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Derek Berger Partners with Ruth Enlow Library in Pushing the Limits!

Last Updated on Feb 19, 2014 at 4:00pm |


The Ruth Enlow Library will host a free four-part reading, viewing, and discussion series for adults this spring called “Pushing the Limits.”  Ruth Enlow is one of 75 rural public libraries nationwide receiving grants to host the series. Pushing the Limits brings together books and video featuring authors, scientists, and everyday people who thrive on exploring the natural world.  

All programs will be held at the Oakland Library, once per month on Mondays from 6 – 7:30 p.m., on March 17, April 28, May 19, and June 16. Registration is required for each program by contacting Bonnie at 301-334-3996, x117 or 

“Since the beginning of time, humans have imagined and achieved ways to push the boundaries of the physical world,” notes a library spokesperson. “We want to be stronger, smarter, and more aware, and we create stories to bring those dreams to life.  But many of those stories are no longer just stories; and with great new advances in science and technology, we are finding ways in which all of us are able to push the limits every day.”     

The Pushing the Limits program will explore these ideas in discussions that include feature-film quality videos and recommended popular books. The overarching theme is one of real people, real stories, and real science. 

The group discussions will cover the following topics and books:
* March: SURVIVAL - Clive Cussler, Arctic Drift
* April: CONNECTION - Erik Larson, Thunderstruck
* May: NATURE - T.C. Boyle, When the Killing's Done 
* June: KNOWLEDGE - Jean Auel, The Land of Painted Caves
Derek Berger, 2013-2014 Garrett County Teacher of the Year, is the library’s science partner in Pushing the Limits. He will lead a discussion of the book and videos of author interviews and human-interest stories at each program. Berger holds a B.S. in Astronomy and Astrophysics from Pennsylvania State University and a M.A. in Secondary Education from Frostburg State University. He has participated in curriculum development, led student-centered engineering projects, attended the MSDE Educator Effectiveness Academy, and presented STEM professional development. Outside of school, he works with several non-profit organizations in hopes of making a positive impact on learners from many backgrounds and of all ages.

The Pushing the Limits national program has been developed by a team of library professionals, scientists, and filmmakers. Their organizations include Dartmouth College, the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, the Califa Group (a California-based library consortium), Dawson Media Group, and Oregon State University - with generous funding from the National Science Foundation. 

The Friends of the Ruth Enlow Library are supporting the local program with funds to purchase books, allowing the library to offer a free book to a limited number of people who sign up for each program.