Our Library

Northfield Public Library

No longer is Northfield Public Library a stuffy brick building with pull out catalog drawers as it was in 1985 when the library was last renovated.  Our library now has personal computers, the Internet, wireless access, a book section entirely in Spanish, books on tape and CD, pictures of you and me when we were in high school (provided you graduated from NHS), and old Northfield phone books.  The old Northfield phone books aren't interesting until you realize some of them listed the man's name, "wife", the man's job, and finally the kids' names and birth dates.

New to the library is a subscription to downloadable audio books. You can download books in WMA format (not for iPods). All you need is your Northfield Public Library card.

Multiple copies of recent bestsellers are provided, and book club members can often borrow copies of books from other libraries by using the SELCO (Southeastern Libraries Cooperating) exchange system.  There are also reading incentive programs -- right now there is a Newbery challenge for Young Adult readers: prizes will be given for reading each decade of award winners, and your name will be added to a plaque if you read them all.
Also at the library is the free use of genealogy databases such as the Ancestry Library.  Genealogists and interested parties alike can also view local plat books to see where their ancestors resided. 
How does the Geocache craze fit into the local library?  Geocaching is an adventure game for GPS users, and right now there is a hunt which involves the library.
Our library has an entire committee comprised of library staff that selects the items the library buys. The result of these many voices is a wide variety of items for us to read or check out. You can peruse the Northfield News, the StarTribune, the Pioneer Press, the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, the Faribault Daily News, the New York Times, and many current magazines.  Children’s Programming Librarian Kathy Ness also wants you to know they are quick to act on requests. 

Have an opinion about what should happen at our local library?  You can participate by sending suggestions to library director Lynne Young at lynney@selco.info.

Recent, related discussions:

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Audio Books in WMA format only???

Why does SELCO provide/support proprietary and DRM-laden audiobooks?.  Mac, Linux, UNIX users, and users of non WMA-supporting portable media players (most1) are left in the dark.  My take; if it can't be done right (accessible to all, using open, industry standard file formats), don't do it at all.

Here are some alternative services that have done it right:

Get with the program, SELCO.

[1]  iPod has 80-some-odd percent of the market share.

Privacy problems, too.

Windows Media Player has a long, dubious history with respect to privacy problems. For instance, "information about every file you play":http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/player/9series/privacy.aspx#enhancedigimedia gets sent to Microsoft by default.

"Libraries have a well-known policy of being very concerned for your privacy.":http://www.ala.org/Template.cfm?Section=issuesrelatedlinks&Template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=29359 Forcing the use of Windows Media Player jeopardizes that.