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More than a library

PLDL offers programs and databases

December 5, 2012
The Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON - Going to the library no longer has to mean walking through the doors because the Portage Lake District Library offers numerous online resources for users to access via their home computers.

"You can search all of our books, look at reviews for the book and reserve it online, so you're able to do all these things from your own home," said Shawn Leche, PLDL director.

Through the use of Novelist, a book database, library patrons can look through the PLDL's 50,000 print books, 3,000 audio books, 1,800 DVDs and 100 magazine subscriptions to find the perfect reading material by author, genre or similarities.

Article Photos

Daily Mining Gazette
In this file photo, Shawn Leche, director, stands in front of the Portage Lake Distirct Library. The library has resources available through databases, books and programs that are free to residents of Chassell, Houghton and Portage Lake.

If the book desired is not available, patrons can reserve or get an extension via phone or request a book be ordered, as there are hundreds of new books arriving monthly.

Besides Novelist, users have numerous research and recreational databases available either on one of the library's 12 public computers or online. These databases can be accessed at along with a library card and PIN.

The Michigan Electronic Library provides users with an avenue for genealogical research or recreational reading about cars, science and literature.

Library patrons who are interested in home-schooling courses and other classes can use Universal Class.

"Universal Class offers 550 courses, 22 of which are just for home-schooling," Leche said.

Mango Languages, another database, is available to users looking to learn one of 65 foreign languages, including ancient Greek, Hebrew and English as a second language.

"Mango Languages is the industry recognized leader of foreign language instruction," Leche said. "It's fun and easy to either take a section to prepare for a trip or to learn the language completely."

Experiencing legal trouble can be intimidating, but the PLDL has Law Depot, a complete attorney database, to perform legal transactions. Once the information has been collected, the files can be printed.

"It will be printed on the paper of the state in which you are doing business," Leche said. "Simply have it notarized."

In addition to databases, the library organizes over 700 programs for the public each year. These programs include seminars on death and dying, scuba gear demonstrations, information from the National Park Service and children's activities and movies.

"We also offer electronic books and give regular classes on how to download them," Leche said.

Although library membership is free for Chassell, Houghton and Portage Lake residents, membership is available to the entire Copper Country for a fee with 70,000 patrons visiting the library each year. Family membership to the PLDL is $130 per year, while single memberships are $85 per year. The PLDL honors the active, armed service members and family by offering free membership.

The library is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with excellent staff available to assist at all times.

"The library offers a wealth of diversity in its programming, books and databases, many of which can be accessed from your computer at home," Leche said.

Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by the Portage Lake District Library. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.



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