Book sale starts today at Watervliet library

WATERVLIET — Watervliet District Library, 333 N. Main St., will host a large book sale from today through Jan. 4.

All sale items will be buy one, get one free.

For more information, call 463-6382 or email info@wdlib.org.

Library needs help to replace computers

WATERVLIET — Watervliet District Library, 333 N. Main St., has accepted a matching grant of $7,000 from the Frederick S. Upton Foundation. It will go toward replacing computers the public uses.

“Most of our computers were purchased out of necessity years ago, and just didn’t have the capabilities that are required today,” Director Sharon Crotser-Toy said. “These older models are no longer able to accept updates. Maintenance is incredibly difficult. Most repairs are out of the question.”

The library’s public computers are in constant use for homework, job applications, correspondence, research and gaming.

While more companies and institutions require online interactions, broadband access has not kept pace. Libraries seek to fill the gap, providing people with the tools to do what needs to be done for employment, education and program assistance.

In the past year, the library’s computers have been used for more than 5,500 one-hour sessions.

The matching grant has a one-year deadline, ending in September. The $7,000 match must be in new donations specifically for this project.

To meet the goal, staff have planned fundraisers for the months to come. The first, an online game-a-thon, will be from 4-9 p.m. Jan. 24.

Anyone wishing to donate to the project can do so online through the library’s website or by mail. Include “Computer Upgrade” in the subject line.

For more information, call 463-6382 or email info@wdlib.org.

Van Buren District Library goes fine free

Since Nov. 1, Van Buren District Library has joined the ranks of fine-free libraries.

“Library fines were originally intended to encourage people to bring items back so others might use them. However, the growing body of evidence suggests that assessing fines has the opposite effect and actually keeps people from using the library,” Library Director Dan Hutchins said.

The American Library Association issued a resolution at its 2019 mid-winter meeting that states “that the ALA, on behalf of its members, adds a statement to the Policy Manual that establishes that ‘The American Library Association asserts that imposition of monetary library fines is discriminatory in publicly supported institutions providing library and information services.’”

The resolution goes on to urge “libraries of all types to stop imposing fines on library patrons.”

Overdue fines account for less than 1 percent of VBDL’s annual revenue, according to a news release, so the elimination of such fees will not cause great stress on the annual budget.

However, the district will continue to charge for items that are lost or damaged.

For more information, call 423-4771 or email einfo@vbdl.org.