FORT SILL, Okla. (Nov. 3, 2016) -- Boasting a long list of free services, Nye Library is a hidden gem at Fort Sill. A monthly book club, access to WiFi, and no late fees for 90 days are only some of the resources available at the library. The best part is the information doesn't cost a thing.
"It's all completely free," said Mark Berg, Nye Library director. "All patrons need to do is come to the library once to set up an account. They get an online password and they're good to go."
A Lawton native, Berg earned his master's in library science from Oklahoma University online while working as a library aide. He has been in his new role for eight months and considers it his personal mission to help the Fort Sill community rely on the library for books and newspapers and everything in between.
"I'm trying to change the perspective people have of libraries," he said.
Among the more traditional shelves of bestsellers and reference books, patrons can access more than 50,000 audio and e-books as well as DVDs, Blu-ray discs, video games and music CDs. The library also houses four media rooms where patrons can watch movies, play video games, or get some quiet studying done. Patrons of the library can access a variety of magazines and newspapers, including armed services newspapers, the National Geographic online library, and the Gale Reference library.
"We're here to meet their needs. I don't think people realize the services that we offer. Libraries have that stereotype of just being books. I think a lot of Soldiers are learning differently as they come in to do their training," Berg said.
The library is one of the few places on post with a computer lab, so many of the regular patrons are Soldiers who need to print materials. Along with Common Access Card (CAC) access, Soldiers are able to complete training, check email, surf the Internet, watch a movie, or play video games.
"It's a good place for Soldiers to come and blow off some steam," Berg said.
2nd Lt. Abigail Neddermeyer noted that the library is great for "CAC access because it's easier than doing it from home." Neddermeyer also said that she visits the library every other week and is happy about the recent addition of Sunday hours.
Over the summer, the Nye Library reduced patron hours and was only open four days a week.
"We've had some change in hours. We went from seven days a week down to four and the community responded that they were not happy with that," Berg explained.
Now it is open for a half day on Sundays. Berg said he's happy to see the library full. At this time, the Nye Library is closed Mondays and Tuesdays, as well as all federal holidays.
For families, the library offers a great place to begin early childhood education. Anndie Logan regularly brings her 3 year old son Owen to the library for story time and interaction with other children. She said that because he isn't involved in any type of schooling, "The library is a good place for him to learn."
Because Fort Sill has such a large home-school base, Berg wants to ensure parents who educate their children in this manner can continue to access the resources available at the library, which recently added access to Rosetta Stone for language learners.
The library staff will host a free holiday card ornament workshop Nov. 25 and 26, from 1-3 p.m. A complete list of activities for the library can be found at https://sill.armymwr.com/us/sill. Eligible patrons include active Army, Army Reserve, National Guard, retired military, military dependents and DoD civilians.