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England-Biggs: Not just a warehouse full of books

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I spoke with Bob Flittie on the radio Monday, and it was a great conversation. I learned that there are folks who don’t realize what all your library can offer. These are generally folks who treasure their library nonetheless. For that I am grateful.

So many folks still consider a library as a warehouse for books, and we do still have books on our shelves. But we’re so much more than that. We have movies, music CDs, and Playaways (pre-loaded MP3 players with popular books both fiction and nonfiction). And I haven’t even talked about our online collections yet.

There are databases (research sites) on various topics, downloadable books and music, and genealogy resources as well as access to newspapers from around the world. You can learn a new language or find people from any state. All of this is available with your library card.

We offer computer and printing access to those who don’t have the equipment at home. In addition to hard-wired computers, we offer WiFi Hotspots for checkout to adults 19 and older. These small, portable devices provide you with your own internet connection wherever you go — and they are free with your library card. Each Hotspot can host up to eight connections and can be checked out for up to three weeks.

We have a collection of Hotspots dedicated to those with educational or work-related needs. Students with Chromebooks, but no reliable internet, employees with devices that need WiFi to work, job seekers who don’t have a connection at home — all of these individuals can benefit from the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) Hotspots in the purple cases.

If you know a student of any age struggling with internet access or someone looking for work, send them our way. As I write this, we have 13 of these ECF Hotspots sitting on the shelves — I hope to see them flying out the door in the next week or so.

Laura England-Biggs is the Director at Keene Memorial Library.

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