Items tagged with Technology

Freading Workshops

Please see full event listing for date.
Freading logoLearn how to download e-books with our new service!
McManus Room
Seminars & Workshops, Technology

Freading Workshops

Please see full event listing for date.
Freading logoLearn how to download e-books with our new service!
Weeks Seminar Room
Seminars & Workshops, Technology

iPad Workshop: Take Your iPad to the Next Level

Please see full event listing for date.

iPadLearn more about your iPad from Library Assistant Director Bill Derry. Starting with basic functions, customizing settings, and how to easily move between open apps, Derry will also cover the apps that come with the iPad2, as well as email, taking notes, photos and movies, video calls and more. Take your iPad to the next level. Bring your iPad or iPad 2 with you to the workshop.

McManus Room
Seminars & Workshops, Technology

Trends in Technology: Learn to Skype

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video chat imageBill Derry, Assistant Director of the Library for Innovation and User Experience, will show how to setup and use Skype, that allows users to make video calls to anyone, anywhere, over the Internet. 

Before coming to Westport Public Library, Derry had made significant contributions to the library media field on the local, state, and national levels as the Library Media Specialist at Greens Farms Elementary School and then as Coordinator of Information and Technology Literacy for the Westport School System.

McManus Room
Technology

CT Libraries as Technology Petting Zoos

October 23, 2011

Libraries Adapt To Demands From Online Users As Well As Visitors Coming Through The Doors

By Bill Leukhardt, wleukhardt [at] courant [dot] com The Hartford Courant
 

Reference librarians are familiar with queries like "What is Bulgaria's principal export?" More frequently now they're also handling questions like "How do I find the book I just downloaded?"

"We get more and more questions like that daily from patrons," said Pam Kelly, the Wethersfield Public Library supervisor in charge of technology and making sure the library isn't left behind as things change. "People ask us to explain how to use Kindles, Nooks, iPads, tablets — all different devices. The staff has to know a lot. And there's always more to learn." The printed book still rules in libraries, but more and more libraries are acting as a digital gateway, playing roles in two worlds — the tangible and the cyber.

The printed book still rules in libraries, but more and more libraries are acting as a digital gateway, playing roles in two worlds—the tangible and the cyber.

"Clicks and mortar" is what Kelly calls it: "We're kind of running two libraries."

In 2010, Connecticut's municipal libraries loaned 20.9 million printed-on-paper books, so that demand remains strong, said Eric Hansen, electronic resources coordinator with the Connecticut State Library's iCONN.org data service.

He said there is no firm statewide data on e-book use. This year will be the first that the state library will collect those statistics from public libraries, Hansen said. Demand for e-books is growing, but it still represents only a tiny fraction of the total circulation in libraries. Many libraries currently offer free downloads of a limited selection of e-books in a variety of formats. Some don't have any yet.

"The challenge for libraries will be to meet the growing demand for e-books while providing for the continuing demand for physical books," Hansen said.

Internet access is important to library patrons, reflected by the increase of public library Internet stations from 2,598 in 2005 to 3,751 in 2010 statewide.

However, in the same period, public library visits and circulation of physical items each increased about 9 percent each year, an indication that the web-based library is more like a "branch" library than anything else, Hansen said.

Maxine BleiweisMaxine Bleiweis, library director in Westport and a former director of Newington's public library, said libraries are becoming information curators as technology changes the formats of how information is distributed.

"Technology gives us access to so many things we want to learn," she said. "We have to learn the technology."

This year, the Westport library created the job of assistant director of innovation and user experience to help the staff better guide patrons into the changing world of digital information.

Laurel Goodgion, director of the Wethersfield library since 2002 and a librarian for more than 35 years, said one mission of public libraries is "to bridge the digital divide" by providing patrons ways to enjoy the growing wealth of knowledge available through computers and electronic devices.

The Wethersfield library has more than a dozen computer stations patrons can use, offers computer training classes to people, has wireless Internet access, offers more than 500 online classes through two databases and has a website allowing people to sign in and borrow materials without setting foot in the building.

But the vast number of users still prefer to walk in. Last year, the library had 193,637 visitors, up from the traffic of 185,222 the year before.

Like other libraries, the one in Wethersfield library remains a destination — a meeting spot for a knitting group, book clubs, discussion groups, and place where community organizations gather, Goodgion said.

She and other library directors say services based on digital technology are important but only a part of what patrons expect.

In West Hartford, the library circulated 805,609 items last years to patrons at its three branches. At the same time, the library loaned 7,201 electronic items to patrons, West Hartford Library Director Pat Holloway said.

