Monday, February 29, 2016

Frostburg First Mix and Mingle

The Ort Library hosted Frostburg First Mix and Mingle on Wednesday, February 25th.  MaryJo Price, Special Collections Librarian, assembled historical maps and books about the Frostburg area, Braddock Road and coal mining in the region.

Photo by MaryJo Price
Dr. Lea Messman-Mandicott, Library Director, and library staff members shared information about resources and services that are accessible to members of the Frostburg community. Both hosts and guests enjoyed the event.

Photo by MaryJo Price

The 1910 Sanborn Map, a map of an area coal mine and a photo of area miners were among the items displayed.

Photo by Theresa Mastrodonato

Photo by MaryJo Price

Friday, February 26, 2016

March Book Madness Starts Friday March 4

Last year’s tournament was so successful that the Ort Library has decided to hold March Book Madness again this year. Again, our tournament will crown one book the Champion of March Book Madness. Eight different categories of books were selected and through a tough and rigorous process, the library staff narrowed down the list of books to eight books in each category, for a total of 64 books

The categories for this year's competition are:
  • Books I've Read More than Once
  • Books I was Forced to Read in High School but "Kinda Liked Anyways"
  • Books that are Better than the Movie
  • Books on my Bucket List
  • Books Made into Great Movies
  • Books Written about Animals
  • Books I Lied about Reading
  • Books I Ask Myself "Why is this a Classic?"

64 Books – 1 Ultimate Champion
March Book Madness 
begins Friday March 4


Friday, February 19, 2016

Frostburg Museum Moves to Main Street

The Ort Library celebrates with the Frostburg Museum Board on the Museum’s move to Main Street in Frostburg.

Librarians Dr. Seán Henry, Theresa Mastrodonato and MaryJo Price (Board members) were present when Father Ed Hendricks, Pastor of Divine Mercy Parish, transferred the deed for the former St. Michael’s school building to Elizabeth Eshleman, President of the Frostburg Museum.

Closed during the winter months, the Frostburg Museum is open to the public Thursday through Saturday from Noon to 4:00 p.m. and expects to open for the spring season. Volunteers are always needed to help with assembling displays, to maintain records and to help with projects.

Displays at the present Hill Street location feature items from the area mining industry, tools from area businesses, cameras, phones, household items, antique toys, military dress uniforms and nineteenth century instruments from the local Arion Band. In addition to historic items, the Frostburg Museum also houses genealogical records and photographs of the region that are consulted by researchers.  

Its new centralized location will enable greater interaction between the Museum and customers to Main Street businesses as well as visitors to attractions in the area including the Frostburg State University campus. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Thomas James

The Ort Library celebrates Media student worker, Thomas James. 

He began working at the library in 2013 during his freshman year and continues to work in Media this semester. He is a senior and expects to graduate in May.

James collaborated on a photography exhibit at the MTN City Center for the Arts on Main Street in Frostburg on February 7 that was later featured in The Bottom Line on February 10.  The Legion of Imagination: Versatility in Photography was the exhibit title. 

In addition to majoring in business and developing his photography expertise, James is also interested in fashion design. He is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society and also serves as a Student Alumni Ambassador.

If you see Thomas James today, please congratulate him on his accomplishments.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What-I'm-Watching-Wednesday: Selma

Selma (2014), directed by Ava DuVernay and written Paul Webb, is a historical drama based on the 1965 voting rights marches in Alabama. It’s an absorbing look into the personal and public struggles of Martin Luther King, Jr., and his circle to gain voter equality for African-Americans.

The film opens with King (David Oyelowo) receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. However, this award is quickly contrasted by the harsh reality of life for African-Americans in post-desegregation South. Four innocent girls are killed in a KKK bombing of an African-American church in Alabama. The film reveals that violence against African-Americans is going unpunished because of the legislative power of white politicians. Since African-Americans were denied the right to vote by Byzantine laws and local practices in the South, they were prevented from changing the political leadership. King implores President Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) to pass legislation for voter equality to ensure that African-Americans can fulfill their legal right to vote and, even, register to vote. The film shows the delicate political wrangling going on between King, Johnson, and Alabama governor George Wallace (Tim Roth). King and his supporters embrace non-violent demonstration to protest voting inequality. Faced with bigotry and violence, the civil rights movement deals with tragic costs. There are scenes of brutality, both from police and individuals, where peaceful protesters are injured and murdered. Due to the well-publicized nature of the Selma to Montgomery marches, the movement gained supporters, including Caucasian clergy members. And the rest is history.

DuVernay’s direction throughout the film is beautifully understated. There are gripping scenes of protesters of various races and denominations crossing a bridge in Selma. However, some of the most powerful scenes are private moments. During a car ride, King debates the course ahead while John Lewis (Stephan James) reminds him of his own words. David Oyelowo portrays Martin Luther King, Jr. as a principled, charismatic leader who is steadfast in the cause for racial equality. However, his nuanced, sensitive performance is balanced with King’s occasional uncertainty about his path and the effects on his family and his wife (Carmen Ejogo). The supporting cast include Tim Roth, Martin Sheen, Common, Lorraine Toussaint, Giovanni Ribisi, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Niecy Nash, and Dylan Baker. Oprah Winfrey, also one of the film’s producers, has a small role as a beleaguered, would-be voter.

