CP Community Library Donation Day

Since we started spreading the word about the College Park Community Library, folks have been asking us when and how they can donate books.  Well, if you or someone you know has books to donate (all genres accepted), please note that we will be holding a “Donation Day” on Saturday, December 3, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.

So, if you’ve got some gently used books scattered around your home and you’d like to donate them to the cause, get ’em in your car and drive ’em on over to the library, which is located at 9704 Rhode Island Avenue, College Park, MD 20740-1599.

Have books to donate but can’t make it on December 3? No problem, just drop us a line and we’ll come and get them.


If We Can Accomplish Half of this….

… then we’ll be doing something right!

Here’s a nice article about a library (that started off much like ours) in Port Washington, Wisconsin, that provides a hell of a lot more than books.

This is precisely what I would like to see our little library evolve into—a place that serves the community and becomes a central part of people’s lives, be it for books, computer access, or a friendly face.

A half-century of good reading (Ozaukee Press, November 9, 2011)

Libraries are no longer buildings lined with shelves of musty books where people are hushed if they speak up. Today, they are vibrant centers of the community, alive with programs that range from book clubs to recipe clubs. They are filled not only with books, magazines and newspapers, but also DVDs, CDs and books on tape.

People can also check the Internet and work on computer projects at the library.

“Libraries are still relevant — very much so.”

More Advances

Things keep rolling forward at the library. Even though “donation day” came and went, the donations keep coming (thanks!). Twelve boxes of books came in this week and more are expected soon.

Beyond that, we’ve obtained library system software that not only will make cataloging a breeze, but it will also enable us to know who has what where and when it’s due back — important stuff for a lending library like ours!

Next up, tackling our computer system and getting the network together (hence the photo). If you have any networking expertise and want to lend a hand, please drop me a line.

Finally, the good folks in the City’s Planning, Community and Economic Development Department mentioned the library in the latest edition of the College Park Business Beat.

The Progress Continues (Phase 2 begins)

Now that we’re finished painting, and in preparation for our book drive this Saturday (12/3 from 10 am to 1 pm), we moved on to phase two of the operation: taking books out of boxes and organizing them into groups by subject (philosophy, environment, etc…) or genre (fiction, how-to/instructional).

Two hours and 500-600 books later, we called it an evening. We’re getting there….


As word begins to spread about the library, folks have been e-mailing me with questions about how we plan to operate. So, in the interest of providing some general info about the library, here are some responses to “frequently asked questions.”  If you have additional questions that aren’t addressed here, just drop me a line and I’ll do my best to answer them.

What is the College Park Community Library?
The College Park Community Library (CPCL)—an all volunteer effort—is a lending library offering books and computer access to the public.

What is a community library?
A community library is just like any other  library except that it is:
* Staffed by volunteers
* Does not receive regular funding from state or county government.

Where is the library located? 
The library can be found in the basement of College Park’s Church of the Nazarene, which is located at 9704 Rhode Island Avenue, College Park, MD 20740-1599.

Is the library affiliated with the church?
No. The library is a separate entity. It is located within the Church of the Nazareen because the church was very supportive of what we wanted to do and was nice enought to give us  the spaceto do it.

When will the library be open?
Our goal is to have the library open for business by the close of January 2012. Our ability to attain that goal depends on how many volunteers we have and how many hours those volunteers are willing to devote to the library.

As for the library’s hours of operation, ideally, the library will be open afternoons and evenings, five to six days a week. To keep tabs on our progress, stay tuned to this website.

Does College Park need its own library?
That’s a good question and the answer is: it depends. If you like books and like to be around other people who like books, then another library certainly can’t hurt—especially if it brings people together and gets “neighbors” talking.

We know: there are three public libraries—Beltsville, Hyattsville, and Greenbelt—within driving distance of College Park. This is great and we should consider ourselves lucky to have these resources at our disposal. But for those folks who don’t have a car (or don’t want to have to get in their car to get something to read), a library that folks can bike or walk to—even a small one like ours—is an asset to the community.

What resources will the library offer?
Initially, the library will offer books on a variety of subjects for readers of all ages. It also will offer Internet-ready computers available for public use. As time goes on and we get a better handle on what users want and what we can (realistically) provide, we may add other materials, such as periodicals, CDs, and DVDs. Beyond media and its many formats, it is our hope that the library will become a space for discussions and study groups, workhops, readings, tutoring, and so on. In short, we want a place where members of the community can meet and exchange ideas.

