A September 2016 Pew Research study shows “that many Americans have high expectations for what their local libraries should offer.” Since a majority of Americans have such high expectations of public libraries I wanted to take the opportunity this month to remind our community and library patrons of all ages about the amazing resources here at your very fingertips. In addition now is the time to unveil three new library resources as well. All of the following databases are free of charge to our library community and have been made possible by a series of contributors ranging from local to national levels. We hope you will take advantage of these free resources and if you have any questions about them please don’t hesitate to call the library, 251-410-READ (7323).
ProQuest’s Ancestry Library Edition (ALE) or better known as simply, ancestry.com, is being provided in connection with the upcoming celebration of Alabama’s bicentennial and made possible by the Alabama Public Library Service (APLS) who will be offering FREE access to this service. State acquisition of this database represents thousands of dollars in savings for Alabama public libraries and immeasurable value for library patrons. In addition, this puts billions of genealogical resources at the fingertips of any Alabama resident with a library card. What this means is that anyone in the state visiting any public library in Alabama will now have access to this incredible resource. Please note that Ancestry Library Edition is not available offsite due to licensing restrictions with ancestry.com. Access will be within the library only and not a remote connection, but it is still a huge savings to the library. The bicentennial will be celebrated for three years across the state and the access to ancestry.com Library Edition will be offered for three years or as long as funding is made available.
Chilton Library by Gale-Cengage is another recent acquisition which offers an easy-to-use auto-repair resource for do-it-yourselfers, and is now available to you from Alabama Public Library Service with federal funds issued by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Chilton Library provides quick online access to repair, maintenance, and service information on seven decades of the broadest range of vehicles available, including cars, trucks, vans and SUVs. Chilton Library is available 24/7 and from the comfort of home of wherever you have internet access.
Alabama’s Camellia Net brought to us by OverDrive will allow patrons access to electronic books better known as ebooks in addition to electronic audiobooks. This 21st century convenience will provide patrons with the privilege to borrow electronic titles from the library anywhere, anytime. Stuck in traffic? Just whip out your library card and download an eaudiobook. It’s that simple. Not sure how to use this new technology? Or what devices you need to view or hear them on? Just drop by the library anytime for a quick tutorial. Ebooks are a convenience and perfect for travel and filling in the gaps when you need something quick to read and you are between books. Electronic books are not for everyone but it is a wonderful service to be able to provide for our patrons. The best part about them….zero late fees, as the books will automatically be removed from your device on the date they are due.
Overdrive’s Camellia Net, Ancestry.com Library Edition, and Chilton’s Library will be available on the library website for easy access.
Lastly, at SFPL we are continuously adding and growing our program opportunities typically initiated from patron and community needs. Stay tuned to our website and facebook page for news of upcoming learning opportunities. Some new things that we have offered as of late include a local writing group that meets bi-weekly, a weekly English as a Second Language class, a monthly book club, a Tech 101 class every Monday at noon and a monthly Cyber Seniors class, partnering local seniors with high school seniors as a way to connect generations and ask and answer questions about technology needs.
If studies show that Americans have high expectations of what local public libraries have to offer I hope that the programs and resources offered here at the Spanish Fort Public Library will indeed meet some of those expectations. Thank you for an incredible first year and for your patience as we navigate these new waters and learn from you what the needs of our community exactly should be.
P.S. You asked for it and we listened. Extended hours are official and kicked off in September 2016, so please come and see us. We are now open Tuesday and Thursday nights until 7pm and have Saturday hours from 9am to 1pm. Don’t forget Fridays we open later at 1pm. Full view of the hours can be seen on our website www.spanishfortpubliclibrary.org