In the lobby of the Medina Library, there is a display with white cards including descriptions for a new collection of technology tools available for checkout.
Among the tools are Chromebooks, USB microphones, action cameras and car engine fault code readers.
“I like to surprise our members when they come in, just to see things they didn’t realize we had or see things that give them ideas,” said Chris Weaver-Pieh, collection resources manager at the Medina County District Library. “If they check out the binoculars, maybe they’ll get excited about bird watching or something like that, things that give them ideas about different things they can do in life or try out.”
The checkout process is simple: Pick up the laminated white card that corresponds with the item wanted and take it to customer service, where they’ll scan the bar code on the white card and provide the real thing. It’s due back in 14 days.
While the library district website cannot be used to check out, renew or hold specialty items, it can be used to see if the items are available or checked out.
“We’ve seen these at other libraries,” Weaver-Pieh said. “Our innovations team researched and talked to them about the items that other libraries have found popular and the things that are easiest to use and that patrons and members get really excited about. We took that information, did some research on the best brands of items or the most highly reviewed or easiest to use, so that’s how we decided what to purchase.”
The total cost for the items, plus carrying cases, is about $2,000. These items came from Amazon, technology vendors and items such as the radon detector and stud finder came from Home Depot.
“Sometimes I think people are like, ‘Oh, the library is just books,’ and it’s nice to have things to surprise them or nice to have different things that they would want to try that they haven’t thought of before,” Weaver-Pieh said.
In the fall, Medina Library will introduce a new area called Maker Space that will feature a 3D printer, laser engraver and large-format printer. It’ll be a space for the public to try different technologies and work on unusual projects.
About 20 minutes away is the Lodi Library, which has an updated recording studio.
A Mac computer station, professional microphones, a pop filter and headphones are some of the studio’s features.
The library district’s technology associate, Evan Furillo, and technology manager, Sue Schuld, focused on soundproofing and reviewing the studio’s equipment.
“They had an issue before with people being able to hear stuff outside of the room; members were complaining,” Furillo said. “They only had a couple little things with sound proofing in there, and it definitely needed an overhaul. Almost the whole room is covered now.
“I worked with John Hetkey in maintenance, and he designed a good layout for the soundproofing. I worked with him on hanging up all the soundproofing foam in there. I upgraded all the equipment. They boarded up one of the windows. We got a soundproofing thing under the door. It’s still not perfectly soundproof, but it’s a vast improvement.”