So much to love about Beaufort County libraries and all their resources

843-255-6430February 8, 2014 

20070809 Romantic novel

300 dpi Charles Bloom color illustration of hearts surrounding red book pierced by arrow. The Kansas City Star 2007

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BLOOM — MCT

Don't you just love your local public library? Where else can you go in Beaufort County to find people who welcome you with a smile and try to give you free stuff? Let me know if you think of somewhere besides your local branch library.

Books are everywhere. Feeling romantic this time of year? Just type the word "love" into the online catalog and find dozens of choices. For adults, you will see the title "Dare to Love Again." Children can read about a furry red creature searching for love in the "Love Monster." Prefer e-books? Plug in the same search term to 3M Cloud and find author Sandra Brown declaring that "Love is Murder" while author Katie Cotugno will tell you "How to Love."

If you prefer to listen to your books, limit your online catalog search to audiobooks. Ben Shrank will tell you that "Love is a Canoe," while Elton John will assert that "Love is the Cure." Should those choices be checked out from your local library system, expand your search to SCLENDS and find even more. As if that were not enough, you can browse the offerings in OneClickdigital to download audios to your own mobile device. Browse the selections for "Passing Love," "Married Love," "Redeeming Love," "Baby Love" and more.

Still haven't found something to love? Try the January-April program bulletin called "Free Stuff to Do." Every branch library offers children's story times, lapsits, toddler times and Wee Read programs. Upcoming special programs include presentations by the Pork Chop Players at the Hilton Head Island library and a Lego Creation Station at the St. Helena Island library. There are adult book clubs that read books written for adults, an adult book club for readers of teen literature and even junior book clubs for kids.

The St. Helena Island library, in partnership with South Carolina University and Penn Center, is offering a series called "Created Equal: A Discussion of Human Rights." A Feb. 12 presentation is called "Loving Story." What is its purpose? Attend the program at either 11 a.m. or 6 p.m. to hear community members share their own personal stories.

Looking for more to love at your library? How about assistive technology? Library users with vision challenges can go to the Beaufort branch to use JAWS, a computer screen reader provided by our local Lions Club. The Beaufort library also provides ZoomText, a software program allowing users to choose a comfortable level of magnification on a computer screen.

The St. Helena Island library provides a device called SARA CE that can be used to snap a picture of any printed material and read it aloud to the user. Can't quite make out that bill you received? Use SARA to read it to you through headphones provided by the library. At the St. Helena Island library, you can also find Topax HL HD that provides high definition magnification of printed material. Magic Screen Magnification is available in the computer lab to magnify the contents on the computer screen for software use or Internet searching. EZ See keyboards with highly visible yellow keys are also available on request in the computer lab.

Of course, any library location can provide information on the Talking Books program from the South Carolina State Library. Talking Books provides audiobooks, braille, large print and other materials to those who are blind or have limited vision. All are absolutely free.

There's so much to love about your local library.

Fran Hayes is the reference manager at St. Helena Island library.

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