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Cecil County Life

Cecil Leadership Institute explores library services aimed at growing region’s economic outlook

Jun 06, 2019 09:20AM ● By J. Chambless

In its quest to learn different styles of leadership qualities within the private and public sectors of Cecil County institutions, the Class of 2019 Cecil Leadership Institute spent an entire morning discovering the behind the scenes operations of the Cecil County Public Library (CCPL) system.

“Our mission is to provide lifelong educational and cultural opportunities to everyone in Cecil County. Whether someone needs help starting a new business, locating that hard-to-find book, or looking for the answer to a lingering question, we are here to help,” said Morgan Miller, Director of the Cecil County Public Library. “We want to empower all learners in the community as the library is the community’s knowledge base and the go-to-place to learn.”

Within Cecil County, there are libraries in Elkton, Chesapeake City, Perryville, Rising Sun, Cecilton, Port Deposit, North East, along with an Outreach Bookmobile. The exciting news for the CCPL is this spring’s groundbreaking for its newest branch located in North East on the property across from Food Lion and Lowes.

Today’s libraries service more than 400,000 visitors and handle more than 930,000 materials annually. These include books, DVD and Blu-ray movies, musical CDs, books on tape and disc, and even electronic books. The CCPL checked out more than 100,000 digital items in 12 months.

There are more than 64,500 library card holders in the county and 18,000 Student Virtual Library Card holders. These cards allow every student and teacher in the Cecil County Public School District to access online research, homework help and check out up to five books.

“The services provided by the library are incredible, and through the Cecil Leadership program, I have gained a better understanding of the important businesses and institutions within Cecil County,” said Richard Starr, Cecil County’s Office of Economic Development’s recently hired economic development coordinator. “The goal of Cecil Leadership is to discover ways to build stronger communities. It is hard to do that when the people of Cecil County do not know about these services and resources within the county.”

Starr is one of the 22 members of the 2019 Cecil Leadership Institute program. The Cecil Leadership Institute provides a framework where existing and emerging leaders in business, government, and tourism engage, collaborate and commit to Cecil County’s ongoing development. This unique learning opportunity exposes participants to diverse perspectives on issues affecting growth and prosperity. Join the network of leaders who are building the future.

The 15-week program also introduces the class to CEOs of companies like W.L. Gore, Herr’s Foods, IKEA, and Warwick Mushroom Farms.

“The program is enabling me to see different sides of the county. Despite living in the county my whole life it is proving that I didn’t know as much as I thought I did about the county,” said Robert Nitz, a Sergeant with the Perryville Police Department who has 19 years of service in law enforcement. “The networking opportunities are outstanding.”

The program was recommended to Nitz by a graduate of last year’s class, Rising Sun Police Chief Chip Peterson. Through CLI networking opportunities, Starr is developing open communication with the Cecil County Public Schools in hopes of better informing students of skills prospective employers are looking to hire to their workforce.

“The challenge for manufacturing companies is to recruit someone with soft skills who is reliable and willing to learn the skills they need. It is important for our high school students to know this information,” said Starr. “Also, with Cecil College’s trades training programs, it is up to us to inform manufacturers where they can get their workforce trained.”

Back at the CCPL, services also target startup businesses by providing business plan help, small business startup guidance, small business programs, resume writing workshops, resources for non-profits and much more. There is free WiFi at all the locations for use by small startup businesses along with access to printers, scanners, and computers. This approach to small businesses allowed the libraries’ meeting rooms to host more than 780 meetings in 2017 with nearly 5,000 attendees.

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