DALLAS — Enrichment programs, book discussion groups, Slightly Read Bookshop, as well as a variety of online resources are all housed at the Back Mountain Memorial Library.
The days of a library only offering a collection of books has faded away.
The Back Mountain Memorial Library, at 96 Huntsville Road, is a prime example of the evolving purpose of the organization and how it continues to strive to meet the changing needs of the community.
“There is always something new to discover at the library,” said Martha Butler, library director.
The Back Mountain Memorial Library, which is part of the Luzerne County Library system, offers members a selection of DVDs, books on CD, ebooks as well as various online services.
Some of the resources include:
• Learning Express, a free online skill-building site that provides GED, citizenship and SAT practice exams
• Heritage Quest, a genealogy site to trace a family’s history
• Tuition Funding, a financial aid resource for higher education
• Area newspaper achieves
• Social Security site
• Gale Virtual Reference Library
Online resources can be accessed with a library card either from a home computer or one at the library, Butler said.
The Back Mountain Memorial Library also holds several enrichment programs for adults and children throughout the year.
In 2017, the library held several free adult programs that gave the public the opportunity to explore the world of honeybees, learn about native American Indians, writing groups, yoga and color therapy.
Also, children developed an early love of reading with age-appropriate storytimes as well as programs that tap into the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math concepts.
“We develop our programming to show that we are vital to the community,” Butler said.
A new list of upcoming of enrichment programs is being developed and will be posted at www.backmountainlibrary.org.
Despite the programs, online resources, ebooks, DVDs and books on CD, books remain the main attraction at the library, she said, reporting that nearly 10,000 books were checked out of the library during 2017..
The second highest circulated item were DVDs with an average of 800 a month checked out. The third most popular thing were books on CD with an average of 350 a month going out in circulation.
The library’s book collection is constantly growing due to the consistent influx of donations.
The library regularly accepts literature donations to memorialize a deceased loved one or to honor an individual achievement, Butler said.
Call the library at 570-675-1182 for the criteria for book donations.
The Slightly Read Bookshop, located behind the library, offers avid readers a changing inventory of new and used books and is open from 1 to 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; 1 to 5 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Also, the library offers public computers for members to work on school projects, search for jobs or access the library’s online programs.
The Back Mountain Memorial Library was formed by the Back Mountain community in the mid-1940s and strives to promote the area in numerous ways such as showcasing area artists, collectors and authors.
“We want to provide opportunities for enrichment and bring people into the library,” Butler said. “I would like to think we evolved with the times, technology and the type of information to provide opportunities for the community.”
The library is a hot spot each July when its annual auction attracts thousands of people to the grounds.
The annual Back Mountain Memorial Library Auction started as an event to raise funds for the organization but has evolved into a highly anticipated social event.
“The auction helps to maintain the level of services the library provides,” Butler said, noting the library could not exist without the support of Back Mountain communities and the large number of volunteers that help with programs, children’s programs and the auction and her staff.
“We have a tremendous volunteer force,” she said. “We are very fortunate to have them in the capacity that we do.”
Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.