What can we do for you?
Have you been to our library lately, or really explored our website? We are always so happy to have visitors! Our staff members always try to greet the public with a smile. Are you aware of all the services we offer? Though books are front-and-center, we're about more than books.
Books, books, books. Yes, we have shelves of books. Everyone knows that. Most don't recognize the variety of books. We have them for all ages, on all kinds of subjects, both fiction and nonfiction. Our nonfiction books for young people are not used nearly as much as I'd like to see. They are great for learning (even for grownups -- very good introductions to subjects!) and often fun to read, too. We have a recently-purchased collection of books about careers, especially careers in the technology field.
Large Print books. Many of us don't see as well as we used to. Our large print books are growing in popularity.
Audio Books on CD. Sometimes it's nice to have someone read you a story!
Graphic novels. These books written in comic-book format are popular with young people. Even though they are generally called "novels," some of them are nonfiction, too.
Suicide Prevention Collection: We have partnered with the Somerset County Suicide Prevention task force, who provided funding for a special collection of books. These are geared toward a wide audience that includes those mourning the loss of a loved one by suicide, members of the education community, concerned community members who want to know what to say/do to prevent suicides, and those who are depressed and need help.
Other special collections:
"How To" collection
Our books are not just in the building. We have e-books and downloadable audio books available online, too, via cloudLibrary.
Magazines. We have print magazines in our library -- and thousands of magazine and journal titles available online through cloudLibrary when you have a library card!
DVDs. We have well over 1,000 to choose from, free to borrow. There are popular movies and TV shows. We have educational videos, too.
Free movies available online. There are now movies available through cloudLibrary.
Educational games and project kits. I wrote about these in my last blog post. We'd really like to see these get more use! You can borrow them!
Robotics and electronics items. We have a limited number of simple robotic and electronic items like BeeBots (simple programmable robots for young children) and OzBots (simple robots for somewhat older children). We don't have these out on the open shelves, but ask and you may borrow them!
Children's literacy programming. Our preschool story hour is a traditional way to encourage early literacy; 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is a self-paced program that really helps children prepare to start school; our LEGO Club for elementary-age youth provides a fun STEM activity; and our Summer Quest program that starts each July is perfect for stopping the "summer slide" that can happen to children's academic skills when school is out.
We also have Money Monsters and Money As You Grow materials available to take and keep. These are a fun way to help children learn the value of money and how to handle it -- what's known as Financial Literacy.
Programming is not just for kids. We have programs for all ages. We're planning local history programs featuring our online PA Photos & Documents collections of Maple Festival photos, the construction and dedication of the library, and the area's 1998 tornado outbreak. Past programs have included topics related to railroads, the Gettysburg battlefield, recycling, local effects of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, and more. Book discussions are also popular.
Excellent local history and genealogy resources and services. Our Pennsylvania Room houses an extensive and varied collection of local history and genealogy resources. The room is typically staffed weekdays 10-5 (though it's best to call first if you need research assistance).
Online local history resources. Our library has created local history collections on PA Photos and Documents, the Pennsylvania Newspaper Archive, and US GenWeb's Pennsylvania Archives. We also subscribe to Fire Insurance Maps Online for Somerset County, which provides a glimpse of "what was there when" in past years.
The Way We Were Club is our newest adventure, as community members look through old photographs, identifying people and places, and some even digitizing items!
Large-capacity paper shredder
Public computers with internet connection
Ancestry Library Edition available on library computers
ABC Mouse educational online experience for children
ChiliPac. Our online patron library catalog is now interactive! You can make booklists, write reviews, read reviews by other readers, and more! Of course, you can still place holds and request renewals as always.
Inter-Library Loan (ILL). If we don't have a book on our shelves, there's a good chance we can get it for you to borrow from another library! To a lesser extent, that's true for DVDs, too. (Some libraries won't send us DVDs.)
Visit our website for this and more:
cloudLibrary e-books, downloadable audio books, videos, magazines, and comics.
Novel List K-8 and Novel List Plus. Get help finding a book you'll enjoy!
Booklist Reader. Read reviews and summaries about new books and books on specific topics.
PA POWER Library -- I could (and eventually I probably will) write an entire blog post about all the neat things available through POWER Library!
Homework help. Our access to tutor.com will be ending soon, but look forward to a new (and I think even more useful) option we'll be receiving for homework help!
Fire Insurance Maps Online (FIMO). This is an historical resource. The maps provide some fascinating information about what was where in a number of Somerset County towns in specific years.
Local History Links. We have a whole page for you to use!
All of the above is FREE.
The only front-desk services we charge for are photocopies and faxes. (And the fundraiser candy bars and books we sell.) There is a charge to have our PA Room staff do actual history/genealogy research for you (in response to questions by phone, email, or Messenger) but if you come in to do research, you can get all the help you want for free.
We are a gold-level PA Forward library. Literacy is POWER. Libraries provide the FUEL! We strive to move PA Forward by encouraging lifelong learning and growth in literacy!