2011-05-05 / Front Page

Libraries Are More Than Books

Special speakers program to be instituted
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

To reaffirm the idea that “libraries are more than books,” officials at the Fulton County Library are undertaking a new program that could involve both teens and adults.

Library Executive Director Jamie Brambley stated she was recently approached by Mc- Connellsburg resident and library advocate Ron Mitchell regarding the possibility of offering a forum where local residents could come and share their special talents. Specifically, it would serve as a means for individuals to share their knowledge of hobbies, careers or even travels to far-off destinations.

“There are so many talented and interesting people here in the county. This would just be a platform for them to share their expertise,” said Brambley, who added the program will further add to the library’s growing list of adult programs that currently include adult book club, movie night and movie discussion group.

Brambley is also hopeful local teens will take an interest in the program that will be overseen by Mitchell, who will serve in the capacity of volunteer program coordinator. Other events available to local youths are Family Place Workshops, the children’s summer reading program, preschool story hour, teen night and the teen advisory board.

“We’re constantly expanding and looking for new programming to offer as part of the library’s services,” Brambley said. All events can be found on the library’s Web site at www.fclspa.org, which boasts several new features for library patrons.

Downloadable audiobooks continue to be one of the newest and hottest features on the library’s site. According to Brambley, patrons must first come to the library and receive assistance on setting up an account to download the audiobooks. Audiobooks are lended for a two-week period.

In addition, in the near future, individuals using Kindle and Nooks to download ebooks will be able to get free materials directly from the library’s Web site. The services will be made available to the library through a company known as Overdrive, noted Brambley.

Funding for both audio and ebooks is covered through the district library funds for Franklin and Fulton counties.

Additional online tools readily available to patrons are SAT practice tests, Mango languages and Bookflix that provides books and a coordinating film for preschool through early elementary students. The feature also includes puzzles, games for the books that are deemed both educational and fun, Brambley said. High-speed Internet is recommended to use the feature.

Patrons are taking advantage of the this wide variety of offerings at the Fulton County Library. Brambley indicated this month alone library employees have helped visitors with applying for online jobs, renewing a driver’s license online, proctoring a college placement test for a high school student, showing an adult student how to upload lessons on online classes, printing a business form for a contractor, renewing a nursing license online and helping someone download a book to her Kindle. Furthermore, introductory computer classes were offered just last week in PowerPoint and Publisher.

Books, however, continue to be the top-rated service provided at the library, which has established a rotating collection of paperback books and a convenient book return at the Dott Village Store. A computer and printer are also being secured by the library for the store.

As a result of their ongoing improvements, circulation at the local library has jumped 20 percent, while library cardholders have risen by 32 percent.

“We’re doing the best we can to respond to the needs of the community,” the executive director concluded.

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