independent

Friday 19 October 2018

Libraries to benefit from new technology

Wicklow County Council staff members Colin Heslin, Claire Fullam, Richella Wood, Margaret Birchall and County Librarian Brendan Martin at the launch of a dementia table in Dun Laoghaire recently.
Wicklow County Council staff members Colin Heslin, Claire Fullam, Richella Wood, Margaret Birchall and County Librarian Brendan Martin at the launch of a dementia table in Dun Laoghaire recently.

Deborah Coleman

A new interactive innovation to assist people with dementia is to be introduced at libraries in Arklow, Blessington and Ballywaltrim.

Dementia table technology is to be provided in the three local libraries as a result of a funding investment of nearly €250,000.

As well as assisting those with dementia, the technology will also support people with learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities and autism.

The technology upgrade in the county's libraries comes as part of a Government investment package which will contribute over €150,000 to the project.

In addition to the dementia tables, all libraries will receive wi-fi enabled laptops and tablets to assist the public with queries and book requests.

Larger libraries will also have a number of additional items, including: Tablet lending stations which enables the public to borrow a tablet for use in the library; Event headsets which, in addition to improving sound quality for live audiences, will give the potential to podcast or live stream events on the library social media platform; and Digital signage which will be used to inform library users of upcoming events and council information.

High-spec laptop trollies will enable libraries to host coding workshops and gaming sessions for younger users. These would also be used for Work Matters programme events. Conference cameras for use in community rooms will enable video conference calls and may also be used for library events in order to mainstream them on social media platforms. Microfilm readers/scanners will be available in Bray, Greystones, Wicklow, Arklow and Blessington libraries. The request for these arose from direct consultation with local history groups, who stressed the inconvenience of having to travel to Bray to carry out research.

Wicklow People

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