The Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library(OH) displayed its collection of new equipment at a technology open house mid-month.
Library Director Doug Dotterer said the new hardware includes 51 touch-screen desktop computers and 10 iPads that were covered by a $106,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation plus an additional $6,000 provided by the Ohio Library Foundation.
"We were very fortunate that we were one of 20 libraries in the entire country out of hundreds to be awarded this presidential technology grant," Dotterer said. "It's very prestigious."
Dotterer said they needed special permission from the Apple company to order such a large volume of iPads because of demand. He said that as far as they know, their library has more iPads than any other library in the country.
"Part of the reason it's a big deal," Ohio Library Foundation president Julie Gedeon said, "is they get a lot of people who apply, and they don't award very many of those."
Gedeon explained that the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation was responding to the idea supported by President Obama that people need wider access to technology and a means to learn how to use it.
Ann Malthaner, head of public relations for the library, said, "These libraries change lives. "It's two-fold," she said, explaining how the new technology will benefit everyone. "It'll help the people who are currently coming in, plus it could help new users," Malthaner said. I don't really see anything but benefits from this."
Although the 21-inch monitor touch-screen PCs are available to users, the open house served as just a sneak peek of the new iPads.
Malthaner said they are preparing iPad classes for the fall that people can join to learn all about the new devices, which won't be loaned out. Read more.