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Hall libraries add test prep, language software
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A number of library patrons use the computers Wednesday at the Gainesville Branch Library. The library system has two new software programs available on its computers, one that helps patrons learn foreign languages and another for test preparation. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

The Hall County Library System is able to offer more test preparation and language learning services with the help of the Internet.

The library system now subscribes to byki.com and eprep.com, which are accessible for free to anyone with a library card.

Eprep.com is a web site that offers practice tests and guidance geared at high school students taking standardized tests like the ACT and the SAT. Byki.com offers language lessons for 74 different languages.

“It’s to supplement and expand what we’re already offering,” said Library Director Adrian Mixson.

It can be difficult for the library system to keep up with demand for those materials because of the variety of tests and languages that people are interested in.

The eprep.com service will be especially helpful in weeks leading up to the test dates when study guides fly off the library shelves.

“Test books are always popular,” Mixson said. “We never have enough of them because we can’t afford to buy all the test guides.”

Mixson said the site offers an interactive component that helps students learn from their mistakes.

“You can go back and then review what you missed,” Mixson said of the practice tests. “You get a video that comes on that actually explains how you arrive at the answer using a chalkboard presentation. You can review it as many times as you want.”

Armed forces exams, graduate exams other tests are also available on the site.

Byki.com has already proved to be a popular service. In the libraries’ first week of offering the service, 50 people signed on to try it out, Mixson said.

The libraries already offered some audio language learning programs, but they were limited to the most in demand languages such as Spanish and French. Now someone interested in learning a more obscure language can access a learning guide through the library web site.

“Good language audio programs on CD are very expensive,” Mixson said. “Those have always been very, very popular.”

To access byki and eprep, go to the Hall County Library System’s WEBrary/databases page and sign on with your library card number.

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