Lots of stuff happening at the library these days
Hot spots amplify internet access
Last updated 11/25/2020 at 9:52am
RITZVILLE – New items are available at East Adams Library District, just in time for winter holidays and extra time spent inside.
The library is closed to indoor guests, but staff are available to help with ordering items for pickup in Ritzville Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Patrons are encouraged to place a hold on items by calling, emailing or using the online catalog.
In Benge, patrons can utilize the kiosk located there for both item pick up and returns.
Patrons are able to return items in the library bin in Washtucna.
“If patrons in these communities need additional help, we encourage them to contact us and we will do our best to connect them to library items and services,” said Interim Director Amy Hille, who has temporarily taken over former director Kylie Fullmer’s duties.
Those without internet will be happy to hear the library has installed Verizon Jetpack Mobile Hotspots in Ralston and Hatton for free access to WI-FI.
Library Aid Heidi Harting said the hotspots go out a couple of blocks and can have eight to 10 devices on it at once.
The Hatton hotspot is being hosted by a Lind Elementary School staff member who resides in Hatton, and being made available to Lind-Ritzville School District students who reside in Hatton.
“We really wanted to get one out to the Hatton kids. They are so far from the school, and a lot of them were getting so far behind,” Harting said. “The one in Ralston is located at the Grange, so the whole community can use it.”
To access the hotspots, call the library at 659-1222 for the password, or email [email protected]
Harting said the hotspots were purchased with funds from the Innovia Foundation and the CARES Act, along with five Coolpad Surf Portable Wi-Fi Hotspots, available for checkout.
Harting said the library would also be getting a portable wireless printer.
“We would like to set it up somewhere like the Food Pantry with staff supervision, but there is nothing set in stone at this time,” Harting said.
Feeding young minds
Harting said Fullmer was working on another exciting project when she left, which Harting took over.
“We got a $5,000 grant from “Feed Your Brains/Schools Out Washington,” and they provided us with 200 books,” Harting said. “I had 554 kids to give books to, from preschool to seniors in high school, so I have been ordering more. I have been doing the ordering of books and the cataloging the past eight years, so I kind of know what the kids like.”
Harting said she also turned to Jamie Nichols, the secretary at Ritzville Grade School, to see what the kids needed.
“She said they really needed headphones,” Harting said. “It was challenging to make sure I stretched the money as far as I could, and the 600 headphones were $1200. But each kid will get a set of headphones, so they can have them at home, and I got 23 extras.”
Harting said she put a book and a set of headphones in backpacks for the kids.
“I got orange backpacks for the Lind kids and red for the Ritzville kids,” Harting said. “I’m hoping by the end of November to have them distributed.”
A project Youth Services Library Assistant Millie Hopkins is working on is providing educator kits for teachers to check out and share with their students, and for home school students to check out.
“We have Snap Circuits kits available; the basics for juniors, and the classic kit has a little more in it,” Hopkins said. “I’m almost done getting the Makey Makey kits ready, too.”
Hopkins said the Makey Makey kits were little circuit boards.
“They are actually pretty cool. They come with little alligator clips, and you can plug the clips into fruits and vegetables,” Hopkins said. “They are a lot of fun.”
Hopkins said she also had Micro Bits she was getting ready to make available.
“I haven’t used them much, but they are similar to the Makey Makey. They have a little circuit board you can make things with,” said Hopkins. “They have lights on the board that light up, so you can do things like a love meter, to show how compatible you are. They gave us a starter kit that has a lot of different pieces, like for soil testing and water pumps.”
Hopkins said the library has a lot more kits “on the horizon,” which she was excited to share with home school students and educators.