By Jan Bryant
Books & More
Unable to sleep the other night, I was flipping through the November 2012 issue of Woman’s Day magazine when I ran across the article “7 things your librarian wants you to know.”
Although I am sure I read this in November, it really grabbed my attention that night. It seems that other libraries have the same issues that we at Muskogee Public Library have: People really don’t know much about their library. So I am going to give you the seven basic things that Muskogee Public Library wants you to know.
• One — The library is free and open to everyone regardless of age, color, creed, class or any other distinction. We welcome all people. Also, the library provides many free services. We have free meeting rooms for non-profits and businesses; free books, including ebooks; audio books, both in CD and downloadable; free DVDs (the only charge is if they’re not returned on time); free computers with Internet and WiFi; free programs; and the list goes on.
• Two — The library offers a variety of programs. We have several ongoing or recurring programs, including three book clubs for reading and discussion and the Friends of the Library’s “Book Sandwiched” book review program. We have a monthly LEGO Builders club. Every Wednesday we have a storytime for little ones, babies to school age. We have an annual Foreign Affairs series, which will continue Tuesday evenings through April 16. The library also offers regular programs for teens and children. Every summer we have summer reading programs for babies through adults, a technology camp, and a photography camp for students. And we have our annual Touch A Truck fund raiser for kids of all ages. We also have special programs at different times throughout the year.
• Three — The library staff answers questions. We can be reached in person, by phone or by email. We have three places on our website for people to contact the library. There are “contact us” and “Ask a Librarian” links on the main website and a genealogy contact section on the genealogy website. We answer all kinds of questions. The Children’s Department and adult Circulation and Reference departments answer the general “quick answer” or in-depth questions, and our Genealogy Department answers all types of genealogy and local history questions.
• Four — You can place “dibs” or a hold request on hot new releases. If you have a favorite author or hear of a hot new book by a major author, often the books are on our online catalog before the book is actually released. You can request a hold on the book from your home computer or by calling or coming into the library. Your request is kept in the online catalog. When the book is available and your name comes up, you will receive a notice that the book is on hold for you. You can place holds on our ebooks, audios, and DVDs also.
• Five — The library has many services available. Some are digital and some are direct. There are online homework tutoring and online job help (both services include a person who will provide assistance) available through our website. There are online courses provided through Universal Class and language learning through Mango; also available on our website. There are several other research resources and lots of magazines available online. The staff provides one-on-one technology help with all kinds of digital devices as well as computers. Literacy tutoring and GED tutoring are provided through the library. Several staff members can provide interesting programs for groups. The library provides Interlibrary Loan service for many materials not available either in Muskogee or the Eastern Oklahoma Library System.
• Six — The Muskogee Public Library is a part of the Eastern Oklahoma District Library System, with access to materials in 14 other libraries.
• Seven – and most important – Muskogee Public Library has a well-trained staff to help you. We have people to help in person, on the phone, or online. Your public library is ready and willing to help you, so come see us at 801 W. Okmulgee Ave., call us at (918) 682-6657 or visit us online at www.eok.lib.ok.us.