Have you recently visited the Christian County Library? Do you use library websites, remotely-accessible databases or inter-library loan? What is your opinion of library hours, location and services? How would you envision the future of your county library?
Many county residents will be asked these questions and others in early July. Seeking public input into planning library services, the library will work with a Springfield firm, Opinion Research Specialists, to conduct a mail survey. A scientific sampling of citizens will receive first a postcard announcing the fact they have been selected to receive a survey. Then about a week later, the six-page survey will arrive with a postage paid return envelope. Results will be compiled and analyzed for a basis for Board of Trustees’ decisions.
The Missouri State Library and the Secretary of State’s office announced in June approval of Christian County Library’s application for a Planning and Standards’ grant. The $15,000 grant is from the Institute for Library and Museum Services through the federal Library and Technology Services Act.
The library wants and needs citizen opinion to prioritize and choose steps for providing future public library services. Whether or not they have recently used your public library, all citizens chosen to receive a survey are urged to respond and have their voice included in planning library services.
Need to repair your car, take a test for work or school, or find information about a business? Want to research your ancestry, discover an exciting new author or read an article in a newspaper or magazine you don’t have? Try the subscription internet databases at the Christian County Library. You will be pleasantly surprised at what you find. It’s yours to use at http://christiancounty.lib.mo.us/databases.html. You only need a library card and either a computer with internet access or a trip to the library.
For public libraries, higher education and schools in Missouri the state appropriates money for subscriptions to EbscoHost which indexes hundreds of magazines and gives full-text articles in many of them; Searchasaurus which provides a similar service for children’s searches of periodicals; and the NewsBank index and access to several recent years of the major newspapers in St. Louis, Columbia, Kansas City and Springfield. All can be used at the library or other internet computers.
Libraries thoughout Missouri participate in a cooperative catalog of their holdings, called World Cat or First Search. To see just the materials owned by Missouri libraries, go to First Search and choose, “Show Me the World”. At any point, you can click to see whether the item you are seeking is owned by the Christian County Library.
Christian County Library is currently among libraries selected to participate in two pilot projects. Through an LSTA grant, Missouri State Library is paying for citizens to access these databases to determine whether to recommend budgeting for access to people across the state. NoveList is an inter-active means for people who have enjoyed reading a particular novel to find similar ones to read. Learn-a-Test allows users to practice academic and career tests or job-seeking skills and get feedback on their performance. With a library card number, you can use either database at your convenience, if you have an internet connection or at the library if you do not.
Two genealogy databases put the entire federal census for 1790 to 1930, thousands of family and area histories and hundreds of family history research databases at your fingertips. AncestryPlus must be used in the library and is limited to a single user at a time. Heritage Quest may be used at any internet connection, with just your library card number as proof that your subscription has been paid.
Dun and Bradstreet’s Million Dollar Directory gives information on businesses with over a million dollars annual business. It must be used at a computer in the library.
The library’s newest database could come in handy if you need a wiring diagram or repair instructions on the family car. Auto Repair Database, a product of Ebsco - along with NoveList, EbscoHost and Searchasaurus - is the on-line contents of the consumer edition of the Chilton’s Auto Repair books. Simply enter your library card number, select the make, model and year, then look up and print out what you need to know.
Check out the library databases. Something will be just what fits your need today!
Since October 2003, Christian County residents have had free access to an inter-active on-line database to improve school performance, practice academic and career tests and strengthen job seeking skills. Christian County Library is among a small select group of libraries invited to participate in a pilot program, funded by a Library Services and Technology Grant administered by the Missouri State Library. The database is Learn-a-Test from Learning Express Library.
Users may choose from over 350 common tests. Ranging from lower elementary to post-graduate level, they include 4th and 8th grade exit exams; basic reading, writing, comprehension and math practice; advanced placement tests; and such standard exams as GED, ACT, SAT, ASVAB, GRE, and GMAT.
Career tests in the database include real estate, civil service, law enforcement, firefighter, postal, cosmetology, nurses’ aide, teacher certification, emergency medical and paramedic examinations. For new American residents, there are American Citizenship and English as Second Language tests.
The Job and Career Help Center assists job seekers with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, interviews, networking and job success. Six tests help users improve their business writing skills.
Residents may access the database at any internet connection with their library card number as identification as a person for whom the subscription service has been paid and a self-selected password to allow them to work on a test in multiple sessions or keep a private record of their progress.
The Missouri State Library must now determine whether Learn-a -Test is valuable to and will actually be used by Missouri citizens; decide whether providing it is a wise use of public funds and choose to recommend continuing, expanding or ending free public access to the tests. Test users are requested to complete a simple nine-question, one-page survey and evaluation and bring, mail or e-mail your response to the Christian County Library.
The tests and survey may be accessed from the library’s homepage: christiancounty.lib.mo.us. Choose Library Databases, the third item in the left column. Scroll down to Learning Express Library. Enter your library card number and chosen password to begin practice or choose Survey to let your voice be included in the decision on the future availability of this product. If you have questions, please contact project coordinator, Rhonda Riley at the Christian County Library.
Diane Libby Smith, a lifelong resident of Christian County, Missouri, has made significant and lasting contributions to providing and improving library services to the citizens of her county, state and nation.
A founding member of the Friends of the Christian County Library, she participated in many years of programming and fund-raising, including helping raise money for the addition to the library in 1985.
She served as a Trustee for the Christian County Library from 1982 through 2002. A professional accountant, she contributed all the bookkeeping for the library during parts of 1986 and 1987 when the library was between directors. She served as treasurer, head of the library’s annual budget committee, and the board’s representative to the American Library Association most years she was a trustee.
Her son Andrew and she began and for several years maintained the library’s website.
Her work on behalf of library services in Missouri and the United States has included: