SANATOGA PA – Librarian Susan Davis has already made the homework-and-study routine a little easier for students who went trudging back to schools across western Montgomery, northern Chester and eastern Berks counties last week. Now she hopes to make magazine reading more enjoyable – and less expensive, too! - for anyone with an iPad, digital reader, computer tablet, or even a smart cell phone, Davis has told the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners.
As the executive director of the Pottstown Regional Public Library, 500 High St., Pottstown, Davis recently made what has become a head librarian’s annual pilgrimage to the board’s August meeting, to recount how township residents who are library patrons made use of the commissioners’ $60,000 donation to library services. In addition, though, she talked about two new library services.
In the first, the library is providing live tutors online to help English- and Spanish-speaking students with their homework. The well-publicized service is available from either home or library computers, and officially launched only five days ago (Sept. 1, 2012). It’s free to anyone who is a library member (membership is free as well), and tutors are on-call daily from 2-11 p.m.
For the second, the library soon will offer about 80 different and popular digital magazines online from its own website in a partnership with Zinio Digital Newsstand. Titles include Bloomberg Businessweek, Car and Drive, Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Mother Earth News, Newsweek, and Us Weekly. Each can be read on equipped handheld devices, and because all issues are set up for simultaneous use they are available to patrons without a wait.
Zinio recreates the magazine page-for-page, but also occasionally includes interactive video and audio, as well as easy navigation through the reading device.
Its launch date was not announced, but was “coming soon,” Davis promised the board.
Regarding the return on Lower Pottsgrove’s yearly library investment, Davis reminded commissioners, she thinks the facility fared well. The township and other municipalities contributed more than $382,000 to the library during 2011, more than 63 percent of its $599,000 budget, and Davis estimated each donated dollar paid for $7.02 in borrowed materials and services rendered.
The August librarian visit is timed, purposely, to coincide with the start of board deliberations over the 2013 township budget.
Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ Aug. 23 meeting):
- Township, Other Library Patrons Getting Digital Mags
- What Really Happens Here? Read The Warrant To Know
- Commissioners Reject Townhomes Project South Of 422
- Township Schedules Fall Meetings For Its 2013 Budgets