Selma received a number of accolades. The film won “Best Song” from the Golden Globes and was nominated for “Best Motion Picture – Drama,” “Best Director,” and “Best Actor” (Oyelowo). DuVerney’s Golden Globes nomination is a first for an African-American female director. The film also won “Best Song” at the Academy Awards and was nominated for “Best Picture.”

Selma is one of the many films held by the Ort Library. Films are searchable in the Library's catalog, and can be requested by clicking on the yellow "Request" button. Log in using your 14-digit Library barcode number (located on your University ID), and your last name. You will then be able to select your pick-up location. The Library will notify you via email when your item has arrived for pick-up. If you need assistance with this process, please contact the Circulation Desk at 301-687-4395.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Featured Online Resource: Presidential Election Information Resources

With the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primaries completed, and South Carolina Primaries and Washington Republican Caucuses coming up in the next few weeks (see calendar here), the Presidential race is really heating up!  Would you like to understand the presidential election process a little better?  You will find some resources below to help you become a presidential election expert in no time!

The Election Process

Being an informed voter:

  • A note on unbiased sources: There is no guarantee that any resource can be completely unbiased, including the resources listed below.  Even if you are seeing facts, there may be other important facts that have been omitted.  Be sure that you can find out where the information is coming from. (Are the sources documented?) Never rely on only one resource for gathering your information!
  • - is run by the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center.  Part of their mission is to "monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases." 
  • Project Vote Smart -  VoteSmart provides information on candidates' voting records, positions on various issues, ratings by various organizations, speech transcripts, and funding information.. Their mission is "to provide free, factual, unbiased information on candidates and elected officials to ALL Americans." For every member who joins the Board of VoteSmart, there is a political opposite as well.

Local Information

Maryland & Allegany County

Other areas 


  • Campaign Reporting - You can find financial disclosures statements of candidacy and more for each campaign in a presidential election.
  • Maryland Board of Elections - Information about voting procedures, elections,campaign finance for the State of Maryland.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Public Notice: Public Hearings to Discuss Dept of Housing & Community Development Annual Plan

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will be holding a series of public hearings to develop its new draft Annual Plan update of the State's Consolidated Plan.  The State will focus resources on (1) Revitalizing Communities, (2) Expanding the supply of decent affordable housing, (3) providing homeownership opportunities and (4) reducing homelessness.

One of the hearings will be held in Cumberland, Maryland:

Date & Time:  Friday, February 26, 2016 at 1:30 pm

Allegany County Office Complex
701 Kelly Road
Commissioner's Conference Room 212
Cumberland, MD

The following link will take you to a PDF copy of the notice with full details.

Maryland DHCD Public Hearings Notice (PDF)

The Lewis J Ort is a depository for Maryland State Documents as well as a selective depository in the Federal Depository Library Program.  As a Maryland depository, we receive public notices such as the one featured above.  These notices are posted to a designated bulletin board on the 2nd floor of the Ort Library, but will also be posted regularly to the Ort Library Blog.  If  you would also like to be added to an e-mail distribution list in order to receive information about future public notices, please contact Lisa Hartman, Government Documents Coordinator at or (301) 687-4734.

Muggles & Wizards All Enjoyed Harry Potter Book Night

The Children's Literature Centre and the Lewis J. Ort Library were pleased to present Harry Potter Book Night on Thursday February 4, 2016.

Muggles and wizards joined together to celebrate all things Harry Potter. The night included the sorting of all new wizards into their respective houses. Once all new students were sorted, they were off to several classes, including Divination, Potions, Charms, and Quidditch.

After classes, all wizards and muggles met back together to see who won the House Cup. This year's House Cup went to Hufflepuff.

Below are some pictures from the night. We look forward to seeing all wizards and muggles next year.

 Picture Courtesy of P. Williams

 Picture Courtesy of P. Williams

Picture Courtesy of N. Frost

 Picture Courtesy of N. Frost

 Picture Courtesy of E. Zumbrun

 Picture Courtesy of N. Frost

 Picture Courtesy of E. Zumbrun

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Harry Potter Book Night - Thursday Feb 4: 6:30 - 8:30 pm

Join the Children’s Literature Centre and the Lewis J. Ort Library for an evening of fun with all things Harry Potter.

On Thursday, February 4, 2016 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. the Children’s Literature Center and the Lewis J. Ort Library will be hosting Harry Potter Book Night in the Library. 

The evening of fun will include a Hogwarts house sorting ceremony, magic classes, Quidditch lessons, games, quizzes, readings, screenings and more. Fans of the book series can show off their knowledge and meet other Harry Potter enthusiasts, and newcomers to the magical world will get an introduction like no other. All attendees, magical or Muggle, are encouraged to wear their favorite wizarding outfit and compete in a costume contest.

Please Note: Events will be taking place throughout the building, with the exception of the 4th floor, which will remain open for Quiet Study only. While Library services may be disrupted, the library's computers and electronic resources will be available.