Who can use the library?
Everyone. Our library will be open to all.

Who will be allowed to borrow books?
Although the policies governing the borrowing of books  have yet to be decided, it is likely that those who want to borrow books will have to register with CPCL (proof of address will be required) and pay a small member fee ($5–10), which will help us pay for material that is damaged, lost, or “walks” away.

NOTE: We want to hear from CP residents on this topic. Would be willing to pay an annual membership fee of $10? Is that too high? Too low? Send us your thoughts!

Are you still accepting donations?
Yes! If you have gently used books to donate to us (all genres accepted at this time), then contact us to arrange a drop off or pick-up.

How can I get Involved?
Want to lend a hand? Great! We have a tremendous need for volunteers.

In the short-term, we need volunteers to help us catalog our inventory, organize the books, setup our computer network, and formulate the policies that will goven library operations.

In the long-term, we’ll need volunteers to help us run and maintain the library (i.e., checking books in and out in accordance with CPCL policies, returning books to their  correct place on the shelves, answering visitor’s questions, and so on).

Get  in touch! Contact the CPCL at 301-910-2433.

This is what I want to see….

Since I started this library project, more than a few people have asked me about my motivations or, to put it bluntly, why I’m doing this. It’s a good question, and not just because the digital age is threatening to make the physical book a thing of the past.

The other day, when the intersection of Rt. 1 and Cherry Hill was closed and I found myself trapped in the car for more than an hour on the way home from work, I heard a story on NPR about the writer Ann Patchett, who is opening a bookstore in her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.  As expected, one of the first questions asked of her was, “Why are you opening an independent bookstore similar stores across the country are going out of business.”

Among her answers were, “This is what I want to see in Nashville, and if I want to live in a city with a bookstore, then I’m willing to pay for it.”

I completely understand where she’s coming from, for, in the end, I have a similar reason for launching the library. When you get right down to it, I want to live in a town with a library–a place people can go to be around books and to be around other people who value books.

If you feel the same way, I invite you to join us in our efforts to bring the library to life.


Thanks to everyone who stopped by and donated some books to our Book drive last Saturday! Because of your generosity we now have an even wider array of books to share with our (future) patrons!

So just what will we have on our shelves?

Fiction (from classics to more contemporary fare, our fiction section will cater to readers from young adults to seniors.)
Literary Criticism (and other assorted books on books)
Religion & Spirituality
How-to/Instructional (from carpentry to writing and more!)
And more!

Powerhead vs. String Trimmer

Clearing up lawns can be quite a challenge, especially if you don’t have the right tools. String trimmers have always been a staple when it comes to cutting grass, weeds, and other plants that may cause your garden to look less neat than usual. However, one product is fast becoming a worthy challenger to the string trimmer. This is none other than the Powerhead. Is this product from Ego the type of cutting tool that you need? More importantly, is it actually better than your standard string trimmer? This comparison will answer those questions and more.

To start things off, it would be nice to take a closer look at the Powerhead trimmer. At first glance, you can see right away that the Powerhead is slightly bigger than the usual 15-inch string trimmer. This gives off the immediate impression that this product is better equipped for heavy-duty cutting. On closer inspection, the Powerhead also has a larger reload head and a wider, deeper guard. The Powerhead houses a 2000-watt motor, which gives it more than enough power for trimming the lawn. Aside from the grass cutter, the Powerhead also comes with other attachments such as the edger and the chainsaw.

On paper, one can see that the Powerhead is a completely different animal compared to the usual string trimmer. On the next part of this article, we will compare how both of these tools perform and see if a clear winner can be picked between the two.

Performance– On the performance side of things, the larger motor of the Powerhead means it can cut through tougher grass much easier compared to your usual string trimmer. The larger dimensions of the head also make it more resistant to tangles, which can help in quickening the pace of your cutting. However, the immense power of the Powerhead may prove to be a disadvantage for some, as its motor can be quite difficult to handle at full throttle.

Control– This is one of the more distinct advantages of the trusty string trimmer. Handling its power is a much easier task compared to using the Powerhead. At the same time, the smaller, lighter head of the string trimmer makes it much easier to use. This is especially so when you are maneuvering around the tight spaces in your lawn. The Powerhead is still controllable in spite of these things, but you’ll need to get used to its power and weight.

