The familiar sight of rows of computer stations at the public library may be starting to disappear, displaced by the continued rise of iPads.
The Dakota County library system is planning to buy 30 new iPads to begin ramping up its mobile programming at two of its libraries. That will mean iPad tutoring for the public, iPad story times for kids and classes for teens about iPad photography.
“Now that public use of our Internet workstations is slowly declining, and we are beginning to remove fixed public computers labs from our facilities, it seems to be the right time to move toward interacting with our users in a mobile environment,” says a staff report.
With a goal of delivering library services to users via mobile technology, the library plans to train librarians to become skilled users of mobile devices, allow library patrons to become familiar with mobile technology and teach patrons how to use library materials on their mobile devices.
For this venture, Dakota plans to spend $23,850 for, among other things, the purchase of 30 iPads to begin the program in its Inver Grove Heights and Farmington libraries. The iPad is the library’s device of choice because it offers more access to library materials than a simple e-reader, library officials said.
Adults, teens and children all will be offered iPad training.
Adults curious about the technology will get the chance to try out an iPad without having to buy one, the library said. “Statistics show the decline of the PC and the rise of mobile devices as the primary Internet device for many people,” the report says. The class will demonstrate how to use an iPad to read e-books and magazines and listen to audiobooks.
Teens will be offered iPad classes in digital art and photo editing, and children will be offered an iPad story time. “The library has offered traditional story times where books, reading and early literacy are emphasized,” the report said. The classes will show parents how to use the iPad for more than entertainment by promoting apps and sites that encourage literacy.