BY VIRGINIA ROBERTS, DIRECTOR
Rhinelander District Library
Show Rhinelander District Library your library card! September is Library Card Sign-Up month! Be sure you have a library card! Lost your card? See library staff and get your library card today!
What can a library card possibly do for you in this age of smartphones where all information is at one’s fingertips and everything on the Internet must be true? Really, how do you determine when to go to the library and what to ask a librarian? Well, staff who select materials at the library are trained professionals. They don’t just get the materials you’ve asked for; they also know what questions to ask to get you what you need. These selectors look for and vet material both online and off to ensure it’s the most accurate and the best possible. And because Rhinelander District Library is part of the Wisconsin Valley Library System, materials can come from anywhere and are not limited to the stuff in the building. Libraries are more than building and books—and with that library card you can get reliable online health and wellness information, car repair, family research resources, old newspapers, history and travel information; study for military, college, occupational, or citizenship exams; prepare a cover letter and resume for a change in career.
There are even programs available to improve reading, writing, math and workplace skills. Your library is available online 24/7! It has a librarian available to ask questions online. BadgerLink provides access to quality online resources for Wisconsin residents, accessible with your library card. And then there’s the Wisconsin Digital Library (Overdrive) of downloadable books, audio books, and movies. There is joy in someone with his or her first library card seeing all the access. Even so, technology is a tool, not a teacher. It enhances what librarians and all educators do, and how people learn — how they use these tools to learn more, work harder and smarter and improve their lives and our community.
And as Ron Popeil used to say, “But wait, there’s more!” Your library provides all sorts of activities, like Crafternoons, storytelling, book sales, game days and trivia contests. It can open the world you live in by exploring the Northwoods environment or backyard chickens or garden pollinators. It can show you another world. RDL has been Building a Better World all summer by exploring cultures around the world in the adult department. Italy, Syria, India, Ireland, Germany. Books and movies, crafts and food have been around all year to explore, discuss and enjoy. Learn about the technology you own, but don’t understand, craft or color, read with a child, play board or card games, talk about books at book club, and still more. You can meet friends here; find a recipe you had forgotten or plans for building that window box or outdoor fire place…
You might be curious, why would you need a library card for that? What does that have to do with a library? You actually don’t need a library card for programs, but I highly encourage having one. If there is something interesting happening, you can be sure to find out more from the librarians. And what if you are interested in learning the strategies in beating your kid at chess — well, there are several good books here at the library. And this librarian might just know a few good websites. Yes, RHS teacher — you know who you are — I’m looking at you.
Can you believe school has already started? Often referred to as the “people’s university,” education never ends here at the library. It might look a great deal different than those who coined the phrase envisioned, however. We start with baby story time and 1,000 books before kindergarten, and spanning through book and a movie, book clubs, giveaways of books and swag and end with Senior Outreach for those who can no longer travel easily. There is everything in between — audio, video, books and internet access. Classes range from science to arts, computers to author events, and everything between, year-round. Don’t forget your library card. Free to a good home. It can fetch music, movies, books, research and more, all with the assistance of your librarian!
The Rhinelander District Library, 106 N. Stevens St., is open Monday–Saturday. To contact Virginia Roberts, call 715-365-1070 or email director@RhinelanderLibrary.org.