Austin Public Library: A world of resources

Published 6:06 pm Tuesday, February 13, 2024

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By Courtney Wyant-Schmitt

Editor’s Note: Starting today, the Austin Daily Herald will feature a revolving column once every month from the Austin Public Library, highlighting all the good resources available through the library.

As a familiar face to many among the book stacks, I am thrilled to formally introduce myself as your dedicated local Adult Services librarian. My name is Courtney Wyant-Schmitt and I am privileged to serve the Austin community in my position.

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I grew up in Austin and am very thankful for the experiences I have had as part of the community. I graduated from Austin High School in 2000 and was a PSEO student at Riverland Community College, so I was able to earn my AA degree at the same time I graduated from AHS.

From there, I went to Beloit College for a BA in Archaeology, then on to Seton Hall University for a Master’s Degree in Museum Studies. After working in the archaeology and museum studies fields, I decided to pursue another Master’s Degree in Library Science through St. Catherine’s University. 

Some of my earliest and best memories as a child growing up in Austin were at the Austin Public Library. I am very happy to be in a position to give back to a community that nurtured me, and to help connect people through our public library. As great democratic institutions, libraries serve people of every age, income level, ethnicity, and physical ability. I believe that libraries are not just about books but about fostering a dynamic and enriching experience that brings people together.

In addition to books, e-books, audio and digital collections, we here at your local public library have Kanopy streaming video services, hot spot wi-fi and laptops you can check out.

If you are a student or job-seeker you can use our computers and study rooms. We also have resources on resume and cover letter writing. You can even reserve your own private Zoom room for interviews that we are happy to help you navigate.

If you are into local history or want to research your family’s genealogy, we have microfilm and digital collections. We also have digitized the local newspaper records so you can tap into the local history of our area from anywhere.

If you want to get in touch with your creative side, come and get a paint kit for use at home, which comes with all the supplies to paint your own masterpiece, or come to an art class here at the library!

If you want to learn about gardening, we offer classes along with our seed library to get started on growing your own produce or helping our pollinators.   

If you want to host a meeting or community gathering, we have rooms available for you to serve as host.

We also have puzzles and games to check out for family fun time!

And speaking of fun, here are some of our upcoming events you might want to check out!

Hope to see you soon at the Austin Public Library!

Feb. 20: Tuesday Book to Movie. Matinee movies that were a book first, 2 p.m.

Feb. 27: Tuesday Puzzlers Book Club. A combination monthly book club discussion and puzzle solving event. Discuss a book while putting together jigsaw puzzles. The book club selection for this month is “The Life We Bury” by Allen Eskens. Checkout a copy in the library or on Libby as an eBook or eAudiobook, 1 p.m.

Month of March Mini Art Show Participants will make an art work using a mini canvas. The community display will be up in the library starting in April. All supplies provided.

March 6: Winter Sowing Seeds Gardening Program, 6:30 p.m.

March 16: First ever Comic Con Event .