More technology coming to county library

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CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – The Cape May County Library has iPads, Kindles and other electronic devices.

Patrons also have access to more than 3,000 digital books.

Next year, more offerings are expected at the Cape May Court House library. Officials want to dedicate about half of the second floor to technology.

“Instead of libraries trying to catch up with the latest technology, we want to be ahead,” said Melissa Brisbin, who is leading the library’s technology learning center. “That’s really the concept of this whole project, and for this space to be a comfortable learning area that patrons know they can come in and learn about something new or old.”

Tentative plans for the second floor call for a sound and video recording studio, a space for video and photo editing on Macintosh computers, and a large presentation room. The center could also be equipped with Smart Boards, which are interactive whiteboards.

Teens will also be able to make anime comic books, Brisbin said. Digital cameras may also be available to high school students, said Jeff Trout, who is an instructor at the learning center.

Brisbin said she wants the technology center to up and running as soon as possible. She doesn’t know how much the project will yet cost.

Equipment won’t be set up until after the New Year, Trout said. Consultants are expected at the library after Thanksgiving to help with the setup for the second floor, but Brisbin did not say who they were or give details about the contract.

Trout said he and Brisbin are looking forward to a larger technology presence at the library.

So is Thomas Dickerson, 16, of Whitesboro. He plays Rock Band at game night on Thursdays at the library.

“I think that’s actually going to be better,” Dickerson said of the technology center.

People have already been coming to the technology learning center, many with questions about ereaders, Brisbin said.

“At holiday time, we anticipate people coming in with their devices, and we will show how to use them,” she said.

Branch libraries won’t be left out. They will share an iPad mini and perhaps a Kindle Paperwhite, Brisbin said.

Initially though, Trout said, patrons will not be able to take the devices home.

The Court House library has several devices, including Samsung Galaxy tablets, a Kindle Paperwhite, a Kindle Fire, Nook Color, an iPad and an iPad 2.

Patrons are able use the devices under supervision, Brisbin said.

Library staff showed the devices at Middle Township’s Olde Tyme Harvest last month in Cape May Court House.

The library offers ebooks and audiobooks through an application called OverDrive. Brisbin said around June-July last year about 1,440 ebooks had been checked out, compared to 5,560 at that time this year.

She attributed the increase to more people owning the electronic devices.

About 1,000 ebooks and audiobooks, mostly fiction, are bought each year, Brisbin said.

The library also has links to other audio books at cmclibrary.org.

Technology classes are also held at the library. Earlier this month, the library hosted an iPhone class, and a course on Pinterest, which is a content sharing service website.

The technology learning department launched about three months ago and will have five staff members in December, Brisbin said. The department replaced the technology education center, which helped people with basic computer skills, she said.

The library is at 30 West Mechanic St. in Cape May Court House.

The technology learning center department can be reached at 609-463-6341. 


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