Idaho libraries are teaching patrons to build and program robots

RobotLibraries have, in recent years, made incredible strides in increasing the array of services and goods they offer to their patrons in an effort to keep up with the modern needs of the communities they serve.  Most of the time, this has meant the use of computers that have internet access, the rental of tablets and laptops, or even the ability to check out internet wifi hubs for home use.  It’s all pretty neat, but it doesn’t trump one upcoming offering recently announced by some public libraries in Idaho that is basically the stuff every young child’s dreams are made of:  Robot building classes. [Read more…]

New York Public Library offers free wireless mobile hotspots

LaptopNew York City understands the importance of internet access in our current day and age.  Even New York Mayor, Bill de Blasio, has proposed several measures in recent years to help bring access to those in the city who might not have it yet.  In many cases, city officials have found, cost is still a barrier that keeps some of its residents from getting online via their own broadband subscriptions. [Read more…]

Robots are coming to a library near you

RobotLibraries are becoming more and more high tech with ebooks, tablets, and virtual visits. But one feature at the Wesport Library in Connecticut is straight out of science fiction. The library will introduce a pair of toddler-sized robots named Vincent and Nancy. With flashing lights for eyes, an ability to sing, dance, and speak 19 different languages, the newest additions are expected to create a lot of excitement. [Read more…]

How much space should libraries dedicate to physical books?

Empty BookshelvesWhen Bob Jewett goes to the Georgetown library, he usually picks up a handful of books, a few magazines, and his daily newspaper. The one thing you won’t see him picking up is an ebook or, more correctly, an ebook reader. At 78-years-old Jewett prefers large print paperbacks, not computer, tablet, or phone screens. [Read more…]

Is technology making libraries obsolete?

In 2011, popular political comedian Bill Maher said, “We have the Internet.  We don’t need a library.  I don’t know anyone that has gone to a library since 1998”.

Is the tradition of putting ideas in print going the way of the dinosaurs? It can certainly seem that way these days, given all of the new technology we have for gaining knowledge and interacting with the world. Today, about half of adults in America own a tablet or an ereader. That said, tablets are used for lots of other things – often games with “bird” in the name – and not everyone who owns one is going to be reading on it. Still, it’s estimated that the number of people who will actually read an ebook in a year, amongst adults anyways, is about 28%. [Read more…]

Did you know that public libraries offer technology classes?

When you think of the public library, what image comes to your mind? Is it a quiet room filled with shelves, all lined with seemingly endless books waiting to be read? Of course, books have always been the backbone of libraries, but in today’s world, libraries offer so much more than just story time. Libraries give the members of the community a place to come and take classes in which they can learn new skills to enrich their lives. [Read more…]