April 13, 2017 --
More than National Library Week observance activities were being kicked-off at the Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s Library, April 12.
Many at the gathering came to catch a glimpse of the newly renovated facility and join the celebration of the Grand Re-Opening event and proclamation signing.
Lieutenant Col. Nathaniel Robinson, executive officer, MCLB Albany, discussed some the base’s amenities and shared some statistics on the nation’s literacy issues before reading and affixing his signature to the proclamation.
“One of the things I usually harp on every month at the Welcome Aboard Brief is (when) people come to Albany, they have certain beliefs about it,” Robinson said. “Albany has everything the larger bases have. We just don’t have the depth and the breadth of it, but the same things they have at (Camp) LeJeune and (Camp) Pendleton, we have here. And, this Library is an example of that.
“I think we have a very good team here at (Marine Corps Community Services), who takes advantage of the limited resources to ensure that the Marines still get the same things that every other Marine throughout the Corps gets,” he added.
“That said, we have a literacy crisis in the United States,” Robinson explained. "About 93 million Americans are functionally illiterate. That was surprising to me. I said, ‘We are the greatest country in the world, but we have a high percentage of functional illiteracy. That’s something that we have to change.’
“That’s something that changes with us,” he continued. “That’s something that changes with buildings like this; coming in and getting our kids to read more; sitting down with our kids to read more; making sure they do those things.
“It should be, ‘Reading is fundamental,’ …to survive,” Robinson emphasized. “(Statistics show that) reading is one of those things if you don’t get it down early, if kids don’t get it by the 4th grade, then they are below their grade level. Chances are, they’re not going to make it, except in prison, and 60 percent of the guys in prison cannot read above a 4th grade level.
“I said all that to say, it’s important,” he pointed out. “Let’s get our kids in there and leave it up to the guys like us to make sure our Marines are using the facility we have here. I put that out there to let everybody know that we need to stay on it; reading is important.”
Amos Tookes, librarian, MCLB Albany, said as part of the renovations, the Base Library is transitioning from the old Dewey Decimal System card cataloguing method of locating resource material to the new “Semper Find-It” neighborhood system.
According to Tookes, the facility now has an adult Reading Room, Children’s Reading Room, and in addition to its vast collection of books and novels, it also has audio books, DVD movies, WiFi capabilities and provides FAX services for its patrons.