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Plugging In At Library

“We’re reinventing the library.”

That’s how trustee John Laibach described the changes that are taking place at the Massapequa Public Library. Those who still enjoy reading a book in print should not fear. The library will still have plenty of books to enjoy, and will continue to bring in all the latest offerings, including multiple copies of some of the more popular authors such as John Grisham and Danielle Steele. However, the library is also moving with the times and is offering its patrons 21st century items such as computers, wi-fi, DVDs, downloadable electronic books and online databases, which may be accessed from home.

“There’s more than one way to connect with your library,” said Massapequa Public Library Director Janis Schoen. “It ain’t just about books.”

The library is unveiling three new developments. The first of these is a new logo. The longtime library logo of a Native American is being replaced with one that depicts a tree that branches out. In the area where the tree branches out, are symbols for email, wi-fi, a computer and the world, all items that Massapequa library officials are hoping to make available to patrons through library services.

“We wanted to give it a fresh look,” commented Schoen about the logo.

“It was getting outdated,” added Laibach. “That logo we had for many years. We want to be a little modern. “

The logo is on display at the library and will also be on a banner which library staff and volunteers will carry in this year’s Memorial Day parade. Participating in the parade is a first for the library, and is part of an effort to make Massapequans more aware of all the library has to offer.

Those who wish to get a look at the new logo may also do so by stopping by and picking up a new library card, which displays it. Massapequa residents may exchange their current library card for two new ones. The first of these is a standard credit card size card with the new logo. The second one is a key size card that is similar to rewards cards that many retail stores disperse to their customers to receive special savings or collect rewards for frequent shopping.

“Your library card is just as important as your American Express Card,” remarked Schoen. “Don’t leave home without it.”

Another enhancement for library customers is a redesigned website, which will be much more user friendly. The website will display upcoming events at both branches of the library. In addition, there will be an opportunity for Massapequa library cardholders to sign up via email and get the latest offerings on brand new books, and also get the latest newsletter. Additionally, the website offers customers access to many databases with business and medical information as well as historical newspapers. Schoen says that the library offers patrons more reliable sources than could be found through popular search engines.

“Google isn’t authoritative,” she says. “When you come and use the products that we offer, you can search with more of a piece of mind.”

The library will continue to offer patrons newspapers and magazines to read. Massapequa library cardholders may use one of the computers for two hours per day, and have unlimited access to wi-fi while the library is open. Meeting rooms are available, and there are many activities which residents take advantage of such as Mahjong. And there is still a plethora of print books, which Schoen says will always be in demand, even if there is a rise in the popularity of e-readers.

“There is a shift but believe me books are not going away,” she says. “Just like when they invented television, the movies didn’t go away.”