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Books and Technology in the New Large Print Library

The new Large Print Library is a place where books and technology work amicably together, and the technology warmly welcomes users. What was in earlier days no more than two corridors crossing each other with the book collection on each side of the entrance has, under Miriam Feyerherm’s guidance, with important technical contributions from Dave Bartram and Margaret Eysmans, become a warm and inviting space with the feeling of being enclosed and private.

New desks and a round table in the center make it a real library and, most important, one to meet special needs.

There is a video magnifier, a screen that can be manipulated to enlarge the large print of the books or read other printed material. Next to the magnifier, there’s an iPad on a stand at eye level, whose screen is synced to a much larger TV screen sitting next to it. Residents are able to view material from the Internet on the TV screen including ebooks such as My Beloved World by Justice Sonia Sotomayor. With these tools a wide range of visual challenges can be accommodated.

Next to this tech corner was another machine on wheels with a large screen, called the IN2L. The IN2L was on loan from Gerry Stride, director, Therapeutic Recreation, and  to demonstrate when it’s in the Oak (Activities) Room. Users were assisted by Bridget Pody, a Therapeutic Recreation intern.

At a desk on the other side of the room where books are cataloged, an Apple computer, with an application set up by Margaret Eysmans, allows the user to locate a desired book without use of a password. Margaret created a code for the content of each book, such as “M” for mystery. In addition, a device attached to the computer allows Miriam Feyerherm to catalog incoming books simply by scanning the book’s ISBN code.

Miriam always is thinking of a new activity for the enjoyment of users. A readers’ club is one that is currently germinating. She is especially excited about the enthusiastic response of residents from Rogers Residence who, when she is reading children’s books to them, will recite the closing lines of a favorite from memory.

Text by Beth Bogie, photos by Margery Rubin. Adapted from the April 2017 issue of Medford Leas Life.

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