Multi-media, technology-based and alternative resources are the current buzz words at Wilton Library.
A new interactive, touch-screen info kiosk was installed at the library’s entrance in September. The high-tech tool followed the library’s other new gadget—the electronic vehicle charging station—which was introduced and made operational over the summer.
The waist-high podium positioned just inside the library’s entryway features a touch-screen operated computer program. Patrons can scroll through information on current and upcoming events, search for specific rooms and directions throughout the building on interactive maps, and check when and where the day’s programs are being offered—all with just the touch of a finger.
“It’s really cool—it greets people, they figure out where they need to go and off they go,” Janet Crystal, the library’s marketing communications manager, said. She explained that the new system is meant to save time for both patrons and library staff.
“Not only is it able to show them where they can go in the library and how to get there—where is the Rimer Room? Where are the study desks?—but it also saves people from going to the circulation desk. They can stop right here at the entrance and then take the elevator up.”
This system replaces the flat screen television that still hangs high on the gallery wall—but which is now turned off. “We found that people just didn’t look up. Plus we only used to show the events of that one day, and we could only include the time and place. This kiosk has the schedule for the next several weeks, with much more detail—time, place, much more information and a map showing you exactly how you get there in the library.” Kathy Trentos, marketing communications assistant, explained.
Events and programs are loaded into the system at least one month in advance, if not more, so that patrons are able to access more comprehensive information about the library, including what Crystal called special information—early closings, fundraising programs and more.
The only thing patrons will not be able to do through the kiosk is register for library programs.
“This is a stop-and-go kiosk. We want people to be able to come in, check where they need to go and get there. There are other ways to sign up—the computers around the library, the reference desk, at home online 24/7, by calling us or stopping by the circulation desk—the old fashioned way.” Trentos said.
Installation of the kiosk, made possible through the Steve and Alison Sherman Family Fund, follows the addition of an earlier technology project being championed by the library—the electric vehicle charging system (EVCS).
The charging station is part of a pilot study program being run by CL&P to measure the demand and viability for electric car charging stations. It is located in the library’s front Old Ridgefield Road parking lot in a designated space closest to the street. Currently the service is provided free to customers with electric cars.
"We were happy to take part in the program because it's information, it's part of what the library's mission is all about, providing that kind of service to people. It's pretty exciting," Crystal said.