Library: hidden resource

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Often overlooked, the base library offers not only a recognizable environment for first-term Airmen struggling with being away from home but an assortment of activities available to all Gunfighters.

The library provides a quiet, familiar place for all people to utilize, as well as offering a book club for adults and programs such as a summer reading contest and story time for children.

"The library is like a home away from home for many Airmen who don't have a lot to do and want a safe, relaxing way to spend their time," said Bonnie Roos, library director, 366th Force Support Squadron.

In today's age of technology, libraries are becoming continuously overlooked as a source of information.

"There is a greater need for libraries now because with the excess of information out there, it's often difficult to find what you want," explained Roos. "If you're doing research for your job, class or just personal reasons, the library can provide information faster and better than if you just do a Google search."

With the Air Force putting an increasingly elevated emphasis on higher education, library resources are more useful than ever before.

"There are multiple outlets we have enabling Airmen to further their knowledge and education," stated Roos. "We offer study materials for the College Level Examination Program and Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support, both hard-copy and practice tests online. We also have resources for school, language learning, career related databases and books available. As well as a website that offers information relevant to your career field."

With the exception of a book club that is open to any interested adults, most library programs focus heavily on the significance of children becoming excited about reading.

"In this electronic age, it's important for children to still be able to pick up a book, read it, recognize words and be able to sound them out," explained Lori Urfer, library technician 366th FSS. "I do a story time every week on Thursdays to get the children familiar with books, and I hope spark an interest in them to want to read and keep reading."

Another program dedicated to molding Gunfighter youth is the 2012 Summer Reading Program.

"The program encourages kids of various ages to continuously read during the summer, and we will give out prizes periodically to the participants," said Urfer. "The program will culminate in a party for all participants on August 2."

In order to prevent the base library from becoming a relic of the past, all personnel are encouraged to utilize its vast resources.

"Come to the library," exclaimed Roos. "We're really not boring! We have a lot of important information, and information is power!"

For more information, contact the library at 828-2326.