Military librarians help readers from warriors to retirees


One from The Associated Press out of South Carolina on "general" libraries found on a military post.
Army officials say there are about 82 Army libraries at installations around the world. In all, there are about 230 libraries in the Army system, which includes academic, technical, legal, medical and military unit libraries.

Air Force officials say their service has 109 libraries worldwide; Navy officials said their branch has 32 general libraries on bases and book collections on some 322 active vessels.

The Navy and Marine Corps also have more than 50 specialized libraries for academic, technical, medical and legal matters, according to Carole Ramkey, head of the Grey Research Center at the Marine Corps University in Quantico, Va.


Speaking as someone who worked at two Air Force base libraries, it's best to think of them as an odd cross between an academic library and a public library.On the one hand you have entire families coming to you. The one and only Summer Reading Program I've ever had to run was at Tyndall AFB in Panama City Florida.On the other hand, most base libraries (at least in the late 1990s) were also resources for continuing education. Several colleges would offer on base classes, and often contributed some kind of materials (books, computers, etc) to the base library. In addition, you would normally have to support the NCO (noncommissioned officers) academy, which had an extensive reading list.Major training bases, such as Lackland AFB in San Antonio, also played host to MANY visiting foreign military because they host specialized programs such as the Defense Language Institute.It was interesting work. The biggest downside for me was the quarterly inspections, when we got 17 page "evaluation checklists", of which only about four pages addressed our collection and services. The rest of the checklist wanted to know things like whether the windows were cleaned three times a day and so forth.Overall though, I would say it's good work if you can get it if you don't mind bundles of paperwork. There are those who don't and I've know many brillent and dedicated Air Force Librarians.

Subscribe to Comments for "Military librarians help readers from warriors to retirees"