Library offers digital media, reading programs

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Heather Heiney
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
Countless rows of books, whispered voices and the sound of rustling pages easily conjures up the image of a library. And while these sights and sounds still linger within library walls, in this digital age they offer so much more.

Keesler has had its own library since 1942. Post Library was located on the balcony of the service club which was near the housing area for basic training center squadrons and contained a collection of 3,317 books and other materials.

The current library opened in 1964 and was named the McBride library May 28, 1975 after Maj. Edward "Hoss" Ernest McBride, an aircraft pilot from Hattiesburg who gave his life during the Vietnam War.

Now, the base library contains more than 43,000 print and digital items in addition to educational and recreational services.

The library is located on the south east corner of Larcher Blvd. and Meadows Drive and is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and noon to 7 p.m. Fridays through Sundays but is closed on federal holidays.

Katherine Baughman, library technician, said, "Some people may not even know we're here and when they walk in they're amazed at what we have to offer."

In addition to books, magazines, study guides and other print resources, the library offers more than 40 common access card enabled computers, faxing, copying, DVDs, Blue Ray, video games and a multitude of digital resources.

Rebekah Chandlee, library director, said that while they plan to continue keeping up with the latest book releases, digital resources are an avenue that the library is heavily promoting.
"We're holding back on print resources now to get into digital demand," Chandlee said. "But we still have a good amount of books, especially children's books."

Some of the digital services include:

EBSCO and Gale Cengage Learning -- informational databases with reference material, student resources, do-it-yourself resources e-audiobooks and ebooks for downloading. -- online tutoring for all subjects and levels, career help, resume and essay writing, test prep and several other resources.

NewsBank -- Armed forces and government news database.

Overdrive, One Click Digital, TumbleBookLibrary, TubleReadables and TubmbleTalkingBooks -- downloadable audio and eBooks, CLEP study guides and more.

Transparent Language -- teaches the basics of more than 80 languages.

Petersons -- test prep and career building tools.

Universal Class -- online continuing education and professional development classes. Note, most classes are not for college credit but for enhancing knowledge.

Zinio -- digital magazine database.

In addition to all the digital resources the McBride library offers at least two events per month including educational classes, guest speakers, children's story or craft time and United Through Reading.

United Through reading is a program that offers parents and grandparents a way to stay connected to their children and grandchildren while apart. Family members privately record a DVD of themselves reading a book to the child. The book, DVD and an envelope will be provided.

"The child feels closer to their parent or loved one," Baughman said.

In the coming year the library staff plans to continue enhancing their young adult area, reorganize the children's section by reading level and add to their professional military resource section.

The McBride library offers all the above programs and even more and its staff keeps patrons coming back for more.

"I love working with my staff," Chandlee said. "Our patrons always talk about our staff and love coming to the library."

For more information call 228-377-2181, email or visit