Check out technology at the North Shelby and Mt Laurel libraries
Published 3:25 pm Tuesday, March 15, 2016
By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer
NORTH SHELBY—Along with books, magazines and movies, North Shelby and Mt Laurel library patrons can also check out iPads, laptops and mobile Wi-Fi hotspots from their local library branch.
The North Shelby Library currently has 15 ThinkPad laptops and 15 iPads in circulation for patrons to check out and use in the library for two hours at a time. There are also five mobile Wi-Fi hotspots available for patrons to check out and bring home for a week at a time.
“Over the past several years, we’ve been embracing technology,” Director of Library Services Katie Guerin said. “I try to find out what’s out there, what’s new and what my patrons might need.”
The hotspots allow those without Internet to access the library’s online resources wirelessly from home.
“We want to make everything accessible to as many people as possible,” Guerin said.
The library’s iPads and computers are geared toward accessibility too. About half of the library’s iPads are designated for children 12 and under, and are loaded with games and apps specifically for autistic, hearing impaired or vision impaired children.
All devices connect to the Internet through the library’s filtered network, except for children’s iPads, which are barred from Internet connection.
The North Shelby and Mt Laurel libraries are also offering a large selection of online classes through Lynda.com, expanding the learning opportunities available to patrons. Video tutorials come in different lengths of time, allowing patrons to choose one that fits their schedule.
“(There are) classes about pretty much any topic you can come up with,” Guerin said. “It suits the needs of people in what time capacity they have. I’m a big proponent of meeting people where they are.”
The library isn’t just for using technology, it’s also a place to learn about technology. Through Device Advice and a variety of classes, the library has something for anyone looking to improve their technology knowledge.
“We’re not getting rid of the books, kids are still checking out tons of books,” Guerin said. “We’re just expanding the number of (services) we offer people.”
For more information and a calendar of library events, visit Northshelbylibrary.org and Mtlaurellibrary.org.