Looking ahead with Larry
What’s happening at the Portage County Public Library
By Taylor Hale
Portage County Public Library Director Larry Oathout sat down with Portage County Gazette staff to give a monthly update on local library operations. This February is a busy one for Oathout and his staff.
Gale Online Classes
The South Central Library System provided Portage County libraries with CARES Act funding, which has been utilized to provide county library members with access to Gale online courses.
These instructor-led classes usually last around six weeks and start monthly. Class topics range from accounting to utilizing Microsoft Office software.
“If you go to our website and under look under the research tab, you’ll see the classes,” Oathout said.
The Gale online classes are intended to help participants grow their career skills and further their education. The online classes will be available until Jan. 29, 2022.
Other online resources provided by the Portage County Public Library include LearningExpress Library, Job Center of Wisconsin tools, GCFLearnFree, Peterson’s Career Prep, and Udemy. A library card number is required to participate in the Gale online classes.
Video game rentals at Stevens Point
The Stevens Point branch is now offering Nintendo Switch video game rentals. The branch has around 20 titles to rent, with an additional 4,000 available throughout the South Central system available for guests to order. Games are rented out similar to other media, and can be enjoyed for up to two weeks per rental.
“We’ve been looking at starting a gaming collection for a while, we had the board games already,” Oathout explained. “We started with Nintendo because they have a lot of family friendly games, but we could eventually go further and get games for the other consoles.”
Video games rentals can be found on the main floor of the Stevens Point Library, by the board games.
Blind Date with a Book
The library’s annual “Blind Date with a Book” program kicked off during the week of Feb. 1, and will run through Valentine’s Day. The event sees library guests taking home a rental book wrapped in paper, the twist, the reader only knows the book’s genre. The title and author are hidden until readers unwrap their blind date book.
“People who pick up one of these books will only have the description, they won’t know what the book is,” Oathout said. “They take it home, they unwrap it, and they get to read it.”
Blind Date with a Book selections can be found on the main floor of the Stevens Point Library. Audio book options are also available.
For more information, visit pocolibrary.org.