Value– In terms of value, it all depends on what you need in a grass cutter. The string trimmer has more than enough performance to get the job done right on most occasions. However, if you are looking for something more suited for heavy-duty use, then you might want to consider the Powerhead. The Powerhead can also be converted for other uses, but that might not matter if you’re just looking for something to trim your lawn.

At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with going for either device. The Powerhead has better performance, but the string trimmer is more user-friendly. Choose the unit you think you’ll be more comfortable using.

How to Change a Spool on Weed Eater

One of the greatest and most useful tools for you to keep or maintain the cleanliness and beauty of your garden is a weed eater. Through the use of a specific type of weed eater, you can trim your yard and make around its edges very neatly. However, it is quite unfortunate to say that a plastic cording may only lasts longer in a spool prior to alter it.

If that happens to the tool that you are utilizing, it is essential to change or alter first the spool of its monofilament. Try to keep in touch on the succeeding discussions for these will be your guide on proper maintenance of string trimmer or weed eater that you have.

If you have the eagerness and perseverance to look for the proper ways and approaches on how to change a spool on the monofilament of your weed eater, then try to refer on the following lists and steps as your guide:

  1. If it is an electric type of weed eater, then you need to unplug it for safety purpose. If the model that you have is a gas trimmer type, then it is essential to get rid of the spark plug of it.
  2. Tilt the model or the unit so that you can properly have an easy access to the monofilament’s spool. Then, try to unscrew the cap based on the directions which were shown in the model of your tool. The next thing that you need to do is to pull off the spool from the weed eater. Clean first any debris or grass from its head if there is any.
  3. Unroll the replacement line of the weed eater from the spool of the replacement. It must be approximately 30 ft for great convenience and assurance that you can achieve best results. Also, you need to make sure that you have measured the correct diameter of your weed eater.
  4. Insert at least 1-inch of the line’s weed eater into the middle of your weed eater’s spool. Then, wrap the line of the weed eater snugly onto the spool of it. Make sure that you wrap it according to the direction of the spool’s arrow.
  5. Run the weed eater cord’s tail out through its feedhole. Put the spool of the monofilament back to the weed eater. Make sure that you put it back with 4-6 inches of tail that extends from the tool. Tighten the cap of it to make sure that it will be back in its place.
  6. Plug in the weed eater if it’s electric type or put the spark plug back on your weed eater if it’s a gas trimmer type. Then, you may now continue trimming grasses and weeds. You may probably need to tap its ground unit to properly feed it. If it does not, then, disconnect the source of your power and re-check if the line is feeding properly through its feed hole.

With these step-by-step procedures, you can now successfully change the spool of the weed eater’s monofilament and continue your gardening works for good. You will no longer find any difficulty in doing your gardening tasks since you have already the knowledge on how to maintain the longevity of your gardening tool – weed eater.

If you want more details and information about the proper and additional ways of prolonging the lifespan of your tool, then try to read more buying guide online. There are some online sites that provide great and useful information about this matter.

Electric Bike Route Planner

In this tutorial I will show you how to calculate the distance from your home (or any other point) to destinations you might like to ride your electric bicycle to. You can find out how far it is from your home to your office or favorite restaurant via trail or road. This is a great way to plan your route to avoid high traffic areas also.

You’ll be surprised how many places you can get to and back with your electric bicycle. My bike gets about twenty miles per charge so I figure about 9 miles each way to be safe. I never really thought about it before I started ridding my electric bicycle, but almost all the places I go on a daily basis are within 9 miles of my house. All those years of starting up the car just to go a couple of miles was really wasteful and the gas used adds up fast and is really unnecessary.
The health benefits of electric bikes are great because *you will ride everyday* not just when the conditions are perfect outside whereas you probably don’t ride everyday on your non electric bicycle (right?).

O.K. on to the tutorial. This method works better than using other mapping applications because you can choose which streets and or paths, bike trails etc… that you want to take. And choosing back roads or secondary streets rather than busy roads that the other applications usually point you to. This is especially good for electric bikes, but can be used effectively for any electric vehicle.

If You don’t have Google Earth already installed you can get it here for free.

