Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort --
The Marine Corps Air Station library was officially reopened during a ribbon cutting ceremony after a three-month renovation Nov. 23. Marines, sailors and civilians aboard the air station attended the ceremony to commemorate the event and visit the upgraded facility.
The renovation started at the beginning of August and concluded early November. Furniture and equipment were updated and added to the facility to make it more comfortable and usable for the library patrons.
“We’re here for the Marines and their families,” said Rose Krauss, the supervisory librarian at MCAS Beaufort. “We want to make the library a friendly and welcoming place so everyone can find everything they need.”
Not only were the building, furniture and shelving updated, but the technological capabilities and services offered were also enhanced. The facility increased the computers available from 19 to 29, according to Krauss.
The biggest change during the renovation was the transition from the Dewey Decimal System to the Semper FINDIT system. Semper FINDIT groups titles by subject, called neighborhoods, where Dewey organizes library materials by discipline or field of study. There are currently 41 neighborhoods.
“I think the new changes at the library will encourage Marines to come and use it more often,” said Cpl. Jopher Rusinque, a marksmanship instructor with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron.
The library is one of four in the pilot program trying out this new system. The other three installations are on MCAS Cherry Point, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and MCAS Iwakuni. The goal is to have every library across the Department of Defense using the same system by 2020. However, at the moment, the Marine Corps is the only service branch implementing it.
The library at the air station received premiere status in 2012 for not only meeting the core standards expected of every facility but going above and beyond by meeting 12-13 additional standards. Those standards are handicapped accessibility, color printing and faxing to name a few.
“I was very excited when I heard the news then,” said Krauss. “At the time there were only six facilities that were Premiere. We continue to meet the criteria which changes periodically by staying up to date and offering more for the Marines.”
Since 2012 the library remains one of the top in the DOD and popular among the children offering reading programs and computer services. Although the young adult and children’s section was combined with the adult sections during the transition, children are able to take full advantage of the facility.
Programs like story time are still offered twice a month at the air station and every week on Laurel Bay. Also Santa is coming soon is a program where a mailbox is placed in the building where children mail their letters to the North Pole. An interactive computer for children where they could learn various subjects is available as well.
“In the upcoming months the facility will add Maker Spaces where Marines and their families can learn and create arts and crafts projects together,” said Krauss. “For example, a father and son can create a small model helicopter that can later be flown by remote control using the resources from Maker Spaces- learning and creating together.”
The transition is an ongoing process as the staff continues to catalogue the library materials into the new system and offer more services for the Marines and their families. Sections like the Commandant’s reading list have been relocated towards the entrance to make it easier for the Marines to find.
MCAS Beaufort leadership and library staff thanked the Marines and volunteers who helped during the planning, execution, and completion of the renovation.
“I think it’s a positive transition,” said Col. Peter D. Buck, the commanding officer of MCAS Beaufort. “Marines and their families will come through and use this facility as they had in the past. Many thanks have to go to volunteers and staff members that were able to make it happened.”