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Garrison News

The future of Rhine’s library

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Carol Yates, head of library servicesWith the closure of JHQ approaching, a few questions have been asked about the future of the library in Rheindahlen.

Reporter Natalie Thompson met with Carol Yates, head of library services, to find out what will happen to Rheindahlen library in the time leading up to the closure of JHQ.

Natalie: Can you tell me a little about the work of the library headquarters based at Rheindahlen?

 Carol: Our main task is to manage and develop a library and information service for members of the Defence community in Germany. We support branch libraries within BFG but also other libraries within the ALIS network. We identify and supply books and other resources that the community require.

We also provide journals, CDs and online resources which provide educational and operational support to soldiers in theatres such as Afghanistan, and recreational material such as fiction. The service provides an online service, Army Library Information Services (ALIS) Online, which is available via ArmyNet. This includes an integrated catalogue; customers with an ArmyNet username and password can use this service to order books by post.

I understand that Library Headquarters is due to move shortly, can you tell me when and where it is to move?

The Library Headquarters is due to move to the Paderborn Garrison in mid September but the actual date has not been confirmed.

Will Rheindahlen lending library remain open and when is it due to close?

The lending library in JHQ will remain open for reduced hours and it will eventually close in June 2013.

Will customers see any changes to hours or services offered at Rheindahlen Library when the HQ moves? Will there still be Internet access? Will there still be new books available? Will customers still be able to request books?

The library will reduce Saturday openings from two to one per month. There will be less staff and fewer new books allocated to Rheindahlen. However, staff can still obtain books from other libraries. Internet access will still be available via two PCs.

What will happen to the library stock when Rheindahlen library closes next year?

We will be identifying the new stock purchased from 2010 onwards for re-distribution to Army libraries in Germany and the UK as well as donating to other organisations.

Will veterans (former Service personnel) and sponsored members (members living in the German community and sponsored by a service member or MoD civilian) be able to continue using the Army library at Elmpt? What happen’s if the sponsored members sponsor has been posted? Can they use their current membership card or will they have to join Elmpt Library?

The Station Staff Officer will provide a list of entitled members to security at Elmpt entrance so sponsored members can use the library at Elmpt, but they will have to create a membership there. I shall investigate the possibilities of sponsorship for new members.

Where is the library situated at Elmpt?

It is situated off the main road within the Army Education Centre.

Can you tell me about the Summer Reading Challenge this year?

The Summer Reading Challenge has been running for several years in the UK and was introduced to Rheindahlen Library in 2006. Each year there is a theme and this year the theme is ‘Story Lab’.

The programme is designed to encourage children to read and to use the library, as well as promoting public libraries.

The children record their progress with stickers and receive goodies and prizes; if they read six books they get a certificate and a medal which is presented to them at their school.

Can you tell me about the children’s competitions?

The staff at Rheindahlen library have organised competitions for over the summer.

There are different challenges for different ages. For ages up to four-years-old there is a colouring competition, for ages four to six there is a design a bookmark competition, for ages seven and eight there is a book review competition and for ages nine to 11 there is a story writing competition.

The children have a chance to win a summer reading kit that can also aid them with the reading challenge, including prizes such as stationery and books.