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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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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 Alessandro Russo, Senior Librarian at MCPL's Rockville Memorial branch, and David Watts, Circulation Supervisor at the Silver Spring branch

Oct 13, 2017

Recording Date: September 29, 2017

Episode Summary: We talk with MCPL's Workforce and Business Development Program Specialist Adrienne Van Lare about how MCPL can help you find a job or advance your career. MCPL's Workforce Development program just won an Honorable Mention Award from the Urban Libraries Council Innovations Initiative. 

Guest: Adrienne Van Lare

Books Mentioned During this Episode:

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: A young woman immigrates from Nigeria to America, but finds her new life is not what she expected.   

Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain: How society's bias toward extroversion undervalues and masks the value of those who prefer listening to speaking and reading to partying. 

MCPL Resources Mentioned During this Episode

Career Events at MCPL: An up to date list of upcoming career event at MCPL branches.

Career Online High School: Online program for earning an accredited high school diploma and career certificate. 

Gale Courses: Free online courses and career training. Covers a variety of topics including accounting, computers applications, healthcare, legal, personal development, teaching, and writing. 

MCPL's Jobs / Careers Guide: MCPL's jobs & careers website includes links to job search sites, training databases, online college and professional test prep material, career events at MCPL branches, resume and cover letter writing aids, and more. 

Other Resources Mentioned During this Episode:

Maryland Workforce Exchange: The state of Maryland's website for residents looking for jobs, employers looking for workers, and students and researchers looking for state labor market information.

Upwardly Global: A nonprofit organization that helps immigrants rebuild their careers and find jobs in their professional fields. 

USA Jobs: The US Federal Government's official job search site.  

Worksource Montgomery: A Montgomery County nonprofit whose mission is to meet the needs of strategic industries to attract workers and the needs of the underemployed and unemployed to find career paths with sustainable wages. 

Sep 29, 2017

Spoilers Are Coming! This episode has more Game of Throne book and television series spoilers than you can shake a sword at. 

Recording Date: September 20, 2017

Episode Summary: Winter is coming. At least that's what the Game of Thrones fans among our staff say. We invited a few such fans onto the podcast to share their enthusiasm for the immensely popular Game of Thrones books and television series.  

Note: Library Matters has new hosts! You'll hear 2 of our new hosts, Davis Library Branch Manager David Payne and Silver Spring Librarian Lauren Martino during the main part of the episode. Our third host, Outreach Associate Julie Dina, introduces this episode and returns at the end to talk with our Acting Director, Anita Vassallo, who couldn't make the main recording session, but is a big Game of Thrones fan and didn't want to miss out on the fun.  

Guests:
Susan Moritz, Digital Strategies Program Manager
Angelica Rengifo, Outreach Associate
Anita Vassallo, Acting Director, MCPL

Notable Quotes:

"Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown." Henry IV, Part II, William Shakespeare

"Uneasy lies the bum that sits on the (Iron) Throne." Susan Moritz

"When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die." Game of Thrones, Season 1, Episode 7, Cersei Lannister 

Game of Thrones Books and Media Mentioned During This Episode:

Game of Thrones (television series): A dramatic, often violent cable television saga of the conflicts, alliances, and intrigue among noble families vying for control of or independence from the high kingship that rules over the 7 kingdoms. 

George R.R. Martin: Have you finished the Song of Ice and Fire book series, but still want more? Try some of the other novels and short story collections George R.R. Martin has written or edited. 

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin: The epic fantasy book series upon which the Game of Thrones television series is based. The series currently consists of the following books - 

Martin's fan eagerly, impatiently, await the next planned books in the series, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.    

Other Books and Media Mentioned During this Episode:

The Borgias (television series): A chronicle of the 16th century Borgia family's rise to power in the Roman Catholic Church. 

Henry IV by William Shakespeare: A history play about King Henry IV of England and his struggles against internal unrest and Scottish invaders. 

Henry V by William Shakespeare: A history play about King Henry V of England and his role in the Battle of Agincourt in France. 

Philippa Gregory: The author of British historical fiction novels, many of which are set in the 16th century Tudor period.  

Richard III by William Shakespeare: This history play depicts Richard III's rise to power and his short lived reign as king of England.   

Supernatural (television series): A pair of brothers make their way through the world as monster hunters. 

The Tudors (television series): The early years of King Henry VII's 16th century reign over England. 

Read the transcript.

