Learn Kickoff Events: Several MCPL branches are celebrating the start of our Summer Read and Learn program June 9. 

Video Games at the Symphony: The Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra will present family-friendly events at Silver Spring Library on 6/23 and Rockville Memorial Library on 8/11.  

Zoomobile: Discover some of the amazing adaptations animals have for life in the wild and try some challenging activities to compare those adaptations to our own abilities. 

 Read the transcript

May 9, 2018

Listen to the audio

Lauren Martino:  Hello, welcome to Library Matters.  I'm Lauren Martino and I'm here with my co-host Julie Dina.  Hi Julie.

Julie Dina:  Hello.

Lauren:  And we are also here with Adrienne Miles Holderbaum who is expecting.  She is a Senior Librarian at Germantown.  Hi Adrienne.

Adrienne Miles:  Hello.  Hi, excited to be here.

Lauren:  And we're also here with Maranda Schoppert who has a very small child; who made a lovely appearance at MoComCon by the way.  Hi Maranda.

Maranda Schoppert:  Hi guys.

Lauren:  So tell us a little bit about yourself Maranda.  How old is your baby now?

Maranda:  Well, my – I have a baby girl, her name is Lyla.  She is almost five months old, doing sort of really good now.  We're starting to move our toes and our legs.  We have found our feet.

Lauren:  Yes, cute.

Maranda:  And this is my first baby, so everything is new for me.  So we're just enjoying it, me and my husband.  We just are so in love with her and it's just fun and tiring.

Lauren:  How about you Adrienne?

Adrienne:  Sure.  I have a daughter who is 3 years old.  I'm expecting another baby in May and it’s another girl.  The 3-year-old is awesome.  She is a lot of -- she has a lot of -- it takes a lot of energy.  So being pregnant this time around is very different.  I'm more tired for obvious reasons, and it's hard to focus on actually being pregnant this time which is kind of good and kind of bad.  Yeah.  Like age 3 is like the peak of all your energy you will have in your entire life.  It's so much fun.  It's like my favourite age for kids.  Everything is new and they're able to express themselves, it is awesome.  Congratulations and good luck.

Julie:  Well congratulations again Adrienne.  You're getting a lot of those today.  So since both you and Maranda are actually sort of experts in this field, [Laughing] for this episode, could you tell us or give us tips for those who it will really be helpful for as to having a smooth pregnancy especially in the first trimester because I know I had a horrible one for both my pregnancies.

Adrienne:  Okay.  The first trimester I think resting and taking the time out to rest and not pushing it is really important.  I was fortunate enough to not have nausea or like any other symptoms, I just -- I'm very tired at the beginning.  So for my second pregnancy it was harder to find time for myself, so asking my husband to take my daughter out of the house or relying on family members too, and then also I like screen time I – it’s been awesome.  So put a movie on and like take a little 20-minute catnap, it’s just been awesome.  So self-care first trimester just really -- because it's important, it's one of the most important.  Each trimester is important but the first is really you need to not be stressed and just rest.

Maranda:  While I was nauseous quite a bit.  So my biggest help for that was many meals often, string cheese, those little individual prune wrappers, yogurt drinks, peanut butter crackers, anything that you can have a lot at multiple times a day.  I totally just skipped any main meal you know.  My other advice - practice your smile and nod.

Lauren: That’s awesome.

Maranda:  So much advice kept coming my way and after a while I just was like uh-huh, I'm going to smile, I'm going to nod my head.  I'm taking your advice and I'm just -- I'm just I'm thinking about it.  And that was the sort of saving grace by the time I got to the end of the first trimester, I knew to do that going forward.

Lauren:  That sounds like something fun to roleplay at home.

Maranda:  Yeah.

Lauren:  Like hit me with your best shot, your most outrageous comment and I'm going to nod and smile.

Maranda:  Yeah, I'm going to practice keeping that on my face.

Lauren:  So there are a million and one pregnancy books out there and they all conflict.  So do you Adrienne have any advice for sorting through them and figuring out which ones you're going to pay attention to and which ones you're just going to dismiss.

