News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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January 4, 2013

Check Out New Tech

Library helping new owners learn about their holiday tech device gifts

TERRE HAUTE — New gadgets and holiday gifts go hand in hand.

It’s how to fully utilize those electronic devices that brings pause to some people.

Now, the Vigo County Public Library is offering a “Bring Your Own Device” class to help people fully use their new iPad, Kindle or Nook.

“Some people just want to know, ‘How do I set up my Kindle?’ and ‘How do I download a book?’ from the library’s free service,” said Ashley Wadsworth, associate public training specialist.

The first class was held Thursday, but the library is offering the BYOD class three more times this month — with the next from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Monday. Others are scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Jan. 12  All are to be held in the library’s Lifelong Learning Center.

A person does not have to be a member of the library to attend the class. The library offers free WiFi for all electronic devices.

Wadsworth assisted Brittany Michaels, reference and special collections and archive manager at the library, with downloading a new software application to a library iPad. The application called “Tango” works like video chat software Skype or FaceTime, but allows Michaels to leave a video message for a library patron. Tango works on both Apple and Android devices.

When the patron returns a call, Michaels can access a computer application using the iPad to visually demonstrate what to do on a computer, such as where to scroll down and what to click on, Wadsworth said.

“We are using different technology and apps to improve services at the library,” Michaels said.

“We receive so many questions about e-book downloading through e-reference, or, ‘What is the difference between an MP3 and a WMA file?’ I think [this class] is really helpful and we learn as professionals as questions are so diverse,” Michaels said.

The program is part of a library innovative pilot project, funded through a library science technology act grant, issued through the Indiana State Library. The Vigo County Public Library will provide a final report on the pilot project to the state library at the end of April.

The pilot project includes a roving reference that allows a librarian, using an iPad, to go to a patron where the patron is looking for a book and help with self-checkout demonstrations. The library will start its self-checkout service in late February or early March.

“It is all a part of this idea for a new public service model. Moving away from the traditional reference desk and moving into a more mobile and interactive public service,” Michaels said.

Another new program at the library is “Tech Time for Tykes (and parents too!),” which is aimed at children ages 3 to 5. Parents and caregivers accompany the children in a technology-based storytime. The first session is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Jan. 17.

“We will have a story with a theme and will incorporate some type of technology. In this session, they will use a computer and practice using a mouse. They will get to create a snowman. They will read a snowman story and they can click on a word and it will read it to them if they don’t know the word,” Wadsworth said.

More information on library programs can be found at www.vigo.lib.in.us.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.

 

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