Library adds ebooks, laptops to digital offerings
In the midst of budget discussions in Morris and Stevens County, Morris Public Library director Melissa Yauk has been working hard to get the word out about everything that happens at the library each day.
In addition to showing just how the library works, Yauk also shared the new technology and electronic resources the library has added within the last year, thanks to work with the Viking Library System, the Stevens County Economic Improvement Commission and the Friends of the Library.
Downloadable ebooks and audiobooks
Earlier this spring, the 11 libraries in the Viking Library System banded together to purchase an online ebook and audiobook system. Each of the member libraries contributes a fee to support the system, and a committee of library personnel works to select books that are shared across the system.
Downloading audiobooks requires access to a computer, a listening device like an MP3 player and a way to transfer books from the computer to the device. eBooks can be downloaded and read on the computer, an eReader or a mobile device. Because of restrictions from Amazon, the digital library doesn't work with the Kindle yet, but access should be available later in the year.
Laptops and business resources
Last year, the library was one of 11 organizations in Stevens County that received funds through the Blandin Foundation to enhance Internet access and business opportunities.
With the $10,000 contract, the library purchased six laptops that will soon be available to checkout for use inside the library. Adding the laptops will double the number of computers available to library patrons, which are often occupied.
"More times than not now the six computers we have are full," said Yauk. "First thing when we open, during lunch, after school, close to closing time - those are busy times."
Yauk said she is still working to develop the checkout policies for the computers, but when they're available individuals and community organizations will be able to access them at no cost. Staff are also working to rearrange library shelves and tables to allow more access to wall outlets for laptop users.
Library staff have also developed space both in the library and online dedicated to business and career resources as part of the Blandin Foundation funds. At the library, patrons have access to business books and guides to writing resumes and cover letters, job searching, starting a business and more.
The companion Wiki, available at www.morrislibrary.pbworks.com, has links to resources to help individuals with their career or small business. The Wiki also has a page dedicated to online tutorials and instructional websites on technology-related topics.
To learn more about the library visit www.morris.lib.mn.us.
To download ebooks and audiobooks visit www.viking.lib.mn.us/digitallibrary.html.
To check in about library events visit www.morris.lib.mn.us/eventcalendar.php.
To find business and career help visit www.morrislibrary.pbworks.com.