Adrienne:  So for me I feel like these -- for me I'm more into books that are more holistic and less medically focused.  And I think it's important to have the medical knowledge of what goes on with your body and on labor and delivery.  But I'm more interested in how our bodies deal with pregnancy and how our bodies are amazing and can do this in a positive and about female empowerment.  I think that's really important for me but not for everyone, so for me that's what I kind of use to guide what I'm reading during pregnancy.  I like reputable authors of course, so doctors, midwives, yeah people that have done it and around it and had a lot of experience with it.

Lauren:  How about you Maranda? Do you have an approach?

Maranda:  I kind of went a little bit of a different route.  I wanted to find books that were written by medical professionals who are also parents not just moms, dads too that was fine with me.  I sort of wanted the play-by-play.  I wanted to know week-by-week what to expect.  And I also wanted the latest addition.  So if there was anything new information out there wise I wanted to know, so that was important to me.

Lauren:  Because they keep changing.

Maranda:  Yes.  You never know.

Adrienne:  Yeah, it is so interesting because my favourite book is about like the history like how women have been doing it for like ever and midwife because I'm really into midwifery, so it was about like what they did before was medicalised and what they did at home.  So it's so interesting that like your--

Maranda:  Well, my hospital sent in a midwife at some point and I was like "Oh, I didn't ask for you, but hi." I mean it was great getting a different perspective but I didn't totally didn’t expect it you know.

Lauren:  What's the name of that book Adrienne by the way?

Maranda:  Which one? The one that-

Lauren:  The history.

Adrienne:  Oh, that was Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin.  She mentions the history of midwifery but it's not the focus of the book but she does talk about it.  And that book also focuses a lot on birth stories -- positive birth stories, because when you're pregnant everyone tells you about the horror -- horrible experiences they have.  So that book I didn't read it as much in my first pregnancy; this pregnancy I definitely have been reading it, because I'm like I need to hear the positive birth stories, and you know, the amazing things that our bodies can do to birth the child.

I started watching 'Call the Midwife' when I was pregnant.  One episode, I'm like okay and [crosstalk].  I made it to episode 5 and then I couldn't do it anymore.  And it was when I was pregnant too.  I was like, I just can't, you're strong, I couldn't do it.

Julie:  So do either of you have any favourite books for trying to conceive?

Maranda:  So for us we went more on the app and article route for trying to conceive.  Apps like Glow where you could sort of track and sort of know when your highest times to conceive were.  I also used Parents magazine.  I read a lot of those articles.  And we actually -- I even subscribed for their emails which I still get and are still handy, that kind of follow the ages too which is neat.  But I know we have our Parents magazine on RBdigital, so that's something that you guys can get from the library.  I also took some advice from people in sort of my same boat from the bump, but definitely the apps were the way that we went.

Adrienne:  So I did not read any books for trying to conceive but I did try to make sure I was in a great place physically and emotionally before I had a child.  So I made sure that you know, I'm confident and I felt I was very spiritual, so I was like I feel good and you know, I feel like it's a good time to do that.  So that was -- and then I just -- we just kind of saw what happened.

Reading this question I was like, “Oh, okay, let me see what books we have in our collection.” And there is a book that is called 'The Impatient Woman's Guide to Getting Pregnant by Jean Twenge, and it was very useful.  I wish I did read it because one of the useful things is so simple about like charting your cycles.  And I just kind of was more like, "Oh whatever, we'll see what happens." But I think the importance of knowing your conception date in relation to your due dates.

So when I -- I had to be induced because I was post-dates but I wasn't charting my cycle, so I didn't -- this is really TMI [Laughter].  I didn't know like I knew when my last period was, but maybe I was wrong when I actually ovulated, because when you go post-dates then they want to induce you.  So I think if I would have known like more accurately how far along I was to give that information to the doctor then it might have been a little bit different.

