There’s a whole lot more than books at the local library

By Meg Olson

Library branch manager Kris Lomedico is reaching out to the community with the message that the library is a lot more than just books.

“How many of you have library cards?” she asked at the October 8 meeting of the local fire district. “Very few,” she commented at the sparse show of hands, and she was Library-Cards-Freegal-Zinioready to correct the problem. “You can come in and activate them or activate them online,” she said, handing out cards.

The Whatcom County Library System has launched a drive to get more people using their services, and it all starts with getting library cards into more people’s hands and letting them know all the doors it can open.

A library card gives patrons access to books, books-on-tape, movies, music and magazines at the local branch, but also opens up a wealth of online resources, Lomedico said. “All you need is a library card,” she said, “to get free magazines downloaded on your computer, tablet or mobile device. You can learn a language, hone your computer skills, or download free music. Kids can access online homework help from a live tutor. Under the research tab on the library system website anyone with a library card can access a wealth of premium research tools, from Consumer Reports to job search tools and genealogy programs.

Through Library Now, available at the App Store or wa.boopsie.com, library patrons can access all of this and manage their account from a mobile device.

The library also sponsors programs at the community center, currently focused on kids but ready to expand. “We want to do programs with the community and are open to suggestions,” Lomedico said.

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