Group hopes to increase awareness of community history and culture
Friends of the Silver Spring Library (FSSL), a chapter of Montgomery County's Friends of the Library, sponsored author Martin Goldsmith at the Silver Spring Library on Jan. 14. Goldsmith is the author of The Inextinguishable Symphony, a novel about his parents experience playing in a symphony orchestra in Nazi Germany. The next event in the Speaker Series is planned for April.
Nancy Pond, President of the FSSL and Membership and Programs Manager of the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce, says Goldsmith drew a crowd of over 70. "The event was fascinating. We had standing room only," she says, excitedly. "The series seems to be growing." Goldsmith discussed how he wrote The Inextinguishable Symphony, and a question and answer period followed his presentation. At the end of the event, the library sold many copies of Goldsmith's book. Pond says there are still some copies remaining if anyone is still interested in purchasing a copy.
The Silver Spring Library offers books, provides Internet Access and has research librarians on call for people of all ages and since 1995 has honored local authors as part of the Library's Speaker Series. The Series, which is sponsored by the FSSL, presents three or four speakers yearly. In the past, Washington Post columnist Steve Twomey, Silver Spring historian Jerry McCoy, and George Pelecanos, an author of crime noir novels based in the D.C. area have been featured.
The FSSL was established nine years ago to "strengthen, promote, support and advocate for the library, in order to enrich the lives of Silver Spring residents and meet the diverse needs of our community," says Pond. She became involved in the program to increase "community outreach. [The purpose] is not just to fill the room but to bring awareness [to Silver Spring]."
Other programs funded by the FSSL include the Chinese Opera and Shadow Puppet Theatre. The organization has also sold "Vintage Silver Spring" picture calendars since 1998. Pond notes that another successful project, "Books for Babies," has sent four to five hundred books in English and Spanish to Silver Spring families. The project is in its fifth year of encouraging young children to read.
The turnout for programs varies from 30 to 100 people or more, says Pond. There are even times when the audience is "out the door" for speakers such as author Valerie Tripp and civil rights activist Dorothy Height.
The basement room in the Silver Spring Library where the Speaker Series is held has become too small which is "embarrassing," Pond says. However, she was pleased by the January turnout and laughs, saying "But that's good, right, to have so many show up?"
There are plans to appeal for a new, larger location for the Silver Spring Library. This Thursday, Feb. 5, members of the FSSL along with other library representatives will appear before the Montgomery County Council to address the issue.
For more information about the FSSL or other upcoming events, call the Silver Spring Library at 301-565-7689.
Allison Elvove. Allison Elvove was a Co-Editor-in-Chief of Silver Chips Online during the 2004-2005 school year. She wrote more than 70 articles while on the staff and supervised 40 student journalists, editing articles on a daily basis. During her time as editor, Silver Chips Online won the … More »