Sep 12, 2017

Recording Date: August 8, 2017 

Episode Summary: Guest Elizabeth Lang discusses MCPL resources and services for people with disabilities, as well as MCPL's efforts to incorporate accessibility into all aspects of its operations.

Guest: Elizabeth Lang, Assistant Facilities and Accessibility Program Manager 

MCPL Resources and Services Mentioned During this Episode:

MCPL's Accessibility Centers are located in our Rockville Memorial and Silver Spring branches

Accessibility Advisory Committee

Assistive Technology Workstations

MCPL Services for People with Disabilities

Rockville Memorial Library Talking Book Club 

Other Resources and Services Mentioned During this Episode:

DC Center for Accessibility

Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

Montgomery County ADA Compliance Team


National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped


Wolfner Talking Books & Braille Library
in Jefferson City, Missouri

Books Mentioned During this Episode:

Kinsey Milhone mystery series (A Is for Alibi, etc.) by Sue Grafton

Other Items of Interest:

Pew Research fact sheet on Americans with disabilities
Universal design

Full transcript of this episode.

Aug 29, 2017

Recording Date: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

Episode Summary: Two MCPL dads discuss books for both new and experienced fathers. 

Guests: Fred Akuffo, Library Assistant Supervisor at Long Branch, and Tom Palmer, Library Associate at Silver Spring.

Notable Quote:  “I’m not sure I have a [parenting] style, honestly. I’m on the lookout for one.”

Books, Movies, Television Shows, and Audio Mentioned During this Episode:

Adventures in Odyssey online Christian audio drama

The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin

The Bible

Aesop’s Fables by Aesop

Dad’s Playbook by Tom Limbert

Be Prepared by Gary Greenberg

Betters Dads, Stronger Sons by Rick Johnson

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker

Boy Scout Handbook from Boy Scouts of America

Black on White by Tana Hoban

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Reading Rainbow Television show

The Truth About Money by Ric Edelman

Books and other resources not owned by MCPL may be available through our Marina & interlibrary loan services

Other Items of Interest Mentioned During this Episode: 

Choose your own story type books

Aug 15, 2017

Recording Date: July 11, 2017

Episode Summary: Today's teen books are more than broken hearts and vampires. Two of our librarians discuss what teen books have to offer readers of all ages. 

Guests: Tina Rawhouser, Manager of our Potomac branch, and Annie Seiler, librarian at Marilyn Praisner

MCPL Resources and Services Mentioned During this Episode:

Teen Reading Lists: MCPL offers suggested readings lists by topic/genre for teens. Includes action/adventure, humor, mystery, and more. MCPL also offers reading lists by age, for middle schoolers and high schoolers

Teensite: This portion of our website just for teens offers reading suggestions, library events for teens, college admissions info, and more. 

What Do I Check Out Next?: Use our online form to tell us what you like to read. We'll e-mail you a list of 3-5 books that our readers' advisory experts have chosen for you. 

Books and Authors Mentioned During this Episode:

Leigh Bardugo: One of Annie's favorite authors. Bardugo's teen fantasy books include the Grisha triology, about a teenage orphan who harnesses an unexpected power. The first book in the series is Shadow and Bone

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys: It's 1941, and 15 year old Lithuanian girl Lina and her family are sent to Siberia, where she secretly documents their struggle to survive.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: Liesel, a young German girl, boosts the spirits of her neighbors and the Jewish man her family is hiding from the Nazis with her storytelling and recitation of books she's stolen. This book was made into a film.

Orson Scott Card: Bestselling author of Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and many other science fiction and fantasy books. 

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman: One of Tina Rawhouser's favorite books, Challenger Deep is the story of Caden Bosch, whose descent into schizophrenia splits his world into one of a high school student and the other of a sea captain on his way to Challenger Deep, the ocean's deepest trench.   

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: Starr Carter lives in two worlds, her poor neighborhood and the fancy prep school she attends. Those worlds collide when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her best friend at the hands of a police officer.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien: The classic fantasy tale of a small, reluctant traveler who is pressured to join a group of dwarfs on a quest to retrieve their treasure from a dragon. 

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: Recounts the joys and sorrows of the 4 March sisters as they grow up in the latter half of the 19th century. 

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: The epic trilogy recounting the quest of Frodo Baggins and his companions to destroy the One Ring before its creator retrieves it and conquers Middle Earth. The books in this series are The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King

Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold: 14 year old Susie Salmon watches from heaven as her family adjusts to the tragedy of her disappearance and death. 

