By Ira Kazi
For a certain reason, I had to recently learn about the Hamilton Public Library’s website and services. I have been a library user for years and I have been volunteering there almost two years so I assumed I had a somewhat decent understanding of all that the library has to offer its users. Well, I was wrong. I am genuinely mindblown by how many other local organizations that library collaborates with and how it is able to serve such a diverse group of people. Unfortunately, I do not think that most people are aware of what HPL offers, which is sad since some of these people could really benefit from these services/programs/collections. I am going to list some of the ones that stood out to me [believe me, there is a lot more – just spend some time on their site]:
- MANGO LANGUAGES – Mango is an online language learning system with over 60 courses. [Sidenote: I am so excited to discover this online resource because I need to improve my French and also learn Italian but I haven’t been able to find any website that I both like and is free. This is so awesome!]
- Lynda – Learn something new today. Access over 3,500 self-paced video tutorial courses led by recognized industry experts on web design, software development, photography, business skills, project management, 3D + Animation, graphic design audio, music, video editing and more!
- Tumble books – Get kids excited about reading with fun and interactive eBooks.
- MagnusCards app – The MagnusCards app is a free accessibility tool available at Hamilton Public Library. This app is designed to assist library customers needing more personalized, step-by-step guidance to complete everyday library activities by themselves. The app uses photos and simple instructions to guide customers through essential activities while at the library.
- Sit! Stay! Read! – Offered in partnership with the Hamilton-Burlington SPCA, trained pet therapy dogs and adult volunteers will encourage reluctant readers to take part in literacy activities. Animals are ideal reading companions especially for children who may not be strong readers and reluctant to read aloud.
- Disability Information Service Program – Disability Information Service Program (DISP) staff provide free, confidential information and customize answers to your inquiries about a wide range of issues relating to disability and life in the community. [Sidenote: I wish I knew about this service when I was trying to deal with my options as someone who is temporarily disabled]
- Visiting Library Service – The Visiting Library Service provides a wide range of library materials to Hamilton residents who are unable to get out to the library or make use of its services on their own.
- Ancestry.com – The Library edition of the popular genealogical search engine Ancestry.com. Only available in-branch.
- Coding [the Circuit/Makerspace] – introduces basic concepts of computer science and programming. Through a variety of visual exercises, it helps users develop problem solving skills which can be applied to other fields of interest. Gain programming skills or brush up on your techniques by trying out our coding hardware and software.
- Xperience Annex – a partnership initiative between the City of Hamilton and community partners, with funding from the Local Poverty Reduction Fund. Located on HPL’s Circuit 4.0 (4th floor, Central Library) the Xperience Annex supports the youth in achieving their goals by connection and collaboration with education, health care and employment providers.