What We Fund

FOLMC and its 17 chapters fund many different initiatives for MCPL, including new technology, community programs, staff development, and materials and equipment for library branches. Funds from our members, donors, and bookstore customers provide enhancements to the Montgomery County government’s annual budget for libraries, and we help MCPL move forward as a 21st century library. Here is a small sample of the major projects FOLMC has recently funded for MCPL.

Ongoing Grants

Summer Read & Learn

In 2019, FOLMC ensured that more than 11,000 children in Montgomery County reaped the benefits of participating in MCPL’s summer reading program. The program encourages children to challenge themselves by reading as many books as they can during the summer break. We have funded summer reading efforts in Montgomery County for over 25 years, including performers, incentives, marketing materials, and other support for library staff. Children who read during the summer get a head start on the school year. For more information, visit MCPL’s Summer Read & Learn page.

STEM Station

STEM Activities

FOLMC and our 17 chapters help fund many STEM activities. Programs such as Build the Future open LEGO sessions, Mini-Maker hands-on projects, and Science Spectacular science experiment performances are developed to provide opportunities for conversation, exploration, and interaction. These programs and STEM stations located throughout the branches focus on critical thinking, creativity, and innovation to encourage higher-level skills to help youth excel in educational and vocational settings.

Staff Development Day 2015

MCPL Staff Development Day

MCPL staff work hard to provide quality materials and programs at 21 library branches, and each year FOLMC and MCPL administration bring them all together to learn, celebrate accomplishments, and build stronger teams. Every Columbus Day, the entire MCPL staff meets  to attend workshops, receive awards for their work, and discuss what’s happening in their branches. FOLMC has been funding this initiative annually. In 2018, over 380 staff learned more about STEM programming, local authors, and Readers Advisory ideas to take back to their branches.

“Check Us Out”

Each quarter, MCPL publishes a printed calendar of events named “Check Us Out” for distribution at all Branches, outreach activities, and both FOLMC bookstores. This allows all patrons, including those without home internet access, to access a comprehensive list of programs at each of the 21 Branches ass well as special events like Just For the Record: A Vinyl Day”, Contemporary Conversations, Library Lovers Month, and MoComCon. The newsletter is also published to the MCPL website here.

Completed Grants

Image courtesy of Montgomery County Public Libraries

Go! Kits

FOLMC proudly funded Go! Kits, pre-filled bags designed to encourage the parent/caregiver and child to actively explore the world around them. Each kit contains several books, science tools, a Samsung Galaxy Tab A with recommended apps (or Playaway Launchpad for younger audiences), and a listing of the contents of the kit. Some kits also contain an educational DVD. Each kit can be borrowed for 2 weeks at any library branch. Go! Kits are available for ages 3-6 and grades 3-5.

Early Literacy Stations

All 21 branch libraries in Montgomery County now feature the FOLMC-funded early literacy computer stations that provide safe, fun learning environments for young children, without the option of connecting to the internet. These innovative computer stations are designed to appeal to children with touch screens, colorful keyboards, and millions of hours’ worth of literacy education apps to explore. Most of the educational apps are available in English and Spanish.

Studio i, the Long Branch Digital Media Lab

FOLMC provided funds for Studio i, the Digital Media Lab at Long Branch library, a 21st century creative space especially for teens who may not otherwise have access to such equipment. The lab provides the opportunity to explore all the possibilities of digital media including equipment to record videos, such as a green screen room, handheld camera, and iMovie software. For more information, visit MCPL’s Digital Media Lab page.

 

 

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