September 23, 2014

County libraries celebrate National Libraries Week

By Tim Barnum
Staff writer
Posted

ARENAC COUNTY — The Arenac-Iosco District Library (AIDL), which has branches in Standish, Omer and AuGres, is celebrating National Libraries Week April 13-19 and inviting county residents to join in the fun.

Stephanie Olson, District Director for the AIDL, said National Libraries Week is a time to “recognize that public libraries are the last vestiges of free speech besides the media.

“You pay taxes to support the library,” Olson said, but added that services offered at libraries are free. “You don’t have to pay to come in to use the Internet. You don’t have to buy the books. … There’s just all these things you’d have to pay for at other places.”

And to celebrate the services of public libraries, the Friends of the Mary Johnston Memorial Library, the AIDL branch library in Standish, are going to give library-users a chance to win free gifts.

“They (Friends of MJML) are doing drawings each day. … The drawings will be based on if you check out a book [that day],” Olson said, adding that to check out a book, clients must first have a library card. Each day of the week will produce one winner, and winners will receive a $25 gift card to Barnes & Nobles bookstores purchased by the Friends.

Olson said National Libraries Week may also include an open house at any or all of the branch libraries: MJML, the AuGres Community Library, and the Omer Library.

“If we have an open house, we (AIDL) can show them (library users) how to request their books online,” Olson said, adding that the District can also expose uses to new features of the branch libraries, including e-mail notifications of requested books, e-mail warnings of when the books are approaching due date, and Web site features.

The Web site, www.ioscoarenaclibrary.org, is undergoing some new modifications itself as the District is adding what Olson called “Really Simple Syndication,” which will alert readers of new books that will be hitting the shelves in District libraries.

“We do an end of the month new book list for non-fiction and fiction adult books. … [Really Simple Syndication] will be for kids books too,” Olson said. “Lists of new books can be broken down and narrowed down. … We’re hoping it’ll make it much easier to do things.”

Olson said changing checkout period is also back, and by popular demand.

“We’re going to be changing it to three weeks from two weeks,” Olson said, adding that many District library clients voiced concern about not being able to get books back on time due to their busy schedules.

But before April 13-19, Olson said the District may more improvements.

“Maybe by National Library Week, we’ll have added some new features,” she said.

For more information on National Library Week and what’s going on at local branches, visit www.ioscoarenaclibrary.com or call 989-362-2651.

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