If you haven’t visited your local library recently, you may be surprised by how much it has to offer. You probably expect to find books and computers, and you will find plenty of both. But did you know that Cochise County residents also have access to ebooks, downloadable audiobooks, professional grade research tools, and even online access to Chilton auto repair manuals? Library Card Sign-up Month is a great time to grab your library card, or get a new one, and check out the valuable services available to all county residents. Membership really does have its privileges!
Cochise County is home to twelve public libraries. The Cochise County Library District operates five branch libraries in the rural communities of Bowie, Elfrida, Portal, Sunizona, and Sunsites. There are also seven municipal libraries in Benson, Bisbee, Douglas, Huachuca City, Sierra Vista, Tombstone, and Willcox. Each library has its own unique programs and services, but a range of core services are available countywide with support from the Cochise County Library District.
The Library District offers a collection of nearly 5,000 ebooks and downloadable audiobooks, available from any device with internet access. Start browsing at ccld.overdrive.com, or download the free OverDrive app to access the collection on your smartphone or tablet. Simply search for your library, and sign in with your card number and PIN.
The Cochise County Library District partners with the Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records to offer a full suite of research tools for students, hobbyists, and adult learners. Highlights include research databases that put thousands of reference books, journals, and magazines at your fingertips. The Learning Express Library database offers study materials and practice tests for a variety of subjects, including GED and military aptitude test preparation. The Library District also provides 24/7 access to Chilton auto repair manuals online, and many more excellent resources that are available on any device with internet access. Check out the selection at cochise.lib.az.us. Just look for the “Library Databases” link, and have your library card and PIN ready.
Along with these 21st century collections and tools, your Cochise County library card gives you access to more than 200,000 books, movies, and other items available for checkout countywide. Most items can be placed on hold and delivered to your nearest library in just a few days via the Library District courier. Visit the Library District website at cochise.lib.az.us, and click on your library location to start exploring the collection.
Every library in Cochise County, from the biggest to the smallest, has something unique to offer. Library card holders in Portal can check out “Creativity in a Box” kits filled with the tools to learn a new skill, like capturing family stories through digital audio. Patrons in Sierra Vista can check out a bicycle, along with a helmet and a map of area bike routes. And thanks to a recent donation, patrons at Bisbee’s Copper Queen Library can check out pickleball paddles and balls, so they can play on the new pickleball courts in Higgins Park!
Several area libraries, including the Sunsites Community Library and Douglas Public Library, are offering a small prize or treat for anyone who signs up for a library card during September. That’s a great added incentive, but a library card is a prize in its own right.
Getting a library card is easy and free for Cochise County residents. Just stop by your nearest library with photo ID and proof of your Cochise County address. Your card will give you immediate access to all of the online resources available through the Cochise County Library District. A library card issued at any of the five rural branches (Bowie, Elfrida, Portal, Sunizona, and Sunsites) works at all five branch locations. Each municipal library (Benson, Bisbee, Douglas, Huachuca City, Sierra Vista, Tombstone, and Willcox) issues cards separately.
To view the combined Cochise County library catalog, visit http://cochise.lib.az.us. If you have questions about library services or locations, call Cochise County Library District Director Amadee Ricketts at 520-432-8935.