Take a look in a book

Story and photo by Senior Airman Caitlin O

Ray Bradbury, an American novelist, once said, “Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.”

Libraries hold information of the world. From the age of dinosaurs to a future in space, these facilities make it their mission to interest, stimulate and educate the imagination.

The Ramstein and Vogelweh libraries are local facilities that offer an extensive array of materials and resources to include the latest bestsellers, periodicals, newspapers, journals, CDs and DVDs.

“We provide service to all branches of the military, Department of Defense civilians, (host nation personnel) and their dependents, as well as contractors working in the Kaiserslautern Military Community,” said Joanna Hansen, Ramstein Library director.

The Ramstein library also has more than 70,000 books and subscriptions to 100 newspapers and magazines, while the Vogelweh library offers an inventory in excess of 10,000 books.

Improvements and advances are constantly being made in the facilities.

“Recent improvements include large directional signs we purchased that make the library more enjoyable,” Hansen said. “We also added eight new iMac computers to our computer lab to provide digital media editing tools for patrons.”

The libraries provide free access to subscription databases, many of which have full text articles. Here, one will find the information needed for research papers, professional military education and other needs. The Ramstein Library also has many resources to include study material for a variety of College Level Examination Program and Defense Activity for Nontraditional Education Support tests.

Focusing on supporting the military community, the libraries also highlight the Chief of Staff of the Air Force reading list, as well as promote military history.

“Books written specifically for military families are located in a ‘Special Collection’ section,” Hansen said. “This unique collection has been well used by our customers.”

Outstanding collections for children and young adults with the latest Newberry and Caldecott Award winners are available for checkout. The library has many great activities for young learners to include summer reading programs which this year will be themed as “world travels.”

Friendly and organized, the library provides a quiet environment in which one could study for that challenging class or just a brief get away from a chaotic day.

For more information on libraries in the KMC, visit the 86th Force Support Squadron website or call the Ramstein Library for special events 480-7409.