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Library Happenings – Weather closures addressed (Jan. 27, 2016)

Well, it was bound to happen. After a balmy start, winter arrived quite suddenly last week. I normally remind everyone about weather-related closures in a November or December column, but this season there was little reason to do so – until now. So here we go! In case of snow or ice, we may open late, close early or even be closed all day. Even when the schools are closed, we may very well be open. Our staff members live in various parts of the county, so it all depends on whether a sufficient number of us are safely able to get to work. Please check either of our Facebook pages or call the library at 743-6533 if you’re not sure whether we are open.
And yes, we now have two Facebook pages! In addition to the kids and teens page, we have a page for general library news and information. You can find it at https://www.facebook.com/UnicoiCountyPublicLibrary/.
Internet Access
I want to thank all of you who took time to fill out the health care information surveys that were sent out to randomly selected Unicoi County residents last fall. Mary Thomas, the Gray Branch Manager of the Washington County Public Library, who is now compiling the results, was very pleased with the response. The information that was gathered will help libraries across Tennessee improve the health resources we provide our patrons.
One thing that Mary already has pointed out to me is that quite a few of the respondents appeared to be unaware that Internet access is available to the public here at the library. So many people come here to use our public access computers and our wireless Internet connection that it seems everyone must know we provide these services, but evidently not everybody knows yet.
We have nine public access computers that are available for people to use free of charge. You do not need to have a library card or even be a Unicoi County resident. Hikers on the Appalachian Trail and other visitors are grateful for our hospitable policies. There is a time limit of one hour, but only if someone is waiting. Unlike Cinderella’s godmother and many other libraries, we do not automatically end your session at the expiration of your hour. You may print for twenty-five cents per page and we will even help you get started if you’re not familiar with computers. More extensive individual instruction is available by appointment.
The purpose of a public library is to make information and recreation available to everybody free of charge, and one of the ways in which we achieve this goal is by providing access to the Internet. If someone you know wants to surf the ‘net, let him or her know that we can help. Thank you!