Wednesday, June 07, 2023

County library tops state in auto reference requests

| March 11, 2004 11:00 PM

By Paul Boring, Western News Reporter

The Lincoln County libraries now offer an auto repair reference center for ambitious car and truck owners.

A database accessible by passwords available from the library personnel provides information for approximately 23,000 vehicles from 1954 to present.

The database will supplement the Chilton¹s Auto Repair Manuals purchased yearly by the libraries. Due to budgetary constraints, the facilities are able to purchase only the manuals dealing with specific groups of automobiles like imports and domestic vehicles, providing general information.

³Montana, and especially our county, has a very high rate of people coming in to use our Chilton¹s,² said Gail Anderson, Libby Library resource librarian.

³The database will augment the amount of information available locally to people,² added Sami Pierson, director of Lincoln County Libraries.

To make the automotive information available to rural libraries with limited budgets, years ago the state designated the Lewis and Clark Library in Helena as the holding place for all Chilton manuals.

³What we¹ve done in the past is, we have faxed that library with auto repair requests,² Anderson said. ³Most of our requests have to deal with wiring schematics that are not included in our Chilton manuals. Cooling and heating are also popular requests, depending on what time of year it is. We sent in more requests than any other county.²

The new database includes information on wiring, which will allow library patrons to find the information immediately and take some of the burden off of the Helena and Libby staff.

³This is a service we¹ve provided and will continue to provide,² Anderson said. ³They have been so good. Within 24 hours after we faxed the request, somebody at Lewis and Clark would run to their shelves, find the information, make a copy, and they would both fax it back to us so we¹d have it immediately for the person, and then they would also send us a hardcopy.²

With the addition of the database at the Lincoln County libraries, patrons may find the information at the library without having a delay. People may also access the database from their home computer with the password. ³It¹s nice because it gives them the information right away,² Pierson said. ³It makes it easier for them and easier for us.²

The database is continually updated to include more models and years of automobiles. If somebody does not find the information on their 1964 Ford truck one week, it is possible it may be added the following week.

For people with an aversion to computers, Anderson said the library personnel would always be there to assist them in their search. The library will continue to purchase the Chilton manuals each year.

³We have a lot of people who come in who don¹t want to sit down at a computer, ever,² she said. ³So, that¹s one of the things we do for them, down in the reference area especially. I think a lot of people are so used to going down to the manuals. We want them to use them, but we also want them to be aware of the database. It¹s another great resource for them.²

In addition to the auto repair database, the library also has InfoTrac, a system with access to hundreds of magazine and journal articles.