Center Library offers free services and programs
Soldiers and civilians enjoy free access to the computers offered at the Center Library located on 5th Avenue. The library offers a host of service and resources, as well as programs that people can take part in throughout the year.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (January 31, 2013) -- From e-books to music to download, to language learning software, the Center Library features a treasure trove of free resources to the community.

The Fort Rucker Center Library, located in Bldg. 212 on 5th Avenue, has a host of amenities offered to members of the community that have access to its resources, according to Jackie Chappell, reference librarian for the Center Library.

"Some of the services that people have access to are 19 public computers with Internet access and printing abilities, free Wi-Fi for customers who bring their own computers and [meeting rooms that can be reserved at no charge]," said Chappell.

Along with Web access, the library offers free e-books that are available for download to e-readers or other portable listening devices, said the librarian.

"The e-reader access is (one thing we offer here), and we want people to know that we have that feature available," said Ruth Villaverde, former reference librarian. "Some of the selections may require an Army Knowledge Online account in order to access, but once they have that set up, they can download directly to their [e-readers]."

If people don't have their AKO accounts set up, library staff members can aid in setting one up.

The e-books and more are offered through: Army Digital Media Library, which has e-books, e-audiobooks, videos and music; Ebsco Audio books, which offers fiction and non-fiction titles; History Reference Online, which provides access to over 6,000 encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks and guides, according to Chappell.

"In addition to our electronic and print resources, we also carry music CDs; DVDs for adults and children; and video games for Xbox, Xbox Kinect, Playstation 2 and 3, and Wii," she said.

People who utilize the library have access to many of the books and articles from the online catalog as well, which gives citations, and they also have access to Transparent Language Online, which is the Army's current contract for language learning.

"It's completely free," said the librarian. "The TLO is available once you make an account for it. You'll have access to it anytime you sit down at a computer that has Internet access."

The language-learning program can also be downloaded to smartphones or other handheld portable computing devices, according to Chappell. The program offers basic language courses in over 48 foreign languages and includes activities for developing pronunciation, grammar, writing, vocabulary and culture skills.

"I highly recommend people check it out if they are at all interested in learning a new language," added Villaverde.

The Center Library also offers free music downloads for library patrons that register for access to Freegal, the program that offers access to music from the Sony Music Catalog and several independent music producers, according to the librarian.

"People [that are registered to Freegal] can download up to three songs a week and it's theirs to keep," said Villaverde.

Along with the vast features the library provides, it's also an enormous resource for people to take advantage of, according to the librarian. For access to the e-resources people must be a registered library patron and have a unique email address with the library in order to register for an online account.

The library also has programs that people can take part in as recreational activities, such as: story times for young children every Friday at 10:15 a.m., which includes a craft activity; summer reading program; monthly craft activity for children ages 3-11; and teen book club, which meets every other Thursday from 4-5 p.m, according to Chappell.

Chappell's main job as the reference librarian is to help people find what they need in the library, so if patrons need assistance, they can either walk in and ask or schedule an appointment.

The Center Library is open Mondays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesdays-Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m.

For more information, call 255-3885.

Page last updated Thu January 31st, 2013 at 12:31