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Library taps into electronic age

(ran PAS edition)

The shiny discs at the Land O'Lakes Library are moving like best-selling books.

The library now offers a circulating collection of CD-ROM titles, all of which were checked out last week. Some titles are on reserve for the next five weeks.

"It's so popular, it's just amazing," said librarian Mary Keesling. "It's definitely a step in the way we want to go _ to the future, basically."

The collection, which includes multimedia explorations of John F. Kennedy's assassination and the human body, came to Land O'Lakes last month from the main library branch in Hudson. It is expected to be on display here for a year before possibly moving to another branch.

Patty Owen, the library system's assistant director for public services, said about $3,000 has been spent on CD-ROM software.

"We've got CD-ROMs, the Internet, books on tape," Owen said. "For us, this is just another information format for people to use."

Children are the most frequent borrowers of CD-ROMs, Keesling said, and favorite titles include Kids Phonics I, NFL Math, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Borrowers also check out Gettysburg, a simulation that allows players to revisit the pivotal Civil War battle and possibly change the outcome.

Those who check out CD-ROM software are offered this gentle reminder from Keesling: "Return everything with the box."

For information, call the library at 929-1214.