To the Soldiers who want to get ahead: Have you checked your local Army library lately?
The Kaiserslautern Main Library, with branches at Miesau and Kleber, is part of the robust Army Europe Library system. At the library, a Soldier can prepare for tests, update skills, take Army correspondence courses, find out about Army awards, review technical manuals, investigate military and technical publications, and research military policy awareness topics.
The library’s primary mission is to support Soldiers, said supervising librarian Shawn Friend-Begin.
“If you’re taking college classes, we’ve got articles for you. If you want free downloads for your iPod, Nook or other device, we have them. Do you want the newest DVD, XBox 360 game or book? You need us. Do you have kids? The library has weekly story times, materials for school projects and computers to keep them busy learning and having fun,” she said.
The Kaiserslautern libraries maintain professional reading lists for leadership (Lean Six Sigma), from Gen. Raymond Odierno, U.S. Army Chief of Staff, and from Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, U.S. Army Europe and 7th Army commander. You can check out a book from any of the reading lists at the library or download it free from home.
Deployed Soldiers can check out up to five books at a time when downrange. After identifying the books online through the Army Europe Library website (www.library.eur.army.mil/index.htm), deployed Soldiers can expect their books to be delivered to their APO addresses within a few days.
In addition, the Kaiserslautern Library provides fiction and non-fiction books, magazines, reference materials, audio CDs, DVDs and DVD players, and video games. Most of these materials can be checked out for periods of one to three weeks.
Both branches of the Kaiserslautern Library offer special programs as well as the main library. At the Kleber Library, for example, branch manager Tiffany Hughey lists programs that are geared for resident Soldiers, although everyone in the KMC is welcome. Library tours and beginning computer classes (such as blogging, MS Word and MS Office) are some of the offerings. Hughey said the library also has a monthly movie night, game nights for video and board games, craft programs, and weekly children’s story time.
The Kaiserslautern at Landstuhl Library also offers programs: a monthly movie night, children’s story time, weekly scrapbooking and a biweekly mother-daughter book club. The libraries conduct a summer reading program for children and adults to encourage reading while school is out and has sponsored reading contests at other times during the year.
All libraries support Army book groups in the garrison through the Book-Club-in-a-Box program. The box contains eight to 10 copies of the book, biographical information about the author, and questions or topics to get the book discussion started.
During the past year, the Kaiserslautern libraries conducted four author chats, giving Soldiers and library patrons an opportunity to talk to authors face-to-face and to ask questions about writing as a profession, developing plots and literary technique.
The Kleber Branch Library recently hosted an evening author chat with CM Jones, an English teacher at Patrick Henry High School in Heidelberg) and author of three books. Frequent library visitors Andrew Premont and his daughter Makaela attended the evening program.
“I try to turn out to support people who make the effort to come to the KMC, whether they are performers, artists or writers,” Premont said.
Makaela accompanied her father to the library to have a chance to meet and speak to a professional writer.
“I love to read,” she said, “and getting to talk to a real author is really interesting.”
The Landstuhl hospital has its own library, a medical resources library that offers medical research databases, medical and dental reference materials, and medical periodicals.
Both branches of the Kaiserslautern Library are always looking for volunteers to help shelve books and take care of other tasks under the supervision of a librarian. To volunteer, visit the library branches or register with the volunteer coordinator at ACS on Pulaski or online at www.myarmyonesource.com.
For details about the Kaiserslautern libraries and to find out about upcoming events, drop in to one of the libraries to pick up a calendar.
More information can also be found online at www.library.eur.army.mil/index.htm.
(Courtesy of Martha Wiley)