South Windsor Public Library goes high-tech
By Lillian R. Handleman - ReminderNews
South Windsor - posted Fri., Mar. 25, 2011
Hold on to your hats, South Windsor Public Library patrons – the SWPL now offers services that will blow you away. During an unusual “Booked for Lunch” event held on Monday, March 21, adult services librarian Pat Wiggin surprised the audience with her presentation about the library’s newest technological gadgets. Guests also learned about the library’s new website, with its thousands of digital books, as well as a host of online courses and references materials available to town residents free of charge.
The library’s comprehensive website database has links to a myriad of applications. By scanning your library card and registering for free, a world of books and services opens up to you, in addition to 500 online courses offered through Universal Class. With subjects ranging from academics to the arts and beyond, you can study the self-paced tutorials at your leisure during library hours, or in the comfort of your own home any time of day.
And if that does not wow you, there is Mango, which lets you learn a language online, and Valueline, a stock analysis newsletter that is updated weekly, and Consumer Reports, with free access to countless research reports. There are also links to ancestry research sites, antique pricing, music, and more. With the availability of so many online books, classes and reference materials, you have a world of information literally at your fingertips.
The library has five new computers funded by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and with its host of new portable devices, the SWPL is poised to transition its patrons into the age of technology. There is a Sony Walkman for audio books that you can check out to download books. At the Download Station, there are close to 2,500 books that one can download onto an iPod or MP3 device. For those who need large print, check out the Sony Reader, with fonts sized to your needs.
The program also served to enlighten the public about the library’s self-checkout station that makes waiting in a line an unnecessary option. Simply scan your library card at the self-checkout station along with the book barcode, and you are ready to go.
Area resident Charlotte Collins, who used the service for the first time, found it similar to the self-service checkouts at the supermarket. “I like it,” she said. “The good thing is that you don’t have to wait in line to check out books.”
Since certain library services and devices are purchased with town money and are not state-funded, they are free mainly to South Windsor residents. Out-of-towners may use some of the services inside the library, but cannot check out certain gadgets or take the online classes free of charge. For more information and to access the library’s website and database files, visit the website southwindsorlibrary.org.