Hello everyone, before I dive into this week’s column, I’d like to introduce myself.

I’m Shaun Klee, the new adult and technical services librarian here at the Grand Island Public Library. For those of you unfamiliar with what that means, I handle all things related to adults, including reference, our adult collections, cataloging and processing, and I also work with technology and databases. If you ever have any questions related to any of these things, feel free to contact me at the library.

I’m originally from North Dakota but have found my way to Grand Island by way of Norman, Okla., and then via Beatrice. I’m really looking forward to getting know everyone in this great community. Now, I want to tell you all a little bit about my (and your.) library card.

I love my library card. Even if I didn’t work for the library, I would still say that because I use it every day. I use it to check out physical and digital books and audiobooks, and I even use it to listen to music, watch TV shows and watch movies.

September is National Library Card Month and I want to point out some facts about libraries, courtesy of the American Library Association’s Quotable Facts About America’s Libraries, and highlight some of the services we provide so that you will love your library card just as much as I love mine.

Librarians across the country answer an astonishing 6.6 million reference questions per week. We have a great reference department at our library, so whether you’re looking for a phone number, want to know something really obscure, or need assistance finding one of the thousands of items in the stacks, just ask our wonderful staff.

There are more libraries than Starbucks in the United States and nearly all of them have free wifi and computer access. If you’re just stopping by to check your email on your lunch break or working on an assignment for school, the library is a great place to complete things. Free Internet access and low-cost printing aren’t the only technological things that we offer here at the library; there are all sorts of digital services to fit just about anyone’s fancy.

If digital audiobooks and e-books are your thing, we have three great services. Overdrive, Hoopla and RBdigital all offer books in these formats. In addition, Hoopla offers digital videos including movies, TV shows and documentaries. Hoopla also features music from hundreds of different artists. RBdigital (the merger of OneClickDigital and Zinio) also has digital magazines for all taste; they even have printable coloring pages.

Our digital services aren’t just limited to literature and entertainment. We also have many educational databases including Ancestry.com, online practice tests for the driver’s license exam, Chilton’s auto manuals, and a resume building service. We also provide access to the statewide databases through the Nebraska Library Commission’s NebraskAccess program.

Did you know the ALA estimates that in the United States nearly 2,584 people visit the library every minute? While we don’t have quite that many people in the library at any given time here, our library is quite a happening place to be. Check out our newsletter and online calendar for our many great events, including children’s storytimes for a wide age range, teen events, adult programming, and even art shows.

The library is truly a great place, and we have so much to offer you. I really do hope that you will explore the services I mentioned plus all the other great things we have to offer that I just couldn’t fit into this space, and best of all: they are all free when once you get your library card.

Shaun Klee serves as the adult and technical services librarian for the Grand Island Public Library. Email him at shaunk@gilibrary.org

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