FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- As families put the finishing touches on their holiday celebrations, Fort Rucker's Center Library is busy gearing up for exciting changes in 2018.

According to Jodi Wilcox, Center Library reference librarian, patrons can expect a number of enhancements to their reading experience in 2018.

"Currently, we are working on converting our collection over to a new system for circulation," Wilcox said, looking ahead. "This new system will bring a few changes to the way books are checked out. There will be a self-check-out kiosk for patrons to utilize.

"Anyone who wants to use the computers will have to be registered with us in our system," she added. "Patrons can also expect more programs for adults, single Soldiers and families. It is our goal to provide the community with meaningful programs while providing resiliency."

Although the library's winter reading program has been canceled, its Maker Faire will proceed as scheduled.

"The Maker Faire will showcase several spaces for patrons to imagine, design and build their ideas in various forms," Wilcox said. "There will be tools for paper or yarn crafts. Patrons will also have opportunities to use technology to create their ideas with a 3D printer, Oculus Rift or audio visual tools to make a short animated video. For the musically inclined, a keyboard will be available that can be used with headphones. In addition to all of these, there will be equipment where patrons can convert their VHS tapes.

"Patrons will see the Makerspace being offered as a monthly program with a different focus each month and a Maker Faire will be offered each quarter," she added. "The community has more to look forward to as the Makerspaces will be used to host programming for adults and families. Some of the Makerspaces are still being developed, such as the tool library, Raspberry Pi to learn programming, and a photography module. In February, we will have a bike repair workshop to highlight our bike repair tools."

According to Wilcox, the spaces will serve an important role in furthering the creative spirit of the Fort Rucker community.

"Center Library recognizes the talent and creativity of the many people in our community and that everyone may not have access to the tools and materials needed to construct their ideas," she said. "It is important to have multiple spaces for the community to come and craft and design as support for resiliency.

"Our youth should always be encouraged to continue their creativity and think outside of the box," she added. "Creative thinking can help them in future jobs, projects or other areas of life."

Center Library will also continue to host diverse and inclusive programs, such as the recently-hosted Tal Waggin' Tutors, as offerings continue to develop in 2018.

"The community's needs are as diverse as the people who live here," Wilcox said. "Center Library tries to offer programs that are educational, entertaining and meaningful. In addition, we try to meet the many needs of our youth, Soldiers, families, adults, retirees and veterans."

The library's hours during the holiday season will be different than normal: now through Dec. 22, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 1-5 p.m.; closed Sunday and Monday; Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Dec. 29, 1-5 p.m.; Dec. 30, 1-5 p.m.; closed Dec. 31-Jan. 1; Jan. 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Normal hours will resume Jan. 3.

For more information, call 255-3885.