Maranda:  Well, see that's sort of the good things about the apps for us.  They kept telling us that we were further along and that the baby was too big and you know, you're definitely you know 10 days further along.  And I'm like, "No, we couldn't be.  There is no way."  So that really helped with my doctor like not changing our due date, so that way we didn't go too far over or too far too soon.

Adrienne:  I think that's very useful and I think being aware of that, so using an app or just knowing it would be very helpful during pregnancy.

Maranda:  And beyond they are asking you, like those questions all the time when you are at the doctor’s –.

Adrienne:  They ask all the time.

[Crosstalk] [0:10:17]

Adrienne:  I don't remember.

Maranda:  Oh god a Tuesday.  Yeah, yeah.

Adrienne:  So it was less – it wasn't – it was not stressful to like get pregnant for me.  But I think that in retrospect I wish I would have paid more attention to that.  And I didn't pay attention the second time either cause I didn't read this book.

Julie:  Well now that you know about the book maybe you use it for the third one.

Adrienne:  Exactly, yeah. Um. Third one? 

Lauren: I like what you did there Julie  I looked at that one too, yeah, so it's really good about like sorting through like so-and-so says this and so and so say this, this is what we know.  This is what we're fairly certain about, follow this advice, you know, sorts through all –.

Adrienne:  Yeah it was awesome.  Oh it is awesome.

Lauren:  So Maranda, do you have anything specific you'd like to recommend for pregnancy.  Anything that jumps out at you from everything that you were looking at.

Maranda:  Well one of the books that I will say I read cover-to-cover, because the other ones you might have just browsed flipped through a little bit.  But the one I read cover-to-cover was the Mayo Clinic Guide to Healthy Pregnancy.  This was written by a bunch of the doctors at the Mayo Clinic, all of who had kids of their own.  So that was great.  And one of the things I really liked about it was like I said it gave you a month-by-month, what happens in month one, what to expect, how your baby is growing.  They give you little diagrams and then it also had – it was really great.  The layout was just awesome, because if you had any questions about, “Oh I'm having back pain,” just flip to that chapter.

So I didn't have to be overwhelmed by reading the whole book right away.  I actually read it like I would read month two during month one.  You know, so see what was coming.  So I didn't – I could take it little pieces at a time and I didn't have to be like, “Oh my god in eight months I'm going to feel this.”

Lauren:  And here's all the horrible awful things that might be happening to you.

Maranda:  Yeah I could just live in the moment.

Lauren:  How about you Adrienne, do you have anything specific you'd like to recommend?

Adrienne:  Sure, there's a couple of books.  One is called Bumpology: The Myth-Busting Pregnancy Book for Curious Parents-To-to-Be by Linda Geddes.  It was a favorite of mine, its statistics and fact based.  It's fun and it answers pregnancy myths we've all heard.  And I as a librarian, I really enjoyed it because it was a lot of random information and I like random information.  So some of the questions that it answers is, “Can the shape of my bump or anything else predict the gender of my child?” “Why don't pregnant women topple over?”  What's more painful.

[Crosstalk].

Adrienne:  It talks about your center of gravity and nature is amazing.  “What's more painful childbirth or having your leg chopped off?’ “Does having a membrane sweep work as an epidural make a c-section more likely?” “Can prevent sagging breasts, if you wean your child solely from breastfeeding.”  So these are questions that you may have or maybe you don't –

Lauren:  But everyone is telling you –

Adrienne:  Yeah everyone's telling you like the gender prediction of the shape of your–.  I hear it all the time.

Maranda:  The needle of the belly or you know– oh my gosh.

Adrienne:  Right.  And I'm like my you know my sonographer is wrong.  And so yeah you're right.  I can have a boy like I hear that talking all the time.  Because, you know, you're carrying like you're having a boy.  So I hear that all day long, we’re like–.  And I heard it the last time and I had a girl child.

Maranda:  Everyone tells you, “Oh you're high,” and then the next person that walks by, “Oh you're carrying so low,” and you’re like no, that’s different views.

