LA GRANDE — Cook Memorial Library has launched a new website at www.CookMemorialLibrary.org along with a number of other services that will benefit library patrons and members of the community.

The website's home page welcomes visitors with bold new colors, a clean design and moving images featuring content that library staff created. Major features of the new site include:

  • Automatic adaptation to any computer, tablet or mobile device for the best user experience. The site meets ADA accessibility standards as well.
  • Tabs on the home page to lead visitors to new content highlighting library resources, materials and programs.
  • Easier access to the library catalog and digital services such as Freegal Music and the Kanopy movie streaming service.

In addition, the Adult and Family Literacy Center has its own webpages with easier access to information about the Library Commission and the La Grande Community Library Foundation. And online forms now can be submitted with the click of a button.

Library director Kip Roberson in a news release explained that, with changes in technology and continued user demands, it was time to revamp online portal to library services.

Wowbrary

Cook Memorial Library also implemented the free "Wowbrary" email alerts to showcase the library's newest items each week. The alerts feature the latest bestsellers, movies, audio books and more at the library.

"This is a great new way to enjoy and use your public library more," according to Roberson. "People are truly amazed when they see in one place just how many great new titles we purchase each week, which they can reserve and borrow at no cost. And we cover all age groups and many diverse interests."

Kip Roberson

Roberson

Roberson noted in a news release the Wowbrary alerts are convenient and show what's new, whether the item is checked out or not. The alerts also help those interested in specific topics.

"It only takes a mouse click to see the newest arrivals appropriate for your child or teen," according to Carrie Bushman, the children's librarian. "Here is a separate section on parenting. Teachers can quickly spot new resources for their classes."

Wowbrary alerts are free and do not require a library card. Go to www.wowbrary.org to sign up or learn more. 

Library Census Equity Fund grant

The Cook Memorial Library also was among 59 libraries nationwide to receive a $2,000 Library Census Equity Fund grant from the American Library Association to bolster library services to hard-to-count communities and help achieve a complete count in the 2020 Census.

According to Roberson, Cook Memorial is working with the Elgin, North Powder and Union public libraries plus other community partners across Union County to achieve a complete count of everyone in the county. More than $1.5 trillion in federal funds are allocated each year to state and local governments based on census data, according to the American Library Association.

"When residents are missed in the census, their communities miss out on needed funding for services such as libraries, schools, health care and transportation," Roberson said.

2020 Census job recruitment fair

As part of that effort, the library is hosting a 2020 Census job recruitment fair from 2-4 p.m. Jan. 7. The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting applicants to assist with the count in La Grande and Union County. Jobs provide paid training, flexible hours and weekly pay. The recruitment fair is a drop-in, first-come, first-served event. No appointment is necessary. 

To be eligible for a 2020 Census job, you must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen, have a valid email address and Social Security number, be registered with the Selective Service System or have a qualifying exemption (if you are a male born after Dec. 31, 1959), pass a background check, commit to completing training and be available to work flexible hours. For more information, go to www.2020census.gov, call 1-855-562-2020 or call the library at 541-962-1339.

For information about why participating in the 2020 Census is important and to understand the unique challenges in rural areas like Eastern Oregon, visit https://carsey.unh.edu/publication/2020-census.

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