On the Same Page: Elusive information found at Reedsburg Public Library

Reedsburg Public Library staff

“Reedsburg Remembers: 150 Years,” published in 1998, is an excellent resource for local history. (Submitted photo)

Last week’s article was a reminder to check the Library first, and this week we continue with that theme!

These days it is easy to depend on Google to supply all of our information needs, or to turn to a local Facebook group to poll members for answers. However, the Library can often access answers to elusive questions not found on the Internet. Below are some real life examples where library resources and staff expertise have answered our customers’ inquiries.

Variations on the following question occur quite frequently: “I read a book as a child, and want to read it again. I have checked LINKcat and ebay, and local antique stores but can’t find it.” WorldCat might be the answer to this question! WorldCat is a database listing Library holdings worldwide. You can find the WorldCat database on the Library’s website (www.reedsburglibrary.org) under the Research Resources tab. Library staff can order items found on WorldCat for you. Owning libraries loan the book to RPL to in turn loan to you. RPL has received books for our users from as far away as Alaska!

A similar request sounds something like this: “I read an article in Nature magazine about ten years ago, but can’t seem to find it again. I’ve checked on the Internet and had no luck.” Again, this question may be answered with a Library resource. EBSCOhost, again found on the Library website’s “Research Resources” tab, is a gateway to thousands of magazine and newspaper articles, many of them in full text, and many going back several years. A keyword index makes searching easy. Library staff may help you print the article or obtain it from another library.

If you unearthed an old promotional bottle opener in your backyard, and want to know where it came from, again RPL may be able to help! Start with the Library for basic information on the history of local businesses. The book, “Reedsburg Remembers: 150 Years,” details the history of buildings on downtown streets through the years. It’s likely you’ll find your business there! Also, Reedsburg’s Historic Survey (of architecturally and historically significant buildings) is available on www.recollectionwisconsin.org and contains a wealth of information on some properties and businesses. If you have purchased an older home in Reedsburg, the Historic Survey may be helpful to you as well!

A frequent question encountered by librarians, especially after the holidays, is “I got a new Kindle for Christmas, but I don’t know how to get a book on it.” Again, Library staff can help you to download free ebooks and audiobooks using the Libby (Wisconsin’s Digital Library) app, or the Hoopla app.

Appointments can be made with Library staff if more in depth help is needed.

Whatever your question, chances are the Library has a resource, an idea, a connection, or the staff expertise to help you with your inquiry! For questions you may have, call the Reedsburg Public Library at 608-768-READ or email info@reedsburglibrary.org.