Editor’s note: This is a weekly column that provides readers with insight into the happenings of the four county libraries.

A library card is one of the most valuable things that you can possess, but you may not know that your library card allows you to do more than just check out books and other materials. The library is a welcoming environment, but some patrons may still be hesitant to ask about the services the library provides. Studies show that up to 60 percent of people have experienced “library anxiety.” If you’re one of those people, don’t be afraid. The Botetourt County Library staff is here to help!

Library staff can help you find the answers to your questions. We are happy to assist you with answering all types of questions. It doesn’t have to be about books! If we don’t know the answer, we will point you toward a book or other resources that will provide you with the information you seek. If you find yourself faced with information overload, library staff can show you how to tell the difference between reliable resources and questionable ones and teach you how to spot fake news.

Library staff can help track down the books and movies you’re looking for.  Don’t know the title, but the cover was green? It starred Jennifer Lawrence? The dog and his owner were reunited? You provide us with as many details as you can remember, and we’ll fill in the blanks to the best of our ability. Don’t know what to read, watch, or listen to? Library staff can suggest titles based on things you know you like.

Are you uncomfortable using a computer? Library staff can teach you the basics, including parts of the computer, using a keyboard and mouse, browsing the web, printing documents, and how to set up an email address. We can also help with things like basic Microsoft Office skills, creating a resume, and filling out online applications. It may sound overwhelming, but with a bit of practice you’ll be using the computer like a pro. Need help scanning or faxing a document? We can help with that, too.

Library staff can also help you figure out how to use your mobile devices. Bring your tablet or phone to the library and library staff will provide you with hands-on instruction. We’ll show you how to download apps that allow you to access content available through the library and get you set up so you can check out ebooks and eaudiobooks with ease. We can also show you how to search the RVL catalog, renew items, and place holds online.

Need help finding resources in our community? Library staff can help you search for a job, a place to rent, babysitters, nursing homes, homeless shelters, food banks, or any other resource that you may be looking for. We can show you how to access job search websites, classified ads, and more. If we aren’t able to help, we’ll recommend someone who can.

Library staff members are friendly and approachable. We are here to help, so if you need assistance locating or using a resource, just ask!

-Audrey Clark

Fincastle Library

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