By Julia Jones, Correspondent
It’s time to book a trip to Belton’s library – they’ve made some changes to their story.
The Lena Armstrong Public Library is taking a step toward the future by implementing new technology to expand the resources it offers and to help with summer programs. This new technology includes access to an online magazine platform, sign-ups for an online summer reading program and the ability to download and read books through Freading and the 3M Cloud Library. Librarian Sarah Maddaford explained that they decided to upgrade their collection to reach people who prefer downloading books to checking them out.
“A lot of our patrons have Kindles and phones where you can change the type, so you can make it bigger,” Maddaford said. “It could also be because they’re at home and not able to get here. They’ve used [the cloud] a lot ever since we started advertising it.”
While 3M and Freading allow access to an online library of books, the more recently implemented Zinio allows users to search through electronic magazines. Director of Library Services Kim Kroll stated that this collection is available to everyone.
“The Lena Armstrong Public Library has added 62 electronic magazines to the collection. [This service] is free with a library card,” Kroll said. “There are magazines for adults, children, and teens. There are English and some Spanish language titles.”
The library is also now subscribed to ABCmouse, an interactive and educational website for children. The children’s library has gotten substantially busier since summer began, according to Maddaford.
“It doubled the day after school got out,” Maddaford said.
Along with the large turnout at the library, the summer reading program has seen a lot of growth. The program is offered for ages 0-15 and focused on keeping kids interested in reading by implementing outdoor activities, computer games, and prizes. According to Kroll, this has led to more sign-ups.
“Summer Reading is going strong,” Kroll said. “We have over 200 children registered through the online program.”
The library is also holding a book sale to make room for newer material. The books are priced from $.50 to $3 and include a variety of genres and reading levels. Maddaford stated why they decided to sell these titles.
“We get a lot of donated materials, and a lot of it goes into the collection, but a lot of it can’t go into the collection because there’s not enough space,” Maddaford said. “So what we can’t use either goes for sale or goes for free.”