Library celebrates 10 years on the Square
by Steve Clegg, library director
Feb 25, 2011 | 633 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
On Thursday, March 3, the Joe Barnhart Bee County Library celebrates its 10-year anniversary on the courthouse square.

The ambitious project began when the Joe Barnhart Foundation gifted the community the Praeger Building, owned by Dr. Barnhart, and spared no expense in furnishing and equipping the facility into a modern library, with the intention of the library lasting a lifetime.

The community poured out in acceptance of this exceptional library at its grand opening, and have been steadily supporting the operation ever since.

The library board and staff invite the community to celebrate this milestone by visiting our open house, featuring refreshments, a PowerPoint presentation, resource demonstrations and brochures describing library programs and services.

During the past 10-year period, the library boasts having circulated more than 400,000 books, CDs, and videos; served more than 650,000 visitors; and had more than 50,000 people attending special programming.

The library owns over 43,000 items and subscribes to additional electronic resources, many of which are freely accessible from home through the library card.

Among these resources are a collection of practice academic and vocational tests, qualified school tutors to interact with in real time through the internet and a database of newspapers from around the world.

Additionally, the library is adding support for e-readers through a subscription of OverDrive, where users “borrow” titles for three-week periods.

The library was designed with a high technology profile.

Over the years, many innovations have been added including a self-check station, video conferencing, Wi-Fi access, remote services, and a digital archive of the local newspapers. The library tries to replace its public computers and upgrade software every three years.

Regular computer classes are offered to introduce information technology to people who have not had opportunities to develop these critical skills.

An electronic newsletter is sent to e-mail addresses each month to keep library users informed of upcoming events and other library news. Subscribe by visiting the library’s website, and entering an e-mail address near the bottom of the home page.

All of the library’s resources translate into enormous potential for library users, especially for one who had been involved with the library through the past 10 years.

Consider how the library could impact a life of any individual. A young student would find help, using the Homework Center which features free printing, library materials and personal assistance, to complete assignments. This successful graduate could use the library to evaluate career choices, and research and apply to schools.

The library offers resources to help college and trade school students with their studies, even if they live out of the area. As the person graduates, the library can help prepare a professional résumé and aid in the job search. When starting a family, the library offers books on prenatal care, baby names and parenting techniques.

The library is proud of its performance during the last 10 years and hopeful for a continued presence for the next 10 years.

Drop by the open house Thursday at 7 p.m. and see what all the library could do for you and how you could help your library.
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