Adrienne:  Yeah different views.  So I think knowing that it really won't – it doesn't matter it’s good.  And then another book that really changed my idea of having a child is Ina May’s “Guide to Childbirth” by Ina May Gaskin.  So I skimmed it during the first pregnancy.  I did not read it cover-to-cover because I took classes, I had a doula and I like – I was like I don't – you know I'll figure it out.  And I just educated myself in different ways.  But this book I just kept hearing people say ‘It's amazing, it's amazing if you're about holistic birth then you know doing in a different way.’ And I read it and it changed my life about my body.  And to read all these positive birth stories from these midwives that have been doing it since the 60s.  They have a farm in Tennessee called The Farm.  And people would come from all over to deliver their babies there and they live on.  It's like a commune sort of, it was started by hippies.  But women can go there and it's like they get free care and they have a farm literally where you raise food and then you have your child there.

Some people live there and work there, but I'm very – it’s very hippie, it’s very crunchy.  I'm not super hippy or crunchy but I loved it.  And there's a movie called the, ‘The Business of Being Born’ that was on Netflix, I don't know if it's still streaming, but it's – they –.  So it's production, Ricki Lake produced it – the old television host.  But so she has The Farm, Ina May Gaskin the author she's in that documentary.  So that's how I was first exposed to this author, because she's a midwife.  So they talk about you know the medicalization of pregnancy.  And you know it's more about what our bodies can do.

And I had a really difficult first childbirth, because I didn't know what to expect and you don't know what to expect.  And I had midwives the first time, and I had a new baby and it just didn't go how I wanted it to go, because I didn't understand really what was going on.  I didn't really you know what our bodies could do and what, you know, intuition and the mind body connection and how important it is.  And I have examples of, you know, if some of the woman's stressed out how their body reacts with their cervix like opening – it's just so crazy.

But I really found it very empowering and one of the most important messages that she gives is like your body is not a women.  So when you have a baby sometimes we're always like troubleshooting the pregnancy like what went wrong or how to avoid what's wrong, but not trusting that our bodies can do this.  And sometimes they can't, and sometimes you do need medical intervention and it's totally okay to do that.

But that book kind of made me think differently about how I approach childbirth and labor.  I would recommend it to anyone, sounds like –.  Even if you are into medical birth I would still read it just so you could get some inspiration.

Julie:  I'm inspired.

David Payne:  And now a brief message about MCPL’s Services and Resources.

Lisa: How exciting.  You're going to be a new mom and we're here for you.  MCPL not only has many books and DVDs on this most important topic, but our health databases can help you find the specific information you are seeking.  You can find a link to our health resources in this episode’s show notes.

David Payne:  Now back to our program.

Julie:  So there are a lot of books suggested for moms, you know, and a lot of advice from moms, can both of you suggest or recommend books that are great for expectant dads.

Maranda:  Well the book I got for my husband was called “The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-To-Be” by Brott, my husband very slowly got into this.  I think maybe around like the seventh trimester he was like, “Okay I'm going to read these – I am going to start reading.”

But he did become more and more interested as he went along.  It has a month-to-month guide the trend here for dads sort of – like just like the Mayo Clinic has for them moms.  But it also has a lot of topics that men worry about that maybe women don't have at the forefront of their mind like the finances.  A lot of men that's like, “We're having a baby, oh my God I need to start saving so much money.” It talks about that, it talks about balancing work and family.  You know what – what to expect that your spouse is going through.  But those other things that like come sort of first to their minds.  It was a great book for them – for him to look at.

Adrienne:  I brought that book to, as I am preparing for this question because my husband didn't read any book.  He refused to, but I was like “Oh let me just see.”

Lauren:  So he relied on you.

Adrienne:  He relied on me, yeah.  So I – the expectant father was awesome.  I saw that and like even the titles, “What's going on with your partner physically and emotionally, what's going on with the baby, what's going with you as father.”  Like I just thought that was awesome.

