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By Echo Menges
Tracy Mallett is the new Knox County Librarian. She began her duties on September 1, 2013, after Librarian of over 30 years, Marilyn Goodwin, retired.
Before becoming Librarian Mallett served as the Assistant Librarian beginning in January of 2011.
Mallett is already well known to many Knox countians because she taught high school and middle school band for the Knox County R-1 School District for 12 years before retiring from her 20 year teaching career in May of 2010. Before teaching in Knox County she taught for three years in North Shelby County and for five years in Texas.
Mallett also has five years of experience working in libraries prior becoming part of the Knox County Library. She spent a year working for the Dallas Public Library and four years working for the East Texas State University Library.
According to Mallet her favorite part of being a librarian is interacting with library patrons.
On Tuesday, November 26, 2013, an open house was held at the Knox County Library to show off the new look of the recently remodeled building and to help introduce the community to Mallett and some of the amenities now offered by the library.
The remodeling project, which took place in August and September, included updating the lighting, replacing the carpet and some of the shelving and drastically rearranging the floor plan.
According to Mallett, the project gave the library a more open and pleasant feel by making computer terminals more accessible to the public and eliminating any blind spots there were between the librarian’s desk and the rest of the building.
“It seems to be more welcoming,” said Mallett.
Also, the library has taken it a step further beyond the new look and has begun offering free Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity), which is wireless internet service for people with laptop computers, tablets, electronic readers, smart phones or anything capable of accessing the internet wirelessly. Wi-Fi is available at the library during regular business hours, which are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday. For those without a wireless device the library still houses a handful of computers that are connected to the internet and available to the public.
Another new offering of the library is the availability of electronic books (e-books). Now, library patrons needn’t go into the library to check out a book. E-books and audio books may be checked out for one and two weeks at a time from the website molib2go.org, which stands for Missouri Libraries 2 Go.
E-books and audio books are available to download directly from the site to those who hold a Knox County Library card. This can be done at home on a personal computer, laptop, e-readers like Kindles, smart phones and so on. Library cards can be obtained at the library and are free to anyone living in the county.
“We’re trying to get the word out about all the changes to people who don’t usually come in,” said Mallett.