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: One of Tina Rawhouser's favorites, the Lunar Chronicles is a sci fi series reinterpreting Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and other fairy tales. The story is set in a future of moon colonies, androids, and cyborgs. 

Sarah J. Maas: Author of the Throne of Glass series, a retelling of Cinderella, and A Court of Thorns and Roses series, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Librarian Annie Seiler likes these books for their strong female characters.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson: A favorite of Librarian Annie Seiler, this graphic novel recounts the adventures of Nimona, the sidekick to supervillain Lord Blackheart, who's attempting to unmask the evil deeds of the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline: Living in a bleak near future, Wade Watts dreams of finding the 3 keys supposedly hidden in the virtual reality world OASIS. Rumor has it that whoever finds all 3 will inherit a fortune. 

Sabaa Tahir: Teen fiction writer best known for the novel An Ember in the Ashes.  

Salt to the Sea: A historical fiction novel about a group refugees in East Prussia seeking to flee the final ravages of World War II. 

The Selection by Kiera Cass: First book in a series about a competition to win the prince's hand and become a princess. 

Sweet Valley High: Book series about the lives of identical twins, Jessica and Elizabeth, and their experiences at Sweet Valley High School. 

This Is Our Story: Five boys go hunting, only four return. The boys say it was an accident, but suspicions mount. 

Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett. A young witch joins a group of 6 inch tall blue men to rescue her baby brother and save Fairyland. 

Aug 1, 2017

Recording Date: June 13, 2017

Episode Summary: Learn more about the hosts of Library Matters, Alessandro Russo and David Watts. Alessandro and David talk about how they established their careers with MCPL and what it's like to work in a public library. 

Guests: Alessandro Russo and David Watts

Guest Hosts: Adrienne Miles Holderbaum and Mark Santoro, co-producers of Library Matters

MCPL Resources and Services Mentioned During this Episode:

3D Printing - Create a variety of objects both fun and functional with MCPL's 3D printers. 

MCPL offers a wide variety of e-books, audiobooks, and e-magazines for children, teens, and adults. 

Books and Podcasts Mentioned During this Episode:

Baudolino by Umberto Eco. A lighthearted tale of an upwardly mobile peasant, Baudolino, who, in the early 1200s, rises through medieval society and sets out to meet the legendary Prester John

Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Dumas' classic tale of a falsely imprisoned man who seeks vengeance against those who betrayed him.

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell reveals the unexpected relationships and balance between the weak and the strong. 

The Nerdist. Host Chris Hardwick and his two nerdy friends Jonah Ray and Matt Mira talk about stuff, "usually with someone more famous" than they are. 

Paranormal. Jim Harold interviews experts on the supernatural. 

Two Pods a Day. A campaign to introduce listeners to 2 independent podcasts each day, from May 15 - June 13, 2017.

Other Items of Interest

Guidelines Governing the Use of Public Libraries - These library use guidelines, based on the principles of mutual respect and courtesy, are meant to foster a welcoming environment in all MCPL branches. 

Applying for a job with MCPL - Once at the jobs search page, type the word library into the Keywords field to bring up jobs available in MCPL. For specific instructions on becoming a library page, please visit the Library Page Positions site

Jul 18, 2017

Recording Date: July 11, 2017

Episode Summary: Alessandro Russo and guest host Lennea Bower* interview retiring MCPL Director Parker Hamilton about her career in librarianship, her 37 years with Montgomery County government, and her work as director of MCPL.

*Lennea Bower is the manager of Digital Strategies, the MCPL division responsible for the Library Matters podcast.  

Guest: MCPL Director Parker Hamilton. Director Hamilton has led MCPL since 2005. She is retiring July 31, 2017

Notable Quote: Director Hamilton on why she because a librarian “because it was an opportunity to connect with learning and knowledge.”

MCPL Resources and Services Mentioned During This Episode

Apps: MCPL offers a variety of apps that connect customers to library resource, including Bookmyne, a mobile version of our catalog, Freegal, a free music app, several e-book apps, and more.

Career Online High School (COHS): COHS is an accredited, online high school diploma and career certificate program for adults 19 and older. 

Digital Media Labs: Our Long Branch and Silver Spring libraries offer computer labs where teens can learn and practice digital photography, video production, graphic design, computer programming, and more. 

Fake News: This library program offers strategies for evaluating news stories and other information sources. 

Go! Kits: Little Explorer and Young Voyager Go! Kits are backpacks that contain a Playaway Launchpad or Android tablet as well as STEM related books, tools, and apps. Their purpose is to get children excited about science and math. 

