BAKER — Baker is the location of the first library lending machine in the Florida Panhandle, thanks to a grant received by the Okaloosa County Public Library Cooperative.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new service, named "The Library Spot," is 2 p.m. March 15 at the Baker Block Museum, 1307 Georgia Avenue.
Senator Greg Evers is scheduled to dedicate the new library service.
The project was funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Florida Department of State, Division of Library and Information Services.
The Library Spot brings 24/7 access to books and DVDs to Baker, which doesn't have a local library facility.
The machine works like movie rental service, but there is an important difference, Vicky Stever, coordinator of the library cooperative, said. "Public library services are free," says Stever. "Instead of swiping a credit card, you can swipe your library card to get this great service at no cost. And you have even more choices, because we provide more than just DVDs; there are books for preschool through teen plus best-seller titles for adults."
Okaloosa County Public Library Cooperative, or OCPLC, library cards are accepted by the lending machine. Eligible Okaloosa residents may also request a card by contacting the OCPLC office or picking up an application form at the Baker Block Museum.
"The North Okaloosa Historical Association that operates the Baker Block Museum has been an essential partner in the grant project," Stever said. "They are providing the electrical and Internet connectivity needed to operate the machine, and allowing us to locate it on the museum’s porch for easy access to the community." She said the museum’s convenient location at the intersection of State Roads 4 and 189 was a significant factor in its selection, as well as "the museum’s great dedication and desire to serve the Baker area."
For more information, contact Stever at LibrarySpot@okaloosa.lib.fl.us or 609-5101.
The Baker Block Museum is open 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and the third Saturday of the month. Contact the museum at 537-5714.