Over the years most of the services of the Regional Mail Services program, as outlined in the articles "Alaska's Flying Library" and "Mail Services", have remained the same. We still receive orders through the mail. We send out packages of library books, magazines and paperbacks, and we answer reference questions. We understand the weather still delays mail planes and we appreciate personal notes from the people that we serve.

The majority of our patrons still live in isolated areas or in small, remote communities. For many the highlight of their day is receiving a shipment from the library. These things haven't changed.

But other things have changed tremendously!

Computers, fax machines, internet access and email have added to our ability to serve our patrons. Orders can now be emailed or faxed to us. Reference questions are sometimes answered using the internet. Now, with this web site, patrons with the internet have access to wide range of databases. The databases include health-related information, periodicals, auto repair manuals, educational and business resources and reference works. The world is at their fingertips.

Oh, by the way, one other thing hasn't changed. Those of us who work in this department consider serving our bush patrons the best part of our job.

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