MCPL's social media channels: Blogger, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube

Books, and Podcasts Shows Mentioned During This Episode

Car TalkHumorous NPR talk show that ran from 1977 - 2012 featuring two brothers from Boston who helped, or tried to help, members of the audience who called in with their car troubles. 

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Collection of meditations on the changes women experience in relationships, marriage, and life as they move through life's stages.

Kurt Vonneguys: Podcast of two guys discussing Kurt Vonnegut's books.

National Public Radio (NPR) Podcasts: NPR offers a large variety of podcasts, some of which serve as online archives of NPR radio shows, including Fresh Air, Car Talk, and StoryCorps. 

Ways of Grace: Stories of Activism, Adversity, and How Sports Can Bring Us Together by James Blake: A collection of stories about acts of kindness in the world of sports that bridged cultural and racial divides. The author was interviewed on NPR about this book.  

Other Items of Interest

Bobby Seale: Political activist and co-founder of the Black Panther Party. He spoke at the Douglas Center Library in Illinois while Parker Hamilton worked there. 

FY17 MCPL Budget

Jun 26, 2017

Recording Date: June 13, 2017

Episode Summary: MCPL children's librarians Jane Dorfman and Lauren Martino continue their discussion on reading aloud to children. In this portion, part 2 of 2, Jane and Lauren read sample stories, explain why these stories are good read-alouds, and note some of the techniques they used to bring these stories to life. Our guests also answer questions that they have heard from parents over the years about reading aloud to children.

NOTE; This recording is part 2 of 2 of the Reading Aloud to a Child epsiode. We had such an interesting discussion that our recording for this episode was over 45 minutes. We've split the discussion up into 2 parts to make it easier for our listeners to absorb. 

Guests: Jane Dorfman, MCPL Children's Librarian, and Lauren Martino, MCPL Children's Librarian

Books read during this episode:

Bark George by Jules Feiffer. Read by Jane Dorfman. A mother dog is concerned because her puppy doesn't bark. 

The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone. Read by Lauren Martino. Grover becomes concerned when he learns there's monster waiting at the end of his book. 

MCPL resources and services mentioned during this episode:

Wordless books: These are books, often picture books, that have only pictures and no words. 

World Languages Collection: Numerous MCPL branches offer adult and children's books (and some periodicals) in Amharic, Chinese, Farsi, French, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. 

Authors mentioned during this episode:

Sandra Boynton. Author of many colorful, humorous picture books featuring cheerful, often musical, animals. Her books include such favorites as Are You a Cow?, Tickle Time!, and Barnyard Dance!.

Books mentioned during this episode:

B Is for Betsy by Carolyn Haywood. Betsy is nervous about going to first grade, but learns it's a great place where she has lots of fun. 

Big Dog Little Dog series by Dav Pilkey. Big Dog and Little Dog are best friends who can be a bit mischievous and silly. 

Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban. Frances declares she will only eat bread and jam. To her surprise, her parents agree. 

The Great Brain series by John Fitzgerald. The Great Brain is a boy growing up in the early 1900s with a silver tongue and a knack for making a profit. 

*Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett. A magician's assistant travels to Nebraska in search of her late magician's secret past. 

*Redshirts by John Scalzi. An ensign on the flagship of the interstellar navy learns that life on a starship is a lot more complicated, and deadly, than he realized.

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor. The children of a black family living in Depression era Mississippi do not understand the prejudice and discrimination they face.

*A Wrinkle in Time by Madelein L'Engle. A brother, sister, and their friends search for the sibling's father, who has disappeared after working on a secret project for the government. 

*Mentioned by our guests as their favorite books.

Other items of interest:

International Children's Digital Library.  A digital library of full-text books from around the world.  

Jun 23, 2017

Recording Date: June 13, 2017

Episode Summary: Our guests this episode are Jane Dorfman and Lauren Martino. Both are children's librarians in MCPL branches who have conducted many storytimes for children of different ages. In part 1 of this episode, they discuss the benefits of reading aloud to children, how to choose the best books, and how to keep a child engaged with the book or story.  

NOTE: We had such a lively, interactive discussion that our recording was over 45 minutes. We've split the discussion up into 2 parts to make it easier for our listeners to absorb. This recording is part 1 of 2.

Guests: Jane Dorfman, Children's Librarian, and Lauren Martino, Children's Librarian

MCPL resources and services mentioned during this episode:

Booklists by Grade & Age

MCPL 2017 Reading Challenge: Expand your reading horizons. Over the course of 2017, read one book from each of 12 categories.

