Recs and Reads
By Anne McKay Garris
There are five computers at the Clearwater Beach Branch Library for you to use -- well, you'll only want to use them one at a time, but you know what I mean.† These are full-blooded, "do anything any other computer can do," easy to use computers.† You can write to your heartís content -- or at least for an hour since each user is limited to 60 minutes at a time because, of course, we need to take turns.† You can print out what you write for only ten cents a page.
Or you can access the internet to do research or check your e-mail, a very convenient service for those of us travelers who are too old fashioned to have a lap top to carry along with us.
There's also WiFi access if you want to bring your own computer.
But it doesn't stop there.† These computers offer you access, of course, to the catalogue of books available from all over the county.† There are even games to play and you are permitted to play DVDs.† This doesn't work too well, however, as most DVDs are longer than one hour and your time is up on the dot of 60 minutes.† The machine knows when and makes it clear to you.† (We used to have to play "Madame librarian" and notify the computers users when time was up.† It's much nicer to have the machine do it for us.)
One of the computers is reserved for people who only need fifteen minutes at a time.† This is so the people who want to do something quickly will not have to wait for the other computers.
Let me tell you.† Our librarians strive to make it easy for everyone.† And if they don't succeed, it's not for lack of trying.
And when you get ready to leave the Beach Library, glance into the "Big Room" of the Rec Center which they hope to have ready for use by mid-February.† It is marvelous the way they have windowed up the walls so you almost think you are out of doors.†
Even if you don't want to use a library computer.† When you're by that way, stop and check out a book.† Each one that goes out the door is counted in the decision on whether or not to keep the library in business as the money gets scarcer and scarcer at City Hall.
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