Maranda:  It was one they could definitely flip through.  They didn't have to read it cover-to-cover if they didn't want to.  But yeah it was a good one.

Julie:  So it was made just for dads.

Maranda:  Yes.

Adrienne:  There's another book called “The Birth Partner:  The Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and Other Labor Companions.” So it's not just for dads it's for any, you know, anyone who's of company or men that's having a baby.  I did not read it, but thought that it looked interesting.  So I also found one that I don't recommend, but it’s “What to Expect When Your Wife Is Expanding.” Like time is hell.  So I came across that.

Maranda:  Just for the title –

Lauren:  Expanding what.

Adrienne:  And one of the sections is, “What is Your Wife Complaining About This Month.”  So maybe it works, maybe it works for some men.  I don't know, but –

Maranda: Read that one under the covers after –.

Adrienne:  Yeah– don’t let your wife – exactly don’t let your wife see you reading it.

Lauren:  Maybe there's the random man that's not going to read the other one. 

Adrienne: This one honey.

Julie:  Yeah there's something for everyone.

Lauren:  Right.  So in addition to ‘What to Expect When Your Wife is Expanding’ is there any other books or advice that you found particularly not helpful.

Adrienne:  [0:20:04] So I think in general any book that tries to scare women into thinking about everything that could go wrong with their pregnancy or their body.  And that one that makes pregnancies seem like an illness.  Some of them are very like, like, like based on problems, but people would find that useful.  I'm not saying that it's not helpful and if you're in that situation it helps.  But personally I didn't.

Maranda:  [0:20:30] For me I miss a little bit of the opposite of Adrienne.  I'm not sent into really the holistic approach or anything I wanted it to be all about me.  So any of those stories about -- oh, well, when I was pregnant dah, dah, dah, dah, like okay cool that's fine but I'm pregnant.

And I want my own experience.  So that was sort of, I didn't mind hearing a little bit of advice here and there but I kind -- I wanted to know what to expect and more of a grander scheme of things.  I didn't want to hear that in the second -- in the first trimester you're going to be super, super sick all the time.  But what if I'm not?  Like I don't want to be told I was going you know.

So I kind of wanted to sort of see all the sights, I didn't want to just hear one person's story.  So anything that was more like seemed more biographical I shied away from.

Julie:  So we do know after delivery people bring their kids to story times at the library, which brings me to this question.  Do either of you have any favorite books you would recommend to read to newborns?

Maranda:  Well, I'm going to tell you my husband's favorite.  My husband loved reading to Lyla right off the bat even just like a week or two.  I mean she can't even see that, right.  He loved reading Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. 

Lauren:  [0:21:52] Oh, yeah I remember that.

Maranda:  [0:21:39] He loved doing that one.  And then once Lyla started you know tracking you a little bit anything with color or numbers, she loves counting anytime you can even if the book doesn't have counting in it.  Not about counting at all.  You count those leaves on the page like that seemed more interesting than anything else.  But yeah, to get those -- get those guys to read Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed you can't go wrong.

Adrienne:  I liked that one.  That was a good one.  So I -- we read Goodnight Moon pretty early to her and loved it and it was the last book we read at night.  And we'd say goodnight to everything in the room and the book.  And then we'd say goodnight to the room and her actual room and then we put her down and it worked every time.  So I have really good memories of that.  Pat The Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt, we don't own it because it's a touch-and-feel book so I imagine it may be --

Lauren:  It gets destroyed. 

Adrienne:  Yeah.  We maybe owned it before, but it gets destroyed but she really liked that book too and she was a little teeny baby.  So those were the books that I enjoy reading to her.

Lauren:  So do you have an idea of when you're going to bring your baby to get her very first library card. 

Adrienne:  Sure.  So I brought my daughter when she was I think like two months or a month to get her first card.  This one I'll do the same maybe even sooner.  And you know you can bring your child from zero, you take them out of the house.  The first place you can bring them is the library to get their own library card.  Go to story time.  It's never too early.  We have the wonderful program 1000 books before kindergarten, so you can start right then getting your kid on her on his or her way to a thousand books for kindergarten.

