The Crestview Public Library will host this year’s Okaloosa County Public Library Cooperative Staff Training Day on May 10. All member libraries will close that day.

The Crestview Public Library will host this year’s Okaloosa County Public Library Cooperative Staff Training Day on May 10. All member libraries will close that day.

"Some new technologies are used in the way customers use our services; for example, downloading e-books onto smart phones,” said Vicky Stever, cooperative coordinator and Crestview resident. “Other technology changes are behind the scenes and affect the library workplace. It's so important to come together to learn and be refreshed so we can provide the cheerful, competent service that people need."

A 1991 Florida Administrative Code revision allowed existing municipal libraries to remain autonomous while agreeing to share resources. Charter membership began Oct. 1, 1997, with three public libraries — Crestview, Mary Esther and Niceville — on board, and expanded in October 1999 when the Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Valparaiso libraries joined the cooperative.

The cooperative’s member libraries have made strides in service to area residents, increasing technology to member libraries with computer support, a new automation system and an online catalog. Okaloosa residents may search all member libraries’ collections as well as pick up and drop off items at any member library.

 More than 60 percent of our patrons live outside Crestview city limits. Prior to the cooperative’s formation, those residents paid an annual membership fee. Now, any Okaloosa County resident can receive a free initial library card that works at all six libraries.


"The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More" by Bruce Feiler

Bestselling author Bruce Feiler tackles family matters in his latest book, which includes research from Silicon Valley and the Green Berets to Warren Buffet's guide for setting an allowance and the Harvard handbook for resolving conflict. The result is a fun, original look at the smartest ways to teach kids values, calm chaos at home, and draw families closer.

Prepare to have your assumptions challenged. For example, when children were asked, "If you were granted one wish about your parents, what would it be?" most parents predicted their kids would say spending more time with them. Actually, kids wished that their parents were less tired and less stressed.


LAWN CARE IN NORTHWEST FLORIDA: 10:30 a.m. May 7, with Larry Williams. Best management practices to make growing a Florida lawn less frustrating.

FRIENDS OF THE CRESTVIEW LIBRARY MEETING: 10:30 a.m. May 16. Guest speaker: Superintendent of Schools Mary Beth Jackson. Coffee and cookies.

INVESTMENTS 101: 6-7 p.m. Mondays through May 20. Taught by financial adviser Joe Faulk. Classes: Take Stock in the Market, IRAs: Retirement Can Be Less Taxing, A Smart Start to Mutual Funds, Focus on Fixed Income, Tax-Free Investing and Retirement by Design. Call 682-4432 for details.

SIGN LANGUAGE FOR BEGINNERS: 6-7 p.m. Mondays, June 3 to Aug. 26.Ages middle school through adult. Details: Janet LaRoche, 689-2591 or 603-0718.

STARGAZING: 6:30-8 p.m. third Tuesdays, Crestview Public Library. Tom Haugh, with the Northwest Florida Astronomy Association, facilitates. See for details.

ZUMBA CLASSES: 9 a.m. Fridays, Crestview Public Library. Details: 682-4432 or 685-4547.

BEGINNING COMPUTER SKILLS TRAININGFOR SENIORS: Call 682-4432 to schedule one-hour appointments at Crestview Public Library. Library card required.

Sandra Dreaden is the Crestview Public Library's reference librarian.