Mathews Library showcases digital devices at Tech Fair

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Oct 03, 2012 - 12:16 PM

More than 100 people attended Saturday’s Tech Fair 2012 at Mathews Memorial Library.

Library director Bette Dillehay said residents and visitors were able to play with a variety of digital devices at the Petting Technology Zoo, which included eBooks, iPads, iPods and iPhones. There was even an area set aside where about a dozen library patrons danced off their fines with a Wii game machine, she said, "and one kid danced off seven different fines."

Many of those who attended were older adults who wanted to learn how to use the technology, said Dillehay, receiving lessons on how to download items from the 4,000 audiobooks and 1,500 eBooks the library has available to loan.

Participants could win prizes, and Mathews resident Joi Ball won the grand prize—a Kindle Touch eReader.

But probably most exciting, said Dillehay, was the introduction of a new tutorial service available to Mathews residents through the Library of Virginia.

Students in grades 3-12 can now receive online tutoring in math, English, and writing with Literati Public, a program of the library technology company Credo Reference that offers educational content, informational videos and tutorials, and interactive discovery tools for children and adults.

Customized for Virginia, the site allows a student to connect with a state-certified teacher who will help him or her work through homework problems step by step until the assignment is finished, said Dillehay. No appointment is necessary, said a flyer from the company, and the site can be accessed from the library or at home from 3-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

Also at the library during the Tech Fair were three technology vendors, said Dillehay—MetroCast, a cable television, internet and telephone company; Middle Peninsula WiFi, a high speed internet company; and Franktronics, a mobile computer service.

Finally, Dillehay said visitors were given tips on 10 things they can do at the library, including taking computer classes, finding their ancestors, and borrowing resources from other libraries.