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Library offers classes, computers, check-outs

Aaron Druilhet, 11, Army Family member, picks out a book from the Center Library April 16. (Photo by Sara E. Martin)

Aaron Druilhet, 11, Army Family member, picks out a book from the Center Library April 16. (Photo by Sara E. Martin)

Published: April 24, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (April 24, 2014) -- Last week was National Library Week across the nation, and Fort Rucker’s Center Library took center stage to show people it’s more than just books.

The Fort Rucker Center Library, located in Bldg. 212 on 5th Avenue, offers a host of amenities to members of the community who have access to its resources, according to Jackie Chappell, reference librarian.

“Some people still think that a library is just a place where mean old ladies shush at you. But, because of changing trends, libraries are beginning to morph into community centers,” said Chappell. “It’s not a place filled with dusty books. It’s a place of learning and studying and fun.”

Some of the services that people have access to are 19 public computers with Internet access and printers; Wi-Fi for customers who bring their own computers; downloadable e-books, audio books and music; and Rosetta Stone and Transparent Language Online, which offer more than 48 different available languages to learn, said Chappell.

The library also has check-out options for physical books, magazines, compact discs, movies and video games for the Wii, Playstation 2, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

It also features story time, reading programs, color printing, seasonal classes, book clubs, and adult and child crafting activities.

All library services are free with a library card, which is also free. The only charges are for printing more than two pages.

The library currently has 44,684 physical books; 6,818 audio-visual materials, which includes e-books, DVDs and games; and 86 different magazine and newspaper titles, according to Chappell.

The e-books, and more, are offered through: Army Digital Media Library, which has e-books, e-audiobooks, videos and music; Ebsco Audio books, which offers fiction and non-fiction titles; and History Reference Online, which provides access to more than 6,000 encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks and guides, said Chappell.

“Many avid readers can read a book a day – that’s around $8 a day in paperbacks. So, for many it’s not smart to go buy a book when you can check it out for free here,” she said. “And we even have a book sale aisle. People can donate books to us, and if we do not add it to our catalog, we sell it anywhere from 25 cents to $1.”

For access to the e-resources, people must be a registered library patron and have a unique email address with the library in order to register for an online account.

The library has access to more than 40 databases – an asset that Chappell said can really help Soldiers and Family members going through any type of military school or university.

“If you go to college or graduate school, you learn how to write papers, but not everyone goes down that path. So we offer classes to help people familiarize themselves with database searches,” she said. “People can use the databases to do research, and look up journals and newspapers to find articles on their subject matter.”

The library not only has academic databases, but also has ancestry, mechanic and other subjects for people to utilize.

“Our databases allow us to transform from this one building to a huge world of information,” she said. “The library is a gateway to not only knowledgeable people, but to a huge variety of resources for school, home life and work life.”

Chappell warned against “Googling” subjects, especially for academic purposes.

“Not everything you see and read on the Internet is true. But we can point you in the right direction of finding the right and true information that you might need,” she said.

The Center Library is open Mondays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesdays-Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m.

For more information, call 255-3885.

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