Base library has more than books
By Staff Sgt. Benjamin Rojek, 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 03, 2007
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- If the world of reading is a magical place, then the library is casting the spells.
With more than 43,000 books on the shelves, the Osan Base Library offers a wide variety of reading material. From romance and thrillers to fantasy and children's tales, the library has it covered.
"The goal is to have something for everyone," said Mr. Chad Harding, base library director.
In order to cater to a diverse customer base, the library also carries audio books on both cassette and compact disc, as well as magazines and newspapers. Anyone wanting to take a break from reading can also borrow DVDs or VHS tapes.
"We get 15 new CDs per month and five DVDs per month," said Mr. Harding. "Our collection of DVDs has grown a lot since I got here in November 2006."
For those people taking classes, there are plenty of study and research materials within the library.
"We're really trying to develop our educational (resources)," said Mr. Harding. "We have quite a bit of (College Level Examination Program) and (DANTES Subject Standardized Test) materials. They get a lot of use."
Besides the books, there are also 32 computers that can be used for everything from research through the Net Library and Database system to using a webcam to chat with loved ones back home. To use a computer, people only need to sign in at the front desk and grab a number that corresponds to the computer they want to use.
The computers will soon be available to those taking tests for online college courses. The base library already has 12 volunteers signed up to be certified test proctors.
"A lot of people take online classes," said Mr. Harding. "When they test, someone needs to be there to (monitor)."
Besides all of their resources, books, and audio and visual material, the base library has programs that encourage both parents and children to read.
One program hosted by the library is the United Service Organization's United Through Reading program. Every Thursday after 3 p.m., people can come into the library and read a book to their children or young family members back in the States. The USO will record the reading on DVD and send both a copy of the book and the DVD to the child.
"This program is gaining popularity every week," said Mr. Harding. "We may have to add one more day (for readings)."
No matter your reason for coming to the library, it will always be a new adventure.
"If you come to the library, you will see books you may not see in your usual book store section," said Mr. Harding. "At the library, you can see more all at once."
The base library is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 784-6611, or visit the 51st Services Squadron Web site at www.51services.com/library.html.