NRL Blog

As a community center that is open to the entire community, the public library is uniquely positioned to assist its users by providing access to various types of technology. In our recently developed Strategic Plan, the Neuse Regional Library System made a commitment to providing technology demonstrations as part of our programming, particularly programming for younger library users. This stimulates interest in technology and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) topics while also giving some children the opportunity to see and interact with technology they might not otherwise be able to.

Recently we had a tremendous opportunity to do just that. The Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library held its annual storytelling festival on the morning of Friday, November 8th. While enjoying tales and music from professional storytellers, the hundreds of students who visited us that day also had a chance to explore several different types of technology and services available to the public.

At one station, children were able to see footage taken by the DJI Phantom 4 aerial drone and have a look at the drone and its controls. Because the program was held indoors, Antonio, our Library’s drone pilot, was not able to take to the skies, but he has done this before at other events where the children can see the drone in flight firsthand. Regardless, the children were excited to see the footage taken from the drone and see the technology up close and in person.

Another tech item on display was Osmo Coding Jam for the iPad which uses physical blocks and music to help children learn coding concepts. To use the app the user puts the iPad in a plastic dock and places an adapter over the camera to cast the iPad’s vision towards the table.

Children can then place colorful blocks representing music loops in front of the iPad to create their own musical composition. You can even store your creation and add an additional layer of music for more complexity. The children are drawn to the color of the blocks and the musical beats and learn how computer programs are just lists of steps.

Library staff also gave children demonstrations on how a 3D printer operates. 3D printing is an additive technology that creates physical items from digital 3D models. The device is loaded with a spool of plastic filament which it then heats and extrudes thin individual layers until the object is created. This technology can be used to make a simple item such as a measuring cup or with additional electronics make something more complex such as a remote control airplane.

A few 3D printed items on display included a superhero diorama, a handheld gaming system and a life-sized proton pack from the film Ghostbusters.

With technology being such a dominant part of today’s society, it has become essential to expose children to it at a young age. By doing so, our goal is to generate interest and help develop skills that will benefit our young patrons in today’s world. For more information on our tech related programming, visit our website at neuselibrary.org or call us at 252-527-7066.