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Keep Up with the Latest Technology at the Library

Anyone doubting the ability of public libraries to stay current hasn’t visited the Springfield-Greene County Libraries recently. With the help of grants, gifts and your property tax support, the Library continues to update services to bridge the digital divide for all the people we serve. If you don’t know how to use the newest technology, we can teach you. If you’re tech-savvy, we’ve got the equipment you need.

The newest addition: Patrons can now check out one of 16 iPads at the Library Center for two hours at a time for in-library use. Given the demand for public computers, the iPads greatly expand the public’s ability to do electronic research, conduct private business or school work, take photos and download them to Dropbox, or watch movies in the library, all with free WiFi. Anything installed on the iPad during the checkout will go away after it’s returned.

The iPads are available from a dispenser – or Mediasurfer – located near the public computers at the library branch. A child, teen or adult with a valid library card in good standing can scan his or her card, read the terms of use, and an iPad slides out of the machine. The screen indicates what time the iPad is due back; overdue fine is $10 for each hour.

Libraries are still your source for books, music and movies, but technology increasingly is an essential piece of public service, and the Library delivers.

Consider: The Media Lab inside the Midtown Carnegie Branch is available for video and audio production. Chromebooks check out at four branches for in-library use. Kindle e-readers check out for home use. The Library Station installed 10 more public computers, for a total of 40. There’s a 3-D printer at the Edge Community Technology Center and computer and digital device training classes for beginners and pros. Smartphones serve as personal computers; library sessions help you master those, too. Teens are taken with our Raspberry Pi, and iPads provide an added dimension for story time.

Kathleen O’Dell is community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at kathleeno@thelibrary.org.

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