1. Interactive Technology for the Main Library

Committee: Culture & Community Facilities

Cost: $60,000

Location: Main Library, 449 Broadway

Short Description: This project will fund an iPad lending kiosk and 16 iPads, as well as a permanent interactive screen in the Children’s Room of the Main Library.

Long Description: One role of the public library is to provide a bridge across any digital divide within a community. The technology additions mentioned below will help to expand access for those who do not have their own devices or wireless internet.

A permanent interactive screen in the Children’s Room would foster collaborative learning among the city’s youth. A large plasma screen system would run changeable software programs that would be developmentally and thematically varied, and would support STEAM curricula and 21st century learning.

As mobile devices become ever more common, patrons are increasingly interested in borrowing tablets instead of using a fixed public access computer. An iPad kiosk is a system where a patron inserts a library card and an iPad is checked out and released. Upon return, the kiosk charges the iPads and maintains the settings – functions that are too technically labor-intensive for busy public service staff to do manually. The self-sufficient kiosk will enable the Library to circulate 16 iPads to the public. This would help to alleviate the sometimes long waits for desktop computers and allow city residents to use the latest technology in the comfort of their own homes.

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  • Laura Mattal
    commented 2015-12-12 21:56:38 -0500
    I would urge caution when considering the proposal to install a media screen in the Children’s Room. Children today are exposed to so much screen time, even when families try to limit it. I’m always surprised at how many public places have TVs on: restaurants, doctor’s office waiting rooms, etc. As a parent of young children, I would strongly prefer that the library Children’s floor remain a screen-free zone where I can bring my children to enjoy reading books and interacting with other people. The presence of a large screen would be a huge distraction.
  • Nathaniel Waisbrot
    commented 2015-12-05 13:29:32 -0500
    How will the devices access the Internet?

    Why iPads? If they’re just web browsers, cheaper alternatives should be just as good and possibly offer better security in a multi-user environment.