New year, new opportunities at library

By Lou Pray, library director

Special to the Weekly

As the world readies for the coming days of increased light, the Lopez Island Library is making preparations for moving forward, as well.

We are making the switch to a new and improved library catalog interface, KOHA ByWater Solutions.  KOHA will provide more Amazon-like options for library patrons when searching the catalog, renewing or reviewing books from home or their mobile devices.

Patrons can rate or “star” items they check out and write quick online reviews in the catalog to share opinions and scan new book covers online.  It will even allow a mobile app to our catalog from your iPhone, iPad, or other mobile device and other user-friendly services.

Fresh year, fresh start – the library is also offering “Amnesty Days” in January, when patrons can return any long overdue items and have the slate wiped clean. This will help us make the transition to the new system more cleanly. Be advised that the library will be closed on Jan. 7-8, for staff in-service training on the new automation tool.

We plan to go live in early February or sooner, depending on how the migration to the new system goes. We’ll be offering several sessions in making the most of the new features in February (see our library calendar for dates and times) or just ask a staff member for a quick tutorial.

Another move forward in literacy is the purchase of the new Early Learning station to replace our outdated children’s computer. The Early Literacy Station is a dynamic all-in-one digital learning solution for children ages 2-8. It requires no Internet connection, so it is safe and secure.

It features more than 60 educational software titles spanning seven curricular areas. The educational titles are pre-loaded on the computer and displayed using engaging graphics and intuitive menus. No Internet connection is required to use it.  And the best thing is, it plays like a game so kids learn while having fun. The educational software content on this station is aligned with U.S. state and national standards. We’ll post more info when it arrives.

Many thanks to the tireless fundraising efforts of the Friends of the Lopez Island Library that makes these steps forward possible, and to all of you that contribute library donations and book and films purchases throughout the year.

Give yourself the gift of a free library card and get it at no cost using your local library.

Thousands of books in electronic and audio format are available via the library’s subscription to Overdrives see the library’s home page at

Price It! is another new tool the library subscribes to for our community.

Price It! Antiques & Collectibles is a comprehensive, subscription-based database for identifying, researching and pricing art, antiques and collectibles.

Containing more than 23 million records, it’s a sophisticated, up-to-date, easy-to-use tool — whether the user is a professional art appraiser or a budding collector.

These and many other resources, along with the newest books and films are our year-long gift to the Lopez Island community.

Happy New Year from your friends at the Lopez Island Library!

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