Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Free Information

Stop. Think for a moment. Is something missing from your life? Need some mystery, a little romance, or do you long for the challenges of the Wild West? Maybe you’re more of a realist – you just want to be healthy, raise your kids, and learn about the world around you? I know of a place where you can get all this information for FREE.

Libraries have been around since the earliest times of civilization. They continue to be evolving cornerstones in communities. No longer are they just a place for dust covered parchments. Have you seen “The Librarian” movies with Noah Wylie?

I’ve heard, “Who needs libraries when we have the Internet?” The Internet isn’t free. Can you snuggle up with your computer as you would a good book? The Internet has tons of information, oftentimes too much. It can take on a ‘mob mentality’. Have you ever gotten a well-meaning e-mail that sounded so important you forwarded it to all your friends, only to find out it wasn’t true? Another thing libraries offer that the Internet can’t is a live person. A librarian’s job is to try to get you information you need. By asking questions and observing body language, they may find what you are looking for more easily than a search engine on a disinterested computer. Librarians are human beings and sometimes may have a bad day or their brains go on a mental vacation without their permission but the librarians I know, care about getting you the information you requested.

The Pine River Public Library not only provides a tremendous amount of information, they also offer various ways for consumers to retrieve the information. These include, but are not limited to:
  • Free Internet Access
  • Wireless Internet Access
  • Online Catalog
  • Books, magazines, and newspaper in print
  • Audio Books on Cassettes and CD
  • Music on Cassettes and CD
  • Videos and DVDs

If you search the building and don’t see what you need, just ask. There may be a way to borrow items from other libraries and have them sent to the Pine River Library. The Pine River Public Library is part of the Kitchigami Regional Library System. As part of this system, the library has access to eight other library collections, as well as a mobile library. They also have access to other libraries in Minnesota through MNLink

The Pine River Library has story time for young children. They also have an outreach program for seniors. This is a valuable service for the community and will become more important as our baby boomers (those born from 1946-1964) begin to age. Did you know that in less than four years, our largest generation will begin to turn 65?

All you need to take advantage of these and many other services too numerous to mention, is your FREE library card. Adults need to provide a valid Minnesota I.D. with the current address. Residents will be asked to present the I.D. and complete a library card application. The parent or guardian of minor children (under 15 years of age) will need to sign the library card application. Use your card to check out materials from any Kitchigami Regional Library System branch. With your library card, you can also access the library's databases at from your home, office, or school computer.

Our Pine River Public Library is running out of space and in need of a new roof. If you have visited the library on a melting winter day, you have possibly heard the dripping and seen the containers used to catch the water. The Library Foundation board has been raising money through donations, grants, and fundraisers for an addition and a new roof. Anyone wishing to donate may make checks payable to Pine River Library Foundation, P.O. Box 14, Pine River MN 56474. Donations to the Pine River Library are eligible for a tax write-off; the Foundation is a tax exempt non-profit 501 (c)(3). There are many ways of giving to the Library Foundation. In addition to giving your valuable time, donors may give real estate, bequests, endowments, and other gifts.

Please stop in and visit. Don’t forget to say hi to Browser, the library cat. Here’s when the library is open:
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
12:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

The library wouldn’t be here without people like you who believe in free access to information. Thank-you.