Due to an increase in state funding for libraries, Arrowhead Library System has added a new lifelong learning service to its offerings by purchasing a systemwide subscription to Gale Courses.
Gale Courses provides six-week online programs taught by college instructors who are experts in their field to library card holders at no cost to the patron. The 365+ classes offered cover an astounding variety of topics, which can be narrowed down into three broad areas of focus: Professional Development, Technology Skills, and Personal Enrichment. A large percentage of course offerings are tied to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ fastest-growing occupations positioning our libraries to help our patrons meet demand for top workplace skills and drive economic development in our own communities.
ALS officially launched GALE Courses on February 5, 2018, with press releases, in-library signage, and a social media blitz. Statistics collected on February 28 reveal Rock County library patrons have enrolled in more than 181 classes, representing a commitment to more than 4,344 hours of continued learning.
Wisconsin’s Digital Library
Wisconsin Public Library Consortium announced today that readers borrowed over 4.25 million digital books through its OverDrive-powered Wisconsin's Digital Library in 2017, a new record. Checkouts yielded a year-over-year growth of 6.9 percent from 2016 and allowed WDL to join the ranks of 58 other libraries worldwide in OverDrive’s "Million Checkout Club".
Seed Libraries Appear at Rock County Libraries
Arrowhead Library System and Rock Prairie Association of Master Gardeners have teamed up to start an heirloom seed library at all seven Rock County Public Libraries with the mission of encouraging gardening and seed saving as a means of providing our community a fun and affordable source of nutritious sustainable food.
Each library has the same types of seeds available including several varieties each of beans, herbs, flowers, peas, peppers, and tomatoes. Patrons may “check out” five packets of seed total (from all locations combined) to plant in their own gardens. Be sure to pick up and instructional brochure and enjoy the produce all summer long. In the fall, follow the directions on the brochure or website to harvest and prepare the seeds. Participants are encouraged to return a portion of the harvested seeds to the library for planting next year, they may also keep a portion for themselves to plant next season.
Heirloom seeds were selected for their exceptional flavor and nutritional value. As well as for being easy to grow and open pollinated. The produce will ripen over a period of time creating a longer harvest.
Contact your local library for more information about the seed library. For gardening questions, call the UW-Extension Office at 608-757-5696 and ask to speak with a Master Gardener.
ALS Annual Report Highlights
- Number of Public Libraries: 7
- Estimated System Area Public Library Registered Borrowers: 146,717
- E-book NetLibrary/OverDrive: 61,678
- E-audio: 43,250
- E-video: 198
- Electronic Collection Retrievals: 14,299
Mark Your Calendars
The Rock County 4-H Fair will be held in Janesville Tuesday, July 24 through Sunday, July 29, 2018. ALS and its member libraries will share a booth. Please plan working a shift into your work schedules.