At the Library

I know, I know.  I have a thing for song titles as blog post titles. The Green Day song really has nothing to do with this post or even the library, but I digress...

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As a child I often went to the library with my mom. A former teacher, she was very influential on my love of reading.  My first visit to the Charles M. White Memorial Library in downtown Stevens Point was sometime in the mid-1980s.  I loved the modern architecture of the building that now houses Associated Bank. I still remember how excited I was when I got my first library card.  I can even recall the librarian using a large stamp and black ink to mark the due date on the inside cover of the books I was checking out.  Oh my, I think my age is showing.

The library is still downtown only having relocated a few blocks from the bank.  Now it is known as the Portage County Public Library and its three floors house books, books and more books. Of course libraries today have more to offer than just reading material.  You can borrow CDs, DVDs, search the old newspapers on microfiche, use the computer, join a book club and so much more.  I could live there if they'd let me.

My children love it there, too. They are always excited to find the newest books and movies to borrow.  We visit both the Stevens Point and Plover branches often, but there are also locations in Rosholt and Almond for our rural residents.

I could go on for days about my love for our library, or any library for that matter, but I'll just share the quick list.

Library Love Top Ten

1.  It's FREE

They say the best things in life are free and I believe it to be true about the library.  I love that I can visit without it costing any money (unless I forget to return a movie on time).  The boys get a bag full of books to read, movies to watch and there's still money in my purse.  Who doesn't love that?

2.  It's Quiet

Okay, the Children's Department may be a little rowdy when all the kids are playing and having fun.  However, the other floors are quite tranquil and no one is talking loudly on their cell phones.  I love being able to read without distraction.  Sometimes I leave my 13-year-old in charge of his brothers for twenty minutes while I head to the second floor to look for a book and enjoy the silence.

3.  Free WiFi

When I'm at home and trying to do work on the computer, it never fails that the boys need my attention.  It's tough to get things done when I'm being pulled in different directions.  Going to the library provides the boys with distraction time to play and I connect to the internet and pay bills, answer emails or peruse pinterest for my next reading list.

4.  Research Family or Local History

Did you know that your library has Genealogy and local history resources, including historic newspapers, yearbooks and city directories available? I love searching for information on distant relatives that came to Stevens Point from Poland.  I've learned so much about the businesses they owned, the farms they operated and so much more.

5.  Interlibrary Loan Service

One of the best things about our local library is the Interlibrary Loan Service. If our local branch doesn't own a copy I can request to borrow it from another participating library.  Requests can be made online or by calling the main library phone number.  I love that the items I've requested are delivered to my preferred branch within a few days.

6.  The Kids Love It

Every library has a children's section and our library is no exception.  Kids can discover the books they like and have freedom to make their own choices (with minimal parent supervision).

Our library has toys and games, too.  The littlest loves the train table and the play kitchen the best. What a great way to stimulate his creative imagination.

There are lots of programs for kids, too.  Our library features the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge, but there is so much more they offer.  There are story time events for babies and toddlers, a Lego Brick Builder's Club for older children, and youth book clubs for teens.  They even offer homework help and book recommendations.  Kids can also borrow eBooks from Wisconsin's Digital Library. It's definitely worth checking out.

For a calendar of Portage County Public Library events click here.  

7. Discover New Authors or Genres

As much as I love buying books it can be quite expensive.  When I want to read the latest book by my favorite author I know I can usually find it at the library.  Because the library allows me to borrow more than one book at a time I'm also more likely to read something new.  It saves a lot of money, too!

Our library has a Favorite Author's Club that is easy to join! Check out the details here.

And of course I can't forget Book Recommendations!  Love Downton Abbey? Game of Thrones? Mad Men?  The librarians have suggestions for your next great read.  Check it out!

8.  Learn New Skills

Technology changes quickly.  Our library offers one-on-one technology assistance on a variety of topics.  You can learn basic computer and internet skills, create an email account, learn how to use Microsoft Office Software, social media, résumé formatting and learn how to use the Job Center of Wisconsin website. Appointments can be scheduled for up to one hour by calling the Reference Desk.

9.  Join a Book Club

Our library offers several book clubs. Between Reads is geared toward adults and teens who love Young Adult literature.  New Horizons Book Club runs September through May and is based on books chosen monthly.  Paging through the Past is a book club for adults who love to read and discuss history.  Teen Page Turners is geared toward teens in grades 6-12.  Read more about Book Clubs here.

10.  Change Your Life

At the library you are surrounded by anything you've ever wanted to know.  Some of history's greatest and most creative minds are featured in the Biographies section.  Want to learn how to sew, scrap book, fix your car, cook, and more?  You can find books on any topic.   You're guaranteed to find something that intrigues and inspires you.

Well, what are you waiting for?  Get to the Library! Or, tell me what you love about your library!

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And because I love Green Day:


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