NoveList K-8 Plus: This kid-friendly database has recommended reading lists, read alikes, award winners, and other tools for find children's fiction and non-fiction books.    

Storytimes at MCPL: MCPL offers storytime programs for children of different ages, as well as special themed and bilingual storytimes.

Summer Read and Learn: This program offers exciting activities for children, teens, and adults to encourage reading and learning all summer long.

What Do I Check Out Next?: Tell us what you like to read and we'll e-mail you a personalized list of 3 to 5 books that our readers' advisory experts have chosen for just you. 

TumbleBooks (described in the episode as books that read to a child): An online collection of animated, talking picture books. Includes story books, chapter books, nonfiction, videos, and more. Also includes e-books in French and Spanish.

Authors mentioned during this episode: 

Susan Middleton Elya. This picture book author is known for her rhyming stories written in a mix of English and Spanish. 

Komako Sakai. Author mentioned by Lauren Martino as a writer of more quiet books for children. 

Jan Thomas. Picture books with big, clean, lines.

Mo Willems. Author of beloved picture book series including Elephant & Piggie, Knuffle Bunny, and The Pigeon. 

Karma Wilson. Picture book author known Bear Snores On, Hilda Must Be Dancing, and many other fine children's books. 

Books, and other media mentioned during this episode:

Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin, Jr. Readers see a variety of animals, each one a different color. 

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina. Mischievous monkeys steal all of a peddler's caps. 

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. What happens when the whole alphabet tries to climb a coconut tree? 

Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell. Tales of Clifford, the giant red dog, and his owner, Emily Elizabeth. 

Little Red Hen. No animals want to help the hen bake, but they all want some of the fruits of her labor. 

The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Classic tale about goats that trick a troll living under a bridge.

The Three Little Pigs. The classic tale of 3 little pigs and the wolf who tries to make each pig his next meal. 

Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha. Mr. Gillie, the trash man, rides through town, picking up the trash. Our guest Lauren Martino noted this book as one of her go to favorites for storytime reading. 

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. A naughty boy sent to bed without supper sails off to an island inhabited by fantastic beasts and becomes their king. 

 

May 11, 2017

Recording Date: May 3, 2017

Guests: Christine Freeman, Early Literacy and Children's Services Manager, and Susan Moritz, Program Manager, Virtual Services.  

Episode Summary: Our guests discuss MCPL's upcoming Summer Read and Learn program. MCPL's Summer Read and Learn program promotes reading and learning all summer long through a variety of reading and activity based learning tracks. 

MCPL resources and services mentioned during this episode:

Summer Read and Learn: This program runs from June 10 through September 10, 2017. There will be activities for children, teens, and adults. 

Four Doorways to Reading: Legendary librarian Nancy Pearl identified 4 reasons people fall in love with books. They are plot, people, place, and prose. Sign up through Beanstack for reading recommendations based on your preferences among these 4 doorways to literature.

Freegal: Download up to 5 song each week for free. Choose from over 3,000,000 recordings. 

Library Link: A partnership between MCPL and Montgomery County Public Schools to ensure every child enrolled in a county public school receives a library card. 

MCPL 2017 Reading Challenge: Over the course of 2017, read one book from each of twelve different categories. The categories include items such as a book set in your home state or country, a book with a viewpoint different from your own, and a book with a cover that is green.  

MCPL's Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM) programs

MCPL Strategic Plan: To provide access to services, resources, and programs so that everyone can participate in making a more Literate Montgomery, Connected Montgomery, Strong and Vibrant Montgomery, and Delighted Montgomery. 

MCPL Storytimes

Suggested Titles by Grade and Interest Level

What Do I Check Out Next?: Tell us what you like to read and we'll e-mail you a personalized list of 3 to 5 books that our readers' advisory experts have chosen for you. 

Books and other media mentioned during this episode

Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir: Laia goes undercover at the empire's military academy in order to save her brother from execution. 

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow: Marcus uses his hacking skills to resist an out of control Department of Homeland Security.

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen: Princess Kelsea returns home to ascend the throne amidst political intrigue and personal peril. 

The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: A commoner with rare power, Mare risks everything to help a growing rebellion. 

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See: Two sisters leave Shanghai to begin new lives in 1930s Los Angeles. 

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware: A journalist suspects the murder of a passenger no else believes was ever on board their cruise ship.

Rick Riordan: Bestselling author of children's book series such as The Heroes of Olympus, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and The Kane Chronicles

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