523b2fa7a310a.imageThe White Pine County Library is going through some technology changes to help patrons better enjoy some of the services offered. The library recently began digitizing White Pine High School yearbooks from 1917 to 2012 to be available online for people to view.

“We were contacted by an outside library that had been calling libraries about digitizing things and we thought what a great idea to have everything we have on file and make it easier for people to get to,” said Valerie O’Dell-Flannery, WPC Library manager assistant. “I started going through our yearbooks and figuring out what we had. We were able to get all of them except for 1934, when they didn’t do one because of the depression and 1918-19.”

While the library worked on getting its yearbooks digitized, the original plan was to store the files on a computer housed at the library but decided that taking extra time to put them online for everyone would serve a greater purpose.

“We were going to put them on a computer by our microfilm, but I got to thinking if we could get them all online, it would be more accessible,” Flannery said.

The digitizing process is nearly completed. The yearbooks can be viewed online at http://206.194.194.211:2011/cdm/landingpage/collection/wpchs

But digitizing yearbooks isn’t the only technology change going on at the White Pine County Library. The library is in the process of offering a service that is becoming increasingly popular across the country: e-books.

“We got a lot of people thinking we can do it because there are other libraries that offer that service,” Flannery said. “We are in the process of getting to that point. We’re getting all the bugs worked out and making sure we know what to do to help our patrons. It’s new to us too.”

Once the process to offer e-books is fully operational, patrons will be able to download books on a variety of subjects for two weeks. Offering e-books is another way the library can serve its patrons better in the future, Flannery said.

“It’s helpful for seniors that need large print or someone who is sick or during the winter and the weather is bad,” Flannery said. “It makes it so much easier to get access to us.”

The library also plans to increase it’s wifi bandwidth to provide better internet access for patrons. But whether it’s providing historical documents like yearbooks online for patrons to view, or to making the library accessible for patrons to download and read e-books, providing newer technology to patrons is imperative to the library remaining an important place for the community.

“Trying to advance technology and giving our community and especially your kids a better idea of what they can do out there and give them tools to make things like homework easier is important,” Flannery said. “We want to make it not only a place to gain knowledge but to give them better access to do what they need to do, whatever that may be.”

While the library may be looking to advance its technological capabilities, Flannery said the library won’t lose sight of hard copy books, whether it be for pleasure reading or research. But by helping to provide new technological capabilities, the library will be able to offer a more rounded experience for patrons of all ages.

“We have to move forward with technology and make it easier for the public to access what the library has and the library has a lot,” Flannery said. “These are steps to being more accessible to the public and bringing more public in.”

For more information about any of the White Pine County Library’s programs, please call 775-293-6900. For more online resources offered by the library, please visit www.elynews.com.