The Whitman County Library system is much like the rainforest tree you’ll find in Hayden’s Corner, a popular gathering spot at the Colfax Library.

The Colfax library serves as our supportive trunk, providing a central base for 13 small town branch libraries. This solid foundation allows us all to flourish and grow. As the new manager in the Albion branch, I’d like to highlight some of the amazing services right here in our community.

Though small, the Albion library has a great collection of books. This includes a variety of formats like audio books, DVDs and CDs. From the library website, e-books and audio books are easily downloaded from the library’s Wi-Fi hotspot.

Wi-Fi access and public computing give Albion residents access to high-quality educational resources, including ABC Mouse, Mango Language Learning, Lynda.com and Microsoft coursework, with access to certification testing in Colfax. Free access to HeritageQuest, NewsBank (Washington newspapers) and Consumer Reports are also popular.

Albion’s Wi-Fi is available 24/7, so even when the library is closed, people swing by to download library e-books, Skype relatives and perform other tasks.

Whitman County Library is seeing continued growth in public programming. Last year, nearly 50,000 residents attended library sponsored programs or classes in all 14 locations.

In Albion, we provide an early learning storytime that is educational and really fun. Children come at 10 a.m. each Wednesday to learn valuable prereading and listening skills. We enjoy stories and imaginative activitie. This class is targeted to those younger than 5.

Every branch provides afterschool programs. In Albion, STEAM Club is at 3:30 p.m. each Wednesday, with a focus on technology, engineering, art and math. Student instructors from Washington State University’s Center for Civic Engagement provide quality programs and one-on-one engagement.

Adult programing provides a wonderful opportunity to socialize, learn and expand your horizons. In Albion, we just hosted a Galentine’s Day event. We shared treats and talked about future topics and projects the community might enjoy.

Albion’s Knitting Club meets at 4:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month. We encourage you to attend the club to meet new friends and receive expert advice.

The Albion Book Club is going strong and new members are always welcome. For the March 16 meeting, we are reading The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. Stop by the library to pick up your copy, time and location information. You can also email me directly at amy@whitco.lib.wa.us.

Each branch of the Whitman County Library system is wonderful and unique, striving to best serve its residents and community. As the new manager in Albion, I’m extremely pleased at the quality of branch services, and I think you will be, as well. For a complete list of branches and hours, visit our website at www.whitco.lib.wa.us or call (877) 733-3375.

Amy Ferguson is the manager of the Albion branch of the Whitman County Library system.

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