Proposals heard for old Silver Spring library

  • Published in Local

The former Silver Spring Library on Colesville Road may one day be a child-care center or a senior residential facility with a child-care center.

About 125 people crowded into the Silver Spring Civic Building Oct. 4 to hear proposals that the County had specified should include intergenerational use.

For the next few months in regards to those proposals, residents can comment on the County’s Office of Planning and Development website. The plans and the comments will then be presented to County Executive Ike Leggett for review.


Award-winning author speaks at Gaithersburg High School

ngozi adichieChimamanda Ngozi Adichie spoke at Gaithersburg High School on Sept. 26, as part of the One Maryland, One Book program. COURTESY PHOTO  GAITHERSBURG — Award-winning and world-renowned author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie spoke to an audience of about 1,000 people at Gaithersburg High School on Sept. 26 as part of the One Maryland One Book program.

Adichie is a recipient of the MacArthur Genius Award and her work has been translated into over 30 languages.  She divides her time between nearby Columbia and Lagos, Nigeria.

The Maryland Humanities Council established the One Maryland One Book program 10 years ago to encourage Marylanders to read and discuss a certain book every year. A committee with the council chooses a book that aligns with the year’s theme. This year’s book is “Purple Hibiscus” by Adichie and the theme is “Home & Belonging.”

This year, there are 350 programs in the state focused on this book, including three events with the author, said Phoebe Stein, executive director of Maryland Humanities.

“Purple Hibiscus” is a coming-of-age novel that follows the account of 15-year-old Kambili as she navigates a fraught relationship with her abusive father during political upheaval in Nigeria. Kambili and her brother spend time together living in two different homes: one with their parents, and another with their aunt who, while having less money than Kambili’s family, has a home full of laughter and life. The novel tackles themes such as colonization, religious hypocrisy and gender and family dynamics.


Keep your eyes on the skies for the latest eclipse festivities

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So you’ve picked up your NASA-approved glasses and gathered your viewing group for Monday’s solar eclipse. Now all you need is somewhere to watch it. Although Maryland viewers will only be able to catch 80 percent of solar coverage as opposed to a full eclipse, many local parks and libraries are taking advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to host viewing parties and events. Whether you’re looking to watch it with the kids or catch a glimpse yourself, the phenomenon can be caught in the area any time after 1 p.m. with coverage reaching totality around 3 p.m.


Aspen Hill Library set to re-open this week

  • Published in Local

ASPEN HILL – After being closed to the public for eight months, the Aspen Hill library will open its doors Saturday at 10 a.m.

The branch closed on Nov. 8 for a “refresh” project designed to modernize its facilities and expand its offerings. The library’s staff was temporarily re-assigned to other branches during the closure. The staff returned to the branch last month.


Aspen Hill Library plans to 'refresh' this Spring

  • Published in Local

xAspen Hill LibraryAspen Hill Library.                                                                PHOTO BY PETER ROULEAU  ASPEN HILL – The Aspen Hill Library closed to the public in November for a “refresh” project designed to update the building’s facilities, but patrons are growing frustrated at the slow progress and lack of a target reopening date six months later.

At the time of the closure, Montgomery County Public Libraries announced that the refresh would take five to six months and that it anticipated reopening the branch in spring.

Some patrons also resent the lack of communication from MCPL.

Chris Swan, president of the Aspen Hill chapter of Friends of the Library, and her husband, Elliot Chabot, chair of the Aspen Hill Library Advisory Committee, have long advocated for a more thorough refit of the library building and facilities.

“Here they’re going to be spending $800,000; on the one in Wheaton, they’re going to be spending $65 million on a completely new library,” Chabot said in October just before the closure. “In the time this library’s been standing, Wheaton’s will have been completely rebuilt twice, and yet we still have essentially what we had in 1967.”


Educators, industry leaders and parents talk science

  • Published in Local

SILVER SPRING – Montgomery County’s educators, industry leaders, and parents gathered Sunday to discuss expanding science engagement in and outside the public education system.

“People who are involved in their companies, we created an opportunity to meet one another, I think that was the prime motivator for most people who would be here today,” said County Council member Hans Riemer (D-At-Large) who was the organizer of the event.

The first ever Montgomery County STEM Summit took place at the Silver Spring Civic Center. Speakers included representatives from Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College, the Universities at Shady Grove, Montgomery County Public Libraries, and numerous locally-based science or tech industry businesses and non-profits.


Residents say Aspen Hill Library "refresh" inadequate

  • Published in Local

Aspen Hill LibraryAspen Hill Library will be closed after Nov. 8 for a "refresh" project and reopen in the spring. COURTESY PHOTO  

ASPEN HILL – The doors of the Aspen Hill Library will close to the public at 8 p.m. Tuesday, November 8 and not re-open until spring.

Montgomery County Public Libraries slated the branch, which has occupied its site on Aspen Hill Road since 1967, for a “refresh” project to update its facilities.

Branch staff will continue to work at the library for about three weeks after its closure, helping to package books and other materials before they are temporarily reassigned to other locations.

MCPL officials expect the library to be reopened to the public in April or May next year.


Former Silver Spring Library has new life as used bookstore


DSC 0218The former Silver Spring Library now serves as a used bookstore for the Friends of the Library Montgomery County. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH  

Ryan Carmody knows with a few clicks, he can find any book he needs, order it and have it delivered to his Silver Spring home within a few days.

Still, "a few times each month," he visits one of the county's two used bookstores that are operated by the Friends of the Library Montgomery County (FOLMC). 

"There is sort of an aspect of surprise for what you are going to find," he said as he browsed through the books at the used bookstore that opened June 20 in the former Silver Spring library on Colesville Road.


Thousands celebrate Mandela and reading

ROCKVILLE – When Carolyn Thompson’s kids first showed an interest in reading, she didn’t think the passion would bring the family to creating a nonprofit organization to encourage literacy.

Now she and her sons Julian and Jack run Velocity Books, which opened in 2014 with the hope of promoting literacy in Montgomery County.

The Thompson family has since grown their operation, sending books to people in Jamaica and South Carolina.

Thompson is preparing to set up shop July 16 for Nelson Mandela Day at Rockville Town Square in front of the library, with more than 10,000 books available for free.

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