ENID, Okla. —
The Public Library of Enid and Garfield County is asking for a second chance.
Major changes have been made over the past few years. City and county residents are encouraged to stop by their library and take advantage of all the services — new and old — it provides.
“If you haven’t been in your public library recently give it a whirl,” library director Michelle Mears said. “You might be surprised.”
Mears and Jade Powell, supervisory librarian of public services, said the library is among the most cutting edge facilities in the state and offers services comparable to libraries in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
“We’ve taken a new approach to the library,” Powell said. “We have the bookstore feel.”
Mears said the library is using social media, like Facebook, to reach younger people. An Italian greyhound named Diva also visits, in different outfits, so children can read to her.
“She’s a therapy dog,” Mears said. “She comes in, and the children read to her.”
With tablets and eReaders, the library also has embraced digital technology and lending.
“Many people don’t realize we have downloadable eBooks and audiobooks available through our virtual library,” Mears said. “They can get a lot of books for free through us. We’re really trying to promote that.”
The library is part of OK Virtual Library, a consortium of 44 libraries that work together to provide a larger number of titles and content through its members.
“It’s one of the first sort of joint collection development projects that public libraries have done,” Mears said. “It allows us to pool our resources and provide so many titles free to people.
“It’s a really exciting development of us to be able to join with other libraries.”
Those with a library card can access content through the library’s website, including tutoring programs, online news stories, an encyclopedia, ancestry software, foreign language programs and a sign language program.
It also has an ancestry program, Transparent Languages.
“A lot of people don’t know we have it here,” Powell said of Transparent Languages. “That’s what we’re trying to convey to a lot of people.”