55 PLUS - Walla Walla Public Library has plenty to get you through winter

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Getting through the winter may be easier with a good book to read. Fix yourself some tea and settle back with a book you've always wanted to explore. The Walla Walla Public Library has plenty of books, audio books and music to get you started.

If you haven't been into the library for awhile or visited its website, you might be amazed at all that's available to you. Public Services Specialist Alexis Rodergerdts explained that you have plenty of options from which to choose. Check out books and magazines on hand, or if the weather is bad and you don't want to venture out, you can access the library online at wallawallapubliclibrary.org.

"Something new and exciting is the Washington Anytime Library," she said. "You can access downloadable audio books and ebooks. It's available for free to those who have a library card. Just follow the link from our Website. We have a collection of audio books that's only going to grow. It's mostly fiction audio books."

If you desire a social component in your reading adventure, the library can help you meet people with similar interests. Join a book club! You can participate in discussions about the books you've just read.

"We also have the library book club. The book club meets the third Wednesday of every month at noon. It meets during the day so there's no driving at night. The book of the month isn't decided very far in advance but it should be read by the meeting," Rodergerdts said.

The current economic mess has affected the library along with just about everyone. According to Rodergerdts, there are ways to donate to the library and reap some of the rewards as well. It's the "Me First" program through Amazon.com.

"Everyone's having a tough budget time. The ‘Me First' program is a wish list through Amazon.com for replacement or extra copies of popular items if you want to donate a book or DVD." When that donation is made to the library through Amazon.com, the person who provided the item becomes eligible to check it out first at the library.

Another library feature popular with seniors is the collection of large type books, according to Rodegerdts. If you love to read but the print is usually too small, this increases your options.

A library card also brings access to the library's online databases. "We have Consumer Reports," Rodergerdts said. "You can log in for free with your library card number. We also have Mango, a language learning program. The focus is on conversational language." The popular program helps if you're preparing for a foreign vacation or if you're a community volunteer in an English-as-a-second-language position.

"Then across from the circulation desk, is our sale shelf of discontinued items," she said. "Paperbacks are 50 cents and hardbacks are a dollar. CDs and DVDs are also a dollar. Friends of the Library tote bags are $10. We have free computer classes every other month." She said these basic classes are extremely popular. The next class series will be in March.

Call, visit or go online to discover what the library has to offer.

Walla Walla Public LIbrary

238 E. Alder St.

Monday-Tuesday, noon-8 p.m.; Wednesday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.mand at wallawallapubliclibrary.org.

509-527-4550

Karlene Ponti can be reached by calling 509-526-8324 or by e-mail at karleneponti@wwub.com.

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