Open up Google Earth, type in your home address and put a pin in your roof. Select the push pen icon at top and move it to your starting location, give it a name and OK. Now select the Ruler tool in the tool bar. Choose Path in the fly out and select Miles. Begin your line by clicking once in the street in front of your house, then go to the point where you will turn and click. Continue the line until you are at your destination then give the route a name and save it. That’s it! You can make as many routes as you like to all your favorite destinations and know that you’ll have plenty of juice to get back home.

Choosing the Best Exercising Bike

In the U.S. practically all fitness gyms have their own set of exercise bikes and people often use them regularly. This type of equipment is very popular for many decades now probably because of the simplicity and ease of use for the machine yet giving you a really great cardiovascular workout.

You may be more familiar with the upright type of bike as it’s the most common but there’s actually another type of bike which is called as the recumbent bike. The upright bike is just like a regular bike but is made stationary and is either missing 1 wheel or even both wheels.

Choosing the Best Exercising Bike

The recumbent bike is very different and may seem strange to you at first as you are actually lying down and you are going to put your feet on the pedal that is in front of you.

There’s actually another kind of exercise machine that somehow falls into this category and it’s the bike trainer. It’s actually just a stand where you put a real bike in and it lifts its rear wheel and makes it stable. You can even add resistance to the rear wheel and that’s what will give you a more powerful workout. It pays to get a great bike trainer as it can handle even the fastest pedaling of a biker. This is a great idea for those who are already comfortable with their own bike and want to use it both indoors and outdoors for their workout.

If you have already decided whether you’d go for the upright bike, the recumbent bike or the bike trainer, you should then choose what model you’d want by checking the features being offered. There are different features you should look for and the most useful are usually the electronic display and the heart rate monitor.

The heart rate monitor must be interactive and gives you your pulse rate and it adjusts the intensity of the workout based on that while making sure that you are getting the most from your workout. This means that you no longer have to constantly monitor your own heart rate and make the necessary adjustments to keep your heart rate at the optimum level and not go over or below it.

Electronic display on bike machines must be readable and clear and lets you manually adjust it even while you continue to pedal your way to fitness.

how to Prepare Your Hot Tub for the Winter

Hot tub is an important addition in our homes. During winter many people take a break from using a hot tub. If you want your water tub to last for long one should take of it. One way is always keep hot tub clean. If water freezes after being left for long it can cause hot tub to crack. This is how one prepares hot tub for the winter.

1: Power turn off. The first thing one should do is make sure your water tub’s power and heater is off. This is so that maintenance can be done fully.

2: Rinse the hot tub: Rinsing it helps to remove body oils that has been building up affecting the jet and pipes.

3: Empty the hot tub: One should make sure all the water from the hot tub is removed. If water freezes after being left for long the hot tub cracks. It is very costly to repair a crack.

4: Drain the air blowers: Not all hot tubs have the air blowers. If yours have it. One should switch off power and remove the heater. Heater get damaged when it runs without water. Then switch on the power and let the hot tub run for about 30 seconds before switching the power off. This will remove all the water from air channels of the hot tub.

5: Degrease your filters: Remove all filters and their baskets. Use clean water to clean both filters and baskets.

6: Loosen fittings: One can open hot tub cabinet, look for pipes connected to pumps and loosen them. This helps in draining water in pipes.

7: Blow out the pipes: The remaining water from jet piping is removed by blowing end by air compressor. Do this from one jet to the other. Make sure all water from jet system is out.

8: Remove water: Remove water that that came from pipes while you were blowing them. Ensure the hot tub is completely dry. One can use shop-vac, sump pump or sponge.

9: Rinse and dry the hot tub: Clean the hot tub using hot tub cleaner and rinse it.

10: Cover the hot tub: You cannot get tired trying to prepare your hot bath just to leave it open. This the time you take your hot tub cover and cover your hot tub. This is to ensure anyone or anything does not get inside.

11: We are through: After covering the hot tub with the hot tub cover, you are now through with preparing your hot tub for the winter. You can now relax peacefully knowing you are ready for the winter.

Note carefully:  If you are not sure whether you want to prepare your hot tub for winter yourself. You can hire services from professionals. Most companies who offer the service gives guarantee that if the hot tub cracks due to winterization they will fix it for free. Damages that mostly affect hot tubs are caused by improper winterization. You must be extra careful when you decide to do winterization by yourself.

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