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Library

The Rolling Meadows Library, 3110 Martin Ln., is big enough to have what you need, but small enough to be able to give personal service to each of its patrons, according to David Ruff, director since 2000.

Advances in technology have allowed the library to increase its collection and its offerings in recent years without adding bricks and mortar.

“The last time we added on to the library was in 1987 and there is really no space for additional shelving in this building,” Ruff said. “But we have been able to strengthen and increase our collection by 10 percent in recent years through the addition of e-Books and e-Audio. We have 2,600 such items in our collection and through a library consortium, we have access to an additional 43,000 items. With e-Books, the sky is the limit on our collection which now boasts 200,000 total items in all media.”

“I see e-Books as another way to access information, not as a replacement for books. They are simply a great additional tool. If you are sitting at home, you may want to read a hard copy book because of the visceral enjoyment of holding a book and because you want to better see provided maps, charts, etc.,” he explained.

“But if you are traveling, it is wonderful to be able to load five or six books on a single device and take it on a plane, for instance,” Ruff continued. “We also have some patrons who start a book in audio book form and get so interested in it that they come in and want to check out the hard copy.”

The addition of WiFi wireless to the library about three years ago has also increased the staff’s options when it comes to teaching technology classes.

“We no longer need to add computer terminals in order to increase the public’s access to the Internet and to technology instruction. We have a computer classroom, but with notebooks and our wireless connection, we can also turn our larger community room into a classroom if there is a lot of demand for a particular program,” Ruff explained.

Classes on Power Point, Excel, Word and other computer programs are very popular, as people seek new jobs where such skills are necessary, he said.

Other popular programs at the Rolling Meadows Library include concerts, historical re-enactments, cooking demonstrations, travel programs and movie showings.

“We offer a wide variety of programming that ranges from practical and functional information to entertainment and programs that just expand your horizons,” Ruff said.

The library also offers many program choices for children. Dr. Seuss Day is held each April on the famous author’s birthday. There are activities based on his inventive stories, a birthday cake and even a collective reading of some of his books by local dignitaries – in both English and Spanish.

The children’s library staff is also incorporating programming that allows children to participate in science experiments in the library and to do cultural investigations of other countries through their unique music, snacks and books and other materials. The countries highlighted change periodically.

The Rolling Meadows Library, according to Ruff, is particularly well-known for its audio-visual collection, but if you are looking for an item not in its collection, staff will work to locate it in nearby libraries and obtain it for you.

For more information about the Rolling Meadows Library, call (847) 259-6050 or visit www.rmlib.org. °

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