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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Upstairs Neighbors

When the County decided to renovate and expand the Gaithersburg Library, it designated part of the second floor for a satellite office of the Charles W. Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity.

The Gilchrist Center promotes cross-cultural understanding and works to connect people to needed public and private services.  It convenes services providers through networking meetings and information sharing so that organizations are aware of the resources available to Montgomery County residents and are better equipped to refer clients to needed services.

It also offers classes such as English for speakers of other languages, citizenship preparation, Spanish conversation, and basic computing.

Montgomery County Public Libraries shares the Gilchrist Center's goal of serving the County's entire diverse population, enriching the lives of all.  So we're very excited that Gilchrist Center staff and volunteers will be joining us in Gaithersburg.

Perhaps you're wondering about the man in whose honor the Center was named.  Charles W. Gilchrist served two terms as Montgomery County Executive in the late 1970's and 1980's.  Afterwards, he attended seminary and was ordained an Episcopal priest, in which capacity he continued to build community and pursue social justice.  Mr. Gilchrist recognized the importance of Montgomery County's emerging diversity and created a varied of programs that put the County on the path to becoming the welcoming community that it is today.

When we open, be sure to say "Howdy! ¡Bienvenidos! Yōkoso! Huānyíng guānglín! Hoan nghênh! Wilkommen! Ahlan wa sahlan! In kwahn deh-na meh tah! Bienvenue!" to our upstairs neighbors.  Downstairs, we'll be happy to hear it too!

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