Not too far from work centers on base is a wealth of knowledge housed in one building. It is full of the history of things that have shaped and changed the world for centuries. Battles have raged, oceans crossed, space explored and dreams realized. Where would one find this place?
It’s the Luke Air Force Base Library and it’s chock-full of things for Luke Airmen to explore and learn.
“The library is here for the Airmen of Luke Air Force Base,” said Katy Gillen, 56th Force Support Squadron base librarian. “We have a very dedicated staff and we love our customers. For me I chose to come to an Air Force library because I love being around and helping military members. We are here for them; they are our number one priority.”
Gillen is not the only person on staff who enjoys being around military people.
“I love working here,” said Pam Lum, 56th FSS library technician. “So many interesting people come to the library. I get to interact with people on base and help them get books, magazines – anything that they’re looking for.”
The Luke library is more than just shelves with books on them.
“We have an amazing collection of books,” Gillen said. “We get requests from other libraries in the area to loan them books all the time, but we try to do more than just hand out books. We have about 18 activities a month hosted by the staff.”
This month the library is hosting a craft for a cause project. It’s a volunteer opportunity for Luke Airmen to help tie baby blankets for a children’s hospital in Phoenix. They also have weekly story time for toddlers and preschool children.
Not only does the library offer books but it’s also a place where Airmen can go to use the Internet, a service they have provided for almost 20 years.
“When we first moved into the building in 1995, Wayland Baptist University paid for us to get dial-up Internet service for our patrons,” Gillen said. “Since then we have gotten bigger and added more computers and now have computers in almost every room in the library.”
But the library has even more to offer and is still adding services to meet the needs of Airmen.
“We put in an Internet lounge in the back with vending machines, the world’s most comfortable chairs and Wi-Fi so Airmen can come in, sit and relax,” Gillen said. “We can play a big role in keeping up moral or just giving Airmen a place to take a breather. We have Nooks available for check out and are now stocking video games that Airmen can check out.”
The library also offers study guides for CLEPS and DANTES test and a dedicated study room.
“The Air Force Library spends thousands of dollars a year making sure Airmen everywhere have a library and access to these resources,” Lum said. “We just want people to come in and let us help them find that language software they want for their deployment, check out the newest books or select a movie to watch. We are here to help the Airmen at Luke.”
The library opens at 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday and closes at 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 6 p.m. Thursday, 5 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday, 6 p.m. Goal Days Mondays, and is closed Sunday and holidays. For more information, call the library at (623) 856-7191.