By Rachel Ponder, APG NewsJanuary 25, 2012
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - The next time you need a good book to read or just need a quiet place to relax, consider using the APG Morale, Welfare and Recreation Library.
Located in the APG North (Aberdeen) recreation center, the library is open to Soldiers and their Family members, civilians, retirees and contractors.
Although small in size, the library offers a selection of more than 10,000 items including fiction and non-fiction videos, magazines and audio books. Items that cannot be found in the library can be requested through an interlibrary loan system.
The library houses about 4,000 DVDs that include everything from new releases, foreign films, TV series and fitness videos to Blu-ray movies and video games.
Librarian Mike Lacombe said the DVDs are, by far, the most popular item. And he called its convenience one of the facility's high points.
"On their lunch break, patrons can grab something to eat at the North Side Grill," said Lacombe, "then come and check our selection."
He said patrons can enjoy free Wi-Fi and printing, photocopy, fax, and scan capabilities.
"And the computers are in the process of being connected to the recreation center's Wi-Fi, so soon everyone will be able to use them rather than just CAC-holders."
And all of those benefits, said Lacombe, are in addition to the cost savings. For a clearer picture of just how much the library is worth (in retail dollars), he encourages patrons to use Interactive Library Use Value Calculator at www.apgmwr.com/recreation/libraries.
Nelder Smothers, a library technician who has worked at the APG library for 24 years, said her favorite part of the job is chatting with the "regulars" who frequent the library.
"Not everyone who works on post knows that we are here, but we do have a group of people that we see on a regular basis," she said. "You get to know most people, and that is something that you couldn't do at a big public library."
Smothers said the library staff is ready to assist patrons with research questions and can help them use the Army Libraries section of the AKO website, which includes many reference databases like Academic OneFile, Military and Intelligence Database, and dozens more.
Children's selections with easy books, chapter books and DVDs make the library a Family-friendly environment, said Smothers. In the summer the library participates in the DOD MWR Library Summer Reading Program in which children in elementary through high school can earn prizes by tracking their reading time.
Milton Eng, a PEO C3T employee, said he enjoys visiting the library to catch up on current events during his lunch break.
"It is a quiet place for me to relax and read the paper," said Eng. "It is very convenient; it's centrally located on post."
The APG library is located in the APG North recreation center, Bldg. 3326, across the street from the athletic center on Erie Street.
The check-out period for most items is three weeks; one week for new DVDs. Patrons can check out three DVDs at one time. There is no limit on other items.
The library is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The library is closed on Sunday and federal holidays.
The web-based library catalog can be accessed at www.mylibraryus.fmwr.net/search~SO2. For more information, call 410-278-3417 or e-mail Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org.