Thursday, May 26, 2011
Retirements bring staff changes at county library
By SUE WATSON
A retirement party for Jean Algee, assistant librarian at the Marshall County Library’s main branch in Holly Springs, was held May 1, according to head librarian Diane Schule, who will also be retiring in June.
Two new assistants have been hired. Robert Patterson is working full-time at the front desk in Holly Springs, replacing Algee. He lives in Byhalia, has a degree from Gallaudet College, Washington, D.C., has worked as a Dell Computer technician, and he is also experienced as a librarian. Geneology and book collecting are two of Patterson’s hobbies.
Larry Thompson, of Holly Springs will take over a 20-hour a week time slot at the Byhalia branch library, replacing Dorothy Hill, who is retiring. He has a background in history and journalism.
Schule’s replacement as library director is Amanda McDonald, of the Columbus/Lowdnes Library System. McDonald is a native of Tupelo and will be on the job June 5.
Shule said the parking lots and front porches at all three libraries – Holly Springs, Byhalia, Potts Camp – are set up for wireless Internet service. People can access the Internet from their vehicles or outside any hour of the day or night, or go inside, Schule said.
The libraries have had some trouble with the wireless equipment and expect to have access points replaced soon, she said. It is strictly a mechanical problem which has caused wireless access at the libraries to be on or off at different times.
The library’s wireless service has a filter to block out certain sites, including porn sites, she said. The filter is required in order for the library to get federal money, Schule said.
AT&T provides the wireless broadband and a call to the company is all it takes to block certain sites, she said.
Inside the library, the computers are also filtered for certain sites and Facebook is not available, as yet, Schule said. Each customer gets 30 minutes free time a day on the Internet except people who are using the computers to file on-line job applications. Those who apply for jobs get one hour a day to work on applications and job searches.
Students can do research for class projects on-line and use other computers to keyboard their papers.
Schule wishes there was no limit on time on-line.
“We came to this limit, especially the 30 minutes, through very hard experience,” she said. “We had people fighting over the computers. That’s why we had to limit it. The new librarian and board of trustees may try extending it, however.”
Schule said just a few people logging on to Facebook will slam the system taking all computers down or slowing them to a crawl. Youtube is blocked, also, because once a person enters the Youtube site there are places Youtube would allow a person to go that would violate the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), Schule said.
“We are unblocking Facebook as soon as we can create a library page, because we finally got our connection speed up high enough to support it, I hope,” Schule said.
The Library of Congress has opened up a free audio section for music recorded before 1925, Schule said. It allows listeners to stream recordings of thousands of musical pieces and some speeches free of charge. There is a Packard Collection for audiovisuals.
Visit www.loc.gov/jukebox to browse the music and audiovisual collections. Some interesting RCA records are there along with instructions on how to make and share files. Old recordings of George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and a 1915 recording of opera singer Enrico Caruso are some of the kinds of music available.
There is a speech by former President Howard Taft.
Older people are likely to have a keener interest in the National Jukebox site, Schule said.
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