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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

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. 

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

May 4, 2017

Recording Date: April 25, 2017

Guest: Rita Gale, Public Services Administrator for Space Management, ADA, and Collections

Summary: Guest Rita Gale discusses MCPL's innovative refresh project initiative, which allows MCPL branches to be updated to meet customers' changing needs while minimizing the time a branch is closed. 

MCPL resources and services mentioned during this episode:

Branch Refresh Project: A “refresh” project is a new Capital Improvement Program process approved by Montgomery County Council and the County Executive to allow library buildings to get significant and timely updates without having to close for the lengthy time it takes for a full renovation. The Library Refurbishment CIP funds programmatic, cosmetic, and service impact updates to two to three libraries every year. 

Charging Stations: Free, lockable charging stations for charging phones, tablets, or laptops. Available at every branch except Noyes.  

Collaboration Rooms: Sometimes called group study or tutor rooms, these rooms fit 2 to 8 people and can be reserved, for free, from the MCPL website. 

Loanable Laptops: Laptops can be borrowed for in branch use at select locations. Laptops checkouts are for three hours or until closing time.

Design Excellence Award for Silver Spring Library: The Montgomery County Planning Department awarded their 2nd Annual Design Excellence Award to Silver Spring Library for the building's dynamic design and commitment to public transportation (the library was built to accommodate a planned light rail station.)

Wheaton Library Renovation: In contrast to a refresh, which is limited to the interior of a library, the Wheaton branch has been torn down and will be replaced by a completely new building. 

Books and other media mentioned during this episode:

Fodor's 2015 Alaska by Teeka Ballas, et al. 

Fodor's the Complete Guide to Alaska Cruises by Teeka Ballas, et al. 

The Wicked series - A series of four adult books reinterpreting the story and characters from the Wizard of Oz. 

  1. Wicked: The Life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West - The life story of Elphaba, who would later be known as the Wicked Witch of the West, as told by those who knew her. 
  2. Son of a Witch - The story of Liir, Elphaba's son, who is trying to find his half sister.
  3. A Lion Among Men -Recounts the life and adventures of the Cowardly Lion.
  4. Out of Oz - The Wicked Witch's granddaughter, Rain, is the main character of this sequel.  

Other items of interest

NACo Award - In 2016, MCPL received an award from the National Association of Counties for quickly adapting to the changing needs of Montgomery County residents in a cost effective manner through the branch refresh initiative. 

Top Innovators Award 2016 - Organizational Change and Strategic Management - Urban Libraries Council: In fall of 2016, MCPL received this prestigious award from the Urban Libraries Council for its branch refresh initiative, which "implements improvements to library construction and enhances information services and technologies based on changing community needs." 

Funding sources for MCPL's Branch Refresh projects include the Library Refurbishment Level of Effort and the 21st Century Library Enhancements Level of Effort

Mar 29, 2017

Recording Date: Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Guests: Theresa Kolacek and Carol Reddan, both Library Associates who assist customers at MCPL branch information desks.

Note: Our guests spoke of their personal nutrition and health journeys. Listeners looking for professional nutrition or health advice should seek the guidance of a nutritionist or other health professional.

Books and other media mentioned during this episode –

Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck. This is the book Theresa Kolacek noted as having inspired her on her healthy eating journey.

Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris by Jennifer L. Scott. This is the book Carol Reddan said prompted her to try to slow down her hectic life and celebrate ordinary moments of the day.

The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet by Nina Teicholz

Sirius: a Novel About the Little Dog Who Almost Changed History by Jonathan Crown. Theresa Kolacek identified this novel as her latest read. This tragicomic novel follows the life of Sirius, a dog, who helps a Jewish family escape Nazi Germany, becomes a Hollywood star, and eventually contributes to the downfall of Hitler.

Tinseltown by William Mann. This was Carol Reddan’s current favorite. It is a true crime book about the 1922 murder of William Desmond Taylor, a famous silent film director.

Daily Connnoisseur – This author Jennifer Scott’s video blog, about the “fine art of living,” that Carol Reddan mentions several times during the episode. 

Notable Quote -

"Dove' la cucina, ce' famiglia" – "Where there’s a kitchen, there’s family.” This is the Italian quote that host Alessandro Russo mentions.

Other items of interest mentioned during this episode –

Ancel Keys - He was an American physiologist known for his hypothesis that saturated fat causes heart disease and should be avoided. His hypothesis has been questioned by some in recent years.

Mar 7, 2017
Recording Date: Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Guests: Julie Dina and Febe Huezo, Outreach Associates
 
Items of interest mentioned during this episode - 
Invite Outreach to Your Event
Who is eligible for a Montgomery County Public Libraries card
How do you get a Montgomery County Public Libraries card
Language Learning resources, including Mango and Rosetta Stone
Online Learning, including Gale Courses
Library Link is a program to provide library cards for Montgomery County Public Schools students
Outreach won a 2014 NACo Acheivement Award for Service Beyond Our Walls: The System-wide Outreach Model
Both of our guests refer to our cookbook collection, which includes cookbooks for many styles and ethnicities.
Julie Dina refers to the large number of apps MCPL offers to access our services and catalog on your mobile device.
 
Notable Quote: Working in Outreach “is the best thing ever.” 
 
Books, movies and television shows mentioned during this episode –
 
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Unbreak My Heart by Toni Braxton
The Brief Thief by Michaël Escoffier
Walter the Farting Dog by William Kotzwinkle and Glenn Murray
Feb 7, 2017

Montgomery County Public Libraries

Recording Date: Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Guests: Susan Moritz, Program Manager for Virtual Services and Lisa Navidi, Librarian at Davis Library

Items of interest mentioned during this episode - 

NovelistPlus - Online tool for discovering new books. Includes adult and children's books.   

Readers Cafe - MCPL website for discovering you next favorite book. 

What Do I Check Out Next? - Personalized book suggestions based your preferences.

Notable Quote: Reader's advisory is "connecting the right reader to the right book at the right time. 

Books, movies and television shows mentioned during this episode -

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride by Cary Elwes

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall. Librarian Susan Mortiz referred to this book as a "cozy mystery." Cozy mysteries tend to downplay sex and violence, and the stories often take place in a small, interconnected community. 

Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard

Downton Abbey (DVD)

Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer 

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman

Rogue One (in theaters)

Rogue One (the novelization) by Alexander Freed

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

This Must Be the Place by Maggie O'Farrell

Where'd You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple

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