By Karl Weisel (Wiesbaden Family and MWR)September 18, 2018
WIESBADEN, Germany - It's a multi-dimensional portal to worlds far and wide.
It's a physical place -- and at the same time a virtual reality.
That's right, today's Wiesbaden Library is a lot more than simply a collection of hard-copy books, CDs, DvDs and reference materials.
"The library has really evolved," said Wiesbaden Library Director JoAnn Ogreenc. In addition to now offering around-the-clock access to online resources ranging from genealogical services to language lessons, test preparation to tutorial services, the library is also a place where people come together for recreational, cultural and children's activities.
"What we're really concentrating on is being a gathering place -- America's living room -- a place where people can get together," said Ogreenc.
During the Grand Reopening of the Wiesbaden Library on Oct. 11 at 4:30 p.m. patrons will have a chance to learn more about the many opportunities available through the library and the various updates made to help enhance the overall library experience.
"Over the past three years we've been redesigning the library to make it a more flexible space," Ogreenc said, explaining that this gives the staff and patrons the ability to more easily move things around for various functions and events.
"We've redone the computer stations to allow for more privacy." Other new features include USB charging stations, memorable quotes on the library walls and more comfortable study and relaxation areas.
"This is our opportunity to reintroduce the library to the community," she said, adding that cake and refreshments would be a highlight of the Grand Reopening event.
"Expand and explore -- that's what it's all about," said Ogreenc, pointing to the wide range of free materials and services available -- both physically and at the click of a computer mouse.
"We have books, video games, select movies, audio books for those longs drives and an exceptional children's selection including Spanish-language books," she said, adding that e-books, audio, video and e-magazines and newspapers (including nine major U.S. dailies) are also featured.
"Anytime someone comes in we let them know there are a host of online tests they can do," ranging from CLEP to GRE preparation, she said.
A handout available at the library front desk provides a handy showcase of online resources and how to get connected to gain access. Whether looking for a small-engine repair guide or brain training, downloadable e-materials to business and history texts -- it's all listed in the 2018 Online Resources Guide.
Regular features at the library include Preschool and Spanish Language Story Times, American Girl Doll Socials, Lego Block Parties, "Maker" Arts and Crafts classes, holiday book events and lots more.
"We're also partnering with Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers to offer life skills programs," she said, pointing to a project where BOSS members make bean bag chairs for their barracks rooms.
"We'll have our 'Blind Date With a Book' in February," Ogreenc said. This is a chance for patrons to check out a wrapped book, especially selected by the library staff, to discover a new author, interest or subject.
So, many great options for expanding one's horizons -- during normal hours of operation at the Wiesbaden Library, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Building 1029 on Clay Kaserne -- or anytime online through http://mwrlibrary.biznet.com.
"The best thing about the library is you have a money-back guarantee. If you don't like it, bring it back," Ogreenc concluded.