Did you know you can shoot photos and video using a green screen at the Buffalo & Erie County Central Library?
Use the “Launch Pad” there to virtually pick a flower or fly over a city?
Soon check out 3D books at all 37 libraries across the system and watch them come to life using a smartphone app?
This is some of the information Dawn Peters shared Monday afternoon