Maranda:  And coming to story time.

Adrienne:  And coming to story time.

Maranda:  So you get how many seashells just going to story time.

Lauren:  [0:23:44] You do.  You get so many....

Adrienne:  Rack at the seashells.

Lauren:  Right.

Adrienne:  We started bringing our child when she was six weeks to story time.  So it was just.  And she was just a little thing and didn't really pay attention but it was so nice to bring her there and she kind of looked at other babies and I would going to do the same with this baby.  So yeah we are going to get her a card.

Maranda:  We're sharing my card right now.

Adrienne:  Which is fine.

Maranda:  I just don't want too many to look hang on to at the moment.  So when she -- yeah.  For right now we're going to share mommy's.

Lauren:  [0:24:17] Kind of where we're at in our house too. 

Julie: So are there any other programs or resources that you would like to mention that are actually specifically geared toward expectant moms as well as new moms.

Adrienne:  [0:24:32] Sure.  So we talked about story times three little ones and 1000 books before kindergarten, which is our system wide program to encourage early literacy from zero to five year olds.  Also I would say there's yoga classes and meditation classes, which are good if your yoga is good.  If you're expecting be careful don't do any of the crazy poses.  Prenatal DVDs which I find I really helpful.  So exercise or prenatal yoga there's like a prenatal like weightlifting like one that I use.  It's awesome. 

Maranda:  Download your play list off for Eagle for the delivery room.

Adrienne:  And when they're -- like all the newborn nursery rhymes too, you have playlists for that.  Those are very helpful..

Maranda:  We offer for free.  And we have our discovery rooms several of the branches have playrooms for the kids that have early literacy toys.  So if you're someone like Adrienne and you have a 3 year old and you can have a newborn it's a contained space for them to play and you know maybe run around a little bed and get out some of the energy and you can't lose them.

Adrienne:  And also our health databases.  So if you have questions about pregnancy you can use.  I don't remember the titles exactly right now of those databases but we'll put them in the show notes for you to look at.

Julie:  And what's so great about all of this is that we offer all these resources you know and there is something for everyone.  And the bottom line is it's free.  So on Library Matters we like to ask all of our guests what are you reading right now that you want to tell us about Adrienne?.

Adrienne:  [0:25:58]  Sure.  So reading is something I enjoy and that I don't get to do very often.  Having a 3 year old.  So aside from lots of picture books my daughter loves Madeline and books with horses and mermaids, and she likes anything with the frozen characters.  So aside from that what I'm what am I reading, so I just finished the looming tower by Lawrence Wright.  It's so good.  There's a TV show, there's a TV show on.  Actually it's on Hulu.  And this is a book that the show is based on, it's nonfiction.  It's about the rise of al-Qaeda.  I find it very interesting it talks about the book half of the book talks about the history of the Muslim Brotherhood and history of the Middle East and how you know Saudi Arabia and Egypt and it just it's so interesting to me because I don't know a lot about that region of the world.  So I finished that and it was so good that I'm obsessed.  Also I just finished a fiction book called The Woman in the Window by A.J.  Finn.  It is supposedly the Gone Girl of 2018.  I finished it.  So that's good.

That means it was engaging. I couldn't put it down and I kept reading it.  And then so I finished those two but I'm currently reading black flags by Joby Warrick and that's about ISIS.  I'm also -- there's a parenting book called There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather.  A Scandinavian Mom Secrets her raising healthy resilient and confident kids from -- it's a Swedish name.  So this is the title, a Scandanavian Mom's Secret for Raising Healthy, Resilient and Confident Kids (from Friluftsliv to Hygge) and those are Swedish words [Crosstalk] by Linda Åkeson McGurk.  And it's about embracing nature and making your kids go out and explore and

Lauren: How about you Maranda, anything you're dying to tell us about?

