Looking ahead with Larry
Update on the Portage County Public Library
By Taylor Hale
Portage County Public Library Director Larry Oathout sat down with Gazette staff to give a monthly update on local library operations.
Stevens Point Library offers city bus passes
The Stevens Point branch started selling city bus passes on March 8. The passes can be purchased at the check-out counter at the library.
“The city was looking for a place downtown where people could get them. It used to be Shopko, then Hometown Pharmacy. So they didn’t have a place downtown and asked if we would be interested in carrying them,” Oathout said.
Hometown Pharmacy moved out of the downtown area last January. Oathout said the central location helps many locals have easy access to the passes. Daily and monthly passes are available.
Chromebook computers available for rental
The Stevens Point branch recently bought four new Chromebook laptops for members to rent.
Rentals are limited to one week.
“We’ve been doing this for a while, but the Chromebooks we had were getting older and had gotten a lot of use,” Oathout explained.
The Plover branch also has two Chromebook laptops available to rent.
SPASH yearbooks available online
The Portage County Public Library has scanned and uploaded SPASH yearbooks from 1909 to 1977 online. The digitized yearbooks can be found online at recollectionwisconsin.org.
Oathout noted that staff is currently working on digitizing yearbooks from Almond High School.
The website only allows yearbooks up to 1977 at this time, due to privacy reasons. Next year will span to 1998.
“We hope to eventually have all of the high schools in the county available online at some point,” Oathout said.
Portage County Public Library staff have been uploading fun and educational videos to their channel. The content ranges from discussions on books and literary genres to informational videos on how to get your library card.
“If people go to YouTube and search Portage County Public Library, we are putting a lot of things up there now,” Oathout said. “Right now we are uploading one chapter a day from Jack London’s The Call of the Wild.”
Search Portage County Public Library – WI on YouTube to learn more.