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Walking Books: 30 Years of Delivering Library Materials; Learn to Use City's Geographic Data Viewer March 27

Severe arthritis keeps Ruby Snowbarger from going to a lot of her favorite places, including book clubs and the library. Lucky for Ruby, the library goes to her.

Every month, a volunteer delivers 20 items to her through Walking Books, a free library service celebrating its 30th anniversary.

In that time, the number of clients has grown from five to 250, says library outreach assistant Nancy Danielsen. Sixteen volunteers now also deliver CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, Playaways and large-type books.

For as long as it’s been around, many people don’t learn about it until a disability restricts their travel – or until someone like Ruby spreads the word. The retired teacher has already told several friends at her residential community. Walking Books also delivers to private homes and apartments.

“I just appreciate it so much,” Ruby says. “It’s just like Christmas every month. Just to have those bags of books. It’s a wonderful service for those of us who don’t get out and about anymore.”

Ruby loves the free, customized service. As a mystery lover who is now getting into English romances, she checks in with Walking Books staff about what she likes to read. Staff tracks her reading list, selects 20 similar books and a volunteer does pick up and delivery.

“You can get just about everything you could if you went to the library,” Nancy Danielsen says.

Walking Books clients range in age from 25 to 99, and qualify if a physical limitation prevents them from visiting the library.

Know someone who needs the service? Call 883-6112. To volunteer to help, call 616-0580, or visit thelibrary.org/walkingbooks.
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The City of Springfield has a new Geographic Data Viewer that gives the public online access to at least 25 layers of useful city and county geographic data. Learn how to use this new online mapping system at 1:30, 3:30 or 4:30 p.m. Wednesday,  March 27, in the Library Center auditorium.

Tom Dyer, city GIS Analyst, will demonstrate these and other layers: city and county parcels, city limits, zoning, schools, bike routes, trails, sinkholes and city council zones. Learn how to measure and print maps, view oblique aerial photography using a tool provided by Pictometry™, view Google StreetView™ and much more.

For details or to see the system, go to www.springfieldmo.gov/maps/index.html.
 

Kathleen O’Dell is community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at kathleeno@thelibrary.org.

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