"From time to time we send out surveys and hold focus groups in order to continue to educate people about what is available in libraries – especially if they never cross the threshold – and obviously we are getting a lot more users who do all their library visits from their own homes," Holloway said. "We also use Facebook, Twitter and have our own once-a-week e-newsletter that we send to the 20,000 email addresses that are in our database."

Technology in libraries "is just one piece of a very large puzzle that when assembled provides a snapshot of the communities they serve," Torrington Library Director Karen B. Worrall said. But the library has begun holding what it calls "technology petting zoos" to familiarize patrons with the various devices and how to download an e-book.

"We are definitely adding more online resources and redefining how patrons 'visit' the library;" she said. "Call me naïve, but I think people still enjoy congregating and visiting a place where they run into friends and neighbors or have a shared experience by attending a program. Libraries are, by nature I think, social entities."

Smaller libraries with smaller budgets and resources don't always have the high-tech capabilities of libraries in larger communities. Amy Orlomoski, director of Andover Public Library, said that library " is still pretty small, and we don't offer a whole lot of digital services for patrons." There are public computers but budget constraints here mean no digital downloads, she said.

"As our patrons ask more for digital availability of titles, we'll consider trying to add those options at the library, but for now, we're still pretty much into the printed word here in Andover."


Trends in Technology: How to Reach a Young Customer Base

July 23, 2011
panel

Michael J. Miller, senior vice-president for technology strategy at Ziff Brothers Investments; Mark Mathias, a 30+ year information technology executive; Jonathan Yarmis, a 25 year industry analyst with a focus on 

You may need: Adobe Flash Player.

Trends-in-Technology-Reaching-Young-Customers-7-23-11.mp3


IBM Celebrates 100 Years of Business: Smart Libraries are Good Business

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IBM CentennialMark Loughridge, IBM Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, will give an overview of IBM's history over the last one hundred years. His talk will be followed by a panel which will explore the evolution of the community library in the 21st Century, including the impact of technology on books, media, events, people, and beyond. The panel will include Library Director Maxine Bleiweis, as well as IBM executives Jim Corgel and Nancy DeViney, and retired IBM executives Lucy Baney, Bill Grabe. Retired IBM executive Irving Wladawsky-Berger will moderate the panel.

McManus Room
Talks & Readings, Technology

Trends in Technology: Learn to Skype

Please see full event listing for date.

video chat imageBill Derry, Assistant Director of the Library for Innovation and User Experience, will show how to setup and use Skype, that allows users to make video telephone calls to anyone, anywhere, over the Internet. 

Before coming to Westport Public Library, Derry has made significant contributions to the library media field on the local, state, and national levels as the Library Media Specialist at Greens Farms Elementary School and then as Coordinator of Information and Technology Literacy for the Westport School System.

McManus Room
Technology

Library to be Pilot Site for New E-book Service

June 27, 2011

Westport Public Library is one of 10 sites selected by Library Ideas, LLC to inaugurate Freading, a system for checking out e-books, to begin later this year. The system is based on its popular and successful system for downloading music through libraries, called Freegal.   The announcement was made June 27 at the American Library Association (ALA) annual meeting  in New Orleans by Library Ideas co-founder, Brian Downing.

When Freading goes online, Downing said, it will offer 20,000 copyrighted titles from 16 publishers. The titles will use Adobe Digital Editions and will work on every major device except the Kindle.

With Freading, library patrons will be able to download books for a two-week loan with a two-week renewal option. The library is charged for each download, with the cost being related to the age of the book.  A library would establish a budget for downloads, just as is currently done for adding books to the shelves.

According to Westport Library Director, Maxine Bleiweis, the plan is to give Westport Library card holders access to a specific number of e-book downloads per week, similar to the way card holders can now download three music tracks a week with Freegal.  

Bleiweis added, “The attraction of Freading is the ability to have multiple users simultaneously check out the same book. That hasn’t been available before. It’s also attractive to have titles available that don’t need to be paid for until they are used, increasing the options for library users.”

Some of the other libraries involved in the pilot are: Orange County Public Library System (FL); the Free Library of Philadelphia (PA); Maricopa County Library District (AZ); and Los Gatos Public Library (CA). Westport is the only site in the tri-state region.


Tech Tuesdays in July

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e-readersBring your tech questions; we’ll supply the answers. Try out tablet PCs and e-readers. Learn how to download music or scan photos. 

Reference Desk
Technology