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Lafayette County and Oxford Public Library: Growing with the Community

img_5727-2The Lafayette County and Oxford Public Library remains a fixture in the community despite the loss in popularity that bookstores and other libraries are facing across the country.

The library offers many services, but one of the biggest draws is its technology access. They have a bank of desktop computers that anyone can use and printing is only 10 cents per page. The library also offers a laptop rental option.

“You can rent the laptop for two hours at a time,” said Nancy Opalko, youth services and assistant branch librarian. “People use these to fill out job applications and do online tests.”

img_5726-2In the summer months, the library is a flurry of activity all day long, but once school starts the mornings are slow, but booms again in the afternoons and evenings.

“A lot of families don’t have computers at home,” Opalko said. “Kids use the library to write reports, look up stuff and print. Teachers still assign books, too. So, the kids come here to find books.”

The youth services at the library include book clubs for all ages, family nights that feature puppet shows or storytelling, summer reading programs, morning movies for younger children, after school crafts and much more.

The library also offers programs for Ole Miss students and adults in the community. Two popular events are the World Film Night and Books and Lunch. World Film Night is every other Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Dr. Vernon Chadwick selects a film to show and then leads a discussion afterwards. Books and Lunch programs occur often and feature a guest speaker.

“Books and Lunch programs are offered usually twice a month,” said Laura Beth Walker, head librarian. “We will invite an author or someone with an interesting story to tell and have them speak. We also serve really great food.”

img_5724-2All programs at the library are offered to Lafayette County residents, Oxford residents and Ole Miss and Northwest students completely free.

“I am excited about working to show the community that the library is for everyone,” Walker said. “Families, single people, college students, young adults and, of course, children. We serve all of the community, and we have something for everyone.”

Amy Goodin is a writer for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at argoodin12@gmail.com.

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