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NEWS | March 13, 2013

Bateman Library: Alive with learning

By Staff Sgt. John D. Strong II 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

With the economy being a primary focus in our country, concerns that services will be closed is understandable, and fears can weigh heavily on service members.

In spite of the fiscal concerns, the Joint Base Langley-Eustis community can still find education, entertainment and enjoyment at the Bateman Library at Langley Air Force Base, Va.

The library opened in 2000 and was named in honor of former Virginia senator, and reading enthusiast, Herbert Bateman.

"The library's logo was designed with the words 'Enlighten, Enrich, Enhance, Empower,'" said Leslie Smail, Bateman Library head librarian. "That's what we offer to help our Airmen; that's what we believe in."

The Bateman Library is open to anyone with a Common Access Card, and offers more than 40,000 different products to its visitors including books, newspapers, magazines, audio books, mp3s, CDs, DVDs, videogames and play-away devices. The library even houses a section with the chief of staff's current reading and watch list.

"This is your Air Force library, the place where you get some of the best benefits of your tax dollars," Smail said. "You paid for all of the books, audio books, DVDs, videogames, kits and online content; you can share it with everyone else on Langley."

If the library doesn't have a book in stock, the interlibrary loans program may be able to get it from another library. Patrons can also take advantage of vast online-book services. Through the library's partnership with Safari Books Online, Service members can download up to three free eBooks every year.

"I'm torn between the vast movie selection and the nearly infinite 'eBooks' selection," said 2nd Lt. Michael Staab, a library patron. "My wife and I have at least three movies or television series checked out every week."

The library's services aren't limited to checking-out items. For those that want to surf the web, there are computers available, as well as free Wi-Fi. Personnel on temporary duty assignments at Langley can find virtual private-network access in the library for a quiet, efficient work space.

Not only is the library rich with leisure-time resources, it has subscriptions to websites with a vast selection of tools for members in school, working or trying to improve themselves. With a simple click on the mission, education or career tabs, patrons are immediately shown a multitude of websites that teach different languages, federal employment information or give you expert analysis of international affairs, public policy and security information.

On top of what seem to be unlimited products, Bateman also offers unique programs for its guests.

Bateman takes part in the Department of Defense's Summer Reading Program which runs from June 18 to August 2 each year. Participants receive points for books they read and audio books they listen to. At the completion of the program, the points are calculated and prizes are given out to those who have reached specific point levels.

For book clubs, Book-Talk kits are available, and contain multiple copies of a chosen book and a discussion guide participants can use to review their reading in a group setting.

The staff feels it's important that all patrons have the opportunity to take advantage of their services. The JBLE community can help by ensuring overdue accounts be corrected as soon as possible, as they limit others from receiving products.

"The library is an unsung hero; there are so many services available," said Stabb. "Knowledge is the one commodity that always promises a return on investment."

The library is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.

For more information on the Bateman Library and a complete list of products and services, visit or call (757) 764-2906.