Take some time to read this summer with the Monroe County Libraries!

Nancy Klingener, Community Affairs Manager for Monroe County Public Library, joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM this morning to talk about what’s been going on in the libraries.

You can keep up to date on events at the libraries through the new email newsletters.

Klingener said, “A couple of months ago we launched email newsletters. There’s one for each branch that lets you know what’s happening at that branch throughout the month. We also have one for the Florida Keys History Center, which is an incredible resource that the library provides for the county and each month we send out a newsletter called Island Chronicles. There’s been some really fascinating stuff so far, both about the founding of Monroe County and about a diary of a young man who visited here for a couple months in 1843.”

The history of the Keys includes a huge variety of phases.

Klingener said, “Our lead historian has put together a presentation called Monroe 200, tied to our bicentennial and we recently posted a video of that presentation on our YouTube channel for the Monroe County Public Library if you missed it.”

The library system has been in Monroe County since 1892.

Klingener said, “We have five branches. Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key and Key West. We also have two lending machines with books and DVDs that you can get anytime with a library card. Those are at Bernstein Park on Stock Island. And at the Marine Nelson government center on Key Largo. It’s very cool. It’s just like a vending machine, where you see, what do you want, and you put in the number and boom. The library staff choose to what to put in there. We take requests. We also have pickup lockers outside of the Key Largo Library, the Marathon Library, and at Bernstein Park as well. So if you can’t make it to a library, in time, during the library hours, you can ask us to send a book or DVD there and get it at your convenience.”

Popular books tend to be the ones on the bestseller list.

Klingener said, “James Patterson and the Colleen Hoover and that kind of stuff, but we have a very, very deep back list. So we are happy to try to get anything that somebody is interested in reading. If it’s a book that’s been out for a year or more, and it’s not in our collection, we can usually get it through what’s called interlibrary loan where we borrow it from another library, and then you can read it. It’s a very, very great system.”

The library system also has a new online catalogue.

Klingener said, “We have our online catalog, which we’ve had for quite a while. But we just got a new version of it and it’s much more user friendly. It’s got recommended books on there and you can make lists of things you want to read. It’s just really attractive. I think it’s important that everybody check it out.”

Other resources like Tech Talk and tutoring are available in the libraries.

Klingener said, “Each of the branches has availability for people to come in if you need a little help with your computer, we also have laptops for use in the library. We’ll help you with that. We have printing for 10 cents a page, black and white or color. You can even do that off your phone. We also have what’s called LinkedIn learning. There’s thousands of courses on there if you just want to brush up on professional skills or some personal skills. They have creative stuff. They have tech stuff in business management stuff. That’s great.”

Story hour goes year round and all the information can be found on www.keyslibraries.org

There’s a link on the homepage to sign up for the new email newsletters.

Klingener said, “There’s a newsletter for each branch, and as well as for the Florida Keys History Center. We will never sell or share your email address. If you want to unsubscribe, there’s a button down at the bottom, very obvious, and it’s one click. It’s not one of those do you really want to leave? Please don’t leave. We’re making it easy. Please go to our website, because we have a lot of resources on there that are not just books and DVDs. A big one is Libby, our eBook app where you can get thousands and thousands ebooks and E-audiobooks. So I always say if people are paying a lot of money for Kindle books, or audible, check out the library.”