Learn4Life: A Unique Online Learning Resource - FREE
New Year, New You! Have you always wanted to learn a new subject but didn't want to incur tuition fees or have to worry about your grade? Or have you just wanted to take a class for fun because it sounded interesting?
Learn4Life is a new online, instructor-led learning service offered through the library. It features hundreds of online courses with valuable (and interesting) knowledge that you can immediately apply to your life or job. Popular courses include: Accounting Fundamentals, Creating Web Pages, Grant Writing, Medical Terminology, Prepare for the GED, SAT/ACT Preparation, Secrets of Better Photography, and Start Your Own Small Business. New courses are introduced monthly so you can find interesting courses throughout the year that will advance your knowledge.
Why is this service unique? The courses are led by dedicated professional instructors who coordinate the courses by pacing learners, answering questions, giving feedback, and facilitating discussions. The classes are interactive - the kind of learning that tends to stick. It's also free for library cardholders.
All you need to take part is your library card and you may enroll in unlimited Learn4Life courses each year. You have nothing to lose, give it a try! New classes start every month, mid-month. Call us or stop by with questions and check the website for course offerings.
Computer Literacy for Our Youngest Customers Funded by Friends
In today's high-tech world kids go straight from ABC (the basics of reading) to QWERTY (the basics of keyboarding) to GPA (grade point average) to BA (bachelor of arts) and perhaps MBA (Masters of Business Administration) or an equivalent advanced degree. It's a high-tech, fast-paced world and kids today need all the help they can get to keep up and get a leg up to succeed.
The Friends of the Library are extremely supportive of the library's youngest users and give thousands of dollars each year for the library's summer reading program. Recently the Friends increased their support for children in the library with a major gift. They purchased some special computers that are geared toward children ages 2-8. The AWE Early Learning Stations are located at all library locations in the children's areas.
What's different about these computers? The keyboards are color-coded so all the vowels are one color, consonants another color and numbers another. The computers are both touch screen and mouse operated and come loaded with specific learning programs for kids that are coordinated with Common Core Curriculum. They are also not connected to the Internet so the learning stays local and without distraction. The Friends were able to purchase these computers through a special consortium price arranged by the WA State Library and many libraries statewide are using these.
We are very grateful to the Friends for their support of this purchase! Please stop by your local library and spend some time with a child on these computers.
Pictured above: Aby K. uses the AWE Early Learning Station at the South Hill Library. Her grandma, Judy was helping her but didn't want to be in the photo.
New Hours Mean More People Can Use the Libraries
Since the Hillyard, Indian Trail and East Side Libraries have increased their hours there have been many more people using the libraries. In just the very first few days there was a noticeable jump in usage and every day brings new customers in who are pleased about the new hours. At the East Side library the number of visitors has increased 52% over last January and checkouts are up 37%! During their official "open house" (which was on a very snowy day in early January) customers wrote notes to the staff with their heartfelt thanks for the longer hours (see photo).
If you haven't yet, then please stop by East Side, Hillyard or Indian Trail; we think you'll find their new hours convenient and it will feel like you have a brand new library to visit!
Good news! Freegal has increased the # of songs each person is allowed to download to 5 songs per week. It will take hardly any time at all to download a whole album at this rate.
Here's a recommendation from Library Director Andrew Chanse, "Did you know Freegal also has some audiobooks? My kiddos and I are big fans of storyteller Jim Weiss and there are a ton of his readings on Freegal. These have been great to listen to as we've been a bit under the weather with a winter cold...and it’s been easy to download whole stories with the increase in the download limit!"
Don't let a week slip by without grabbing some free tunes, log in now.
We're Thinking Spring with a Seed Library!
Yes, there is still snow on the ground but that doesn't mean you can't think about spring! We've been thinking about spring a lot lately since local gardeners, Ellie Holm and Kate Burke approached the library about starting a seed library. We thought it was a great idea!
So, what is a seed library? It's a little different than a traditional library because you don't return the exact same thing you borrow. The idea is that you get seeds from the library, grow the plants and then harvest seeds from the plants, dry them and return the new seeds to the library. In that way the seeds that are returned are fresh and probably from your healthiest plants. Together we create a stash of seeds for plants that actually do well in our community!
Library customers will be able to check out 6 packets of edible plant seeds and 6 packets of decorative plant seeds with the idea that they will bring seeds from the next summer's bounty back to the library to be added to the collection for the next growing season. While many of the seeds that were donated to start the collection are heirloom seeds, some are hybrid. If you give the hybrid seeds a try please grow them, enjoy them, and compost what's left as hybrid seeds are not good candidates for saving. If you take home heirloom seeds, grow them, enjoy them, and learn how to save the seeds to share with other gardeners in your community.
Seeds will be available for check out only from the Hillyard Library and the Seed Library will be ready for use by mid-February.
The Library's Cool Meeting Rooms
Did you know that the library has meeting rooms that can be used by any group or individual? (The meeting or event must be open to the public and of general public interest, see our website for details). Did you know that the meeting rooms are free of charge? Our meeting rooms are used by hundreds of groups each year. Here's a sampling of some of the non-library stuff coming up:
•Spokane Disc Golf Association meeting – Hillyard Library, February 11 at 6pm
•Artist Trust At Large – free presentation on giving your arts career a boost – Downtown Library, February 26th at 6pm
•Mommy and Me Group – Shadle Library, February 14 at 10 am
•Lincoln Heights Garden Club – South Hill Library, February 10 at 10 a.m.
•Norwegian Language Group – South Hill Library, February 14 at 10 a.m.
These are not library programs; they are groups using the library for their event. If you're interested in attending or hosting an event or meeting please call the hosting library for information.
Join the Library Board of Trustees
The Library Board of Trustees will have an opening starting in April 2014. That's when Jack Fallis' second term expires. We strongly encourage interested citizens to apply. The Board of Trustees consists of five citizen volunteers, each appointed by the Mayor. The Board meets monthly and makes final decisions about major aspects of library business. Volunteers serve a five-year term and can apply for a second five-year term if they wish.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the library's Board, you can get an application at the Mayor's office or from the City's website. For more information, please contact the Mayor's office at 625-6250.
Tax assistance is available at the Downtown Library! Check here to see if you're eligible for this free assistance.
Click each program for details; some programs require pre-registration.
Organizing Your Finances
STCU My Life, My Money Workshop
South Hill, Tues., 2/4 at 6 p.m.;
Downtown, Tues, 2/11 at noon
Valentine making at all branches
Saturday, 2/8 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Smart Searching on the Internet Class
Hillyard, Sat., 2/8 at 10:30 a.m.;
Shadle, Sat., 2/15 at 10:30
Lunchtime Book Group
Discussion of When Women Were Birds
Downtown, Wed., 2/12 at noon
Shadle, Sat., 2/8 at 3 p.m.;
South Hill, Sat., 2/15 at 3 p.m.
Shadle, Sat. 2/15 at 3 p.m.
Web Email Class
Hillyard, Sat., 2/22 at 10:30 a.m.
Beginning Internet Class
South Hill, Tues, 2/25 at 1 p.m.
South Hill's Heart of Spirituality book discussion group continues this month with a discussion of When Bad Things Happen to Good People on February 11 at 6:30.
Artist Karen Mobley has a beautiful show in the Downtown Library's gallery on the 1st Floor. You can see the show through Friday, February 18. It will also be open late for First Friday Artwalk in February (2/7).
Our WorkSource lab is open for those needing assistance with job
searches, resume preparation and other employment-related work.