Maranda:  Well it's a go with the baby theme first before my pleasure reading.  We're just starting solids for Lyla so I'm we're clueless.  We have no idea what to do.  So I just checked out the other day Super Baby Food by Yaron.  So I'm going to look through that and hopefully get know what to give her next.

We started with avocado thought that was pretty safe and she loves it.  But in terms of pleasure reading I sort of like my escapism in my books.  Give me a good fantasy any day.  So I'm actually reading the book two of The Ancestor.  It's called Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence.  It's an adult fantasy novel that takes place in this world covered by ice.  There is like a 50 mile corridor along the Earth's equator where everyone lives.

And the story follows this pretty violent girl who is training to become a nun.

But these are like Kick-butt Nuns like --

Lauren:  [0:29:11] I love stories about Kick-butt Nuns.

Maranda:  Think like Harry Potter school meets Mortal Kombat.  So it's pretty entertaining and that's a book too so.  It's a new release and I'm really enjoying it.

Julie:  [0:29:28] All sounds wonderful.  So once again I would like to thank both Maranda and Adrianne for joining us today.  We really appreciate all the information you've given us.  Let's keep the conversation going by following us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.  Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast on the new Apple podcast app Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.  Also please review and read us on Apple podcast, we'll love to know what you think.  Thank you for listening to our conversation today and see you next time.

[End of transcript]

May 8, 2018

Summary: Senior Librarian Adrienne Miles Holderbaum and Children's Librarian Maranda Schoppert discuss their experiences as expectant and new mothers, as well as the pregnancy and new baby resources MCPL offers. 

Recording Date: April 11, 2018

Hosts: Julie Dina and Lauren Martino

Guests: Adrienne Miles Holderbaum, co-producer of Library Matters and Senior Librarian at Germantown Library. Adrienne has a 3-year-old daughter and is pregnant with her second daughter. Maranda Schoppert is a Children's Librarian at Germantown Library and has a 5-month-old daughter. 

Featured MCPL Resource: MCPL's online health resources include:

  • Health & Wellness Resource Center, which offers magazine and journal articles on health, medicine, and wellness. 
  • Washington Consumers' Checkbook (In Library Access Only), which rates local doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, and more. 
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library: Includes searchable, browsable health e-books. 

What Our Guests Are Reading

Adrienne Miles Holderbaum:

Maranda Schoppert:

Books and Movies Mentioned During this Episode

The Birth Partner: a Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions by Penny Simkin

Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman

Bumpology: the Myth-Busting Pregnancy Book for Curious Parents-to-Be by Linda Geddes

The Business of Being Born (DVD)

Call the Midwife (BBC TV series)

The Expectant Father: the Ultimate Guide for Dads to Be by Armin A. Brott and Jennifer Ash

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

The Happiest Baby on the Block: the New Way to Calm Crying Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer by Harvey Karp 

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May

Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt

Impatient Women's Guide to Getting Pregnant by Jean M Twenge

Mayo Clinic Guide to a Health Pregnancy ed. by Roger Harms and Myra Wick

What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Muroff and Sharon Mazel

What to Expect When Your Wife is Expanding (mentioned, but not recommended) by Thomas Hill

Other Items of Interest:

1000 Books Before Kindergarten: Prepare your child for kindergarten with this fun, effective program that will engage your child with books, songs, fingerplays, and other learning activities.  

Discovery Rooms: Available at Gaithersburg, Germantown, Praisner, and Quince Orchard, Discovery Rooms are designed for children from newborns to 8 years old and their caregivers to encourage learning through play. 

The Farm Midwifery Center: A center in Tennessee focused on providing women supportive, empowering, safe, and fulfilling prenatal, birth, and postnatal experiences. 

Freegal: Legally download 5 songs each week for free. 

Glow: A pregnancy app offering information on fetal development, maternal health logging, appointment scheduling, and more. 

Parents: Website of Parents magazines which offers information on many aspects of parenting, including pregnancy and infant care. 

Storytimes at MCPL: Storytimes for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and families are available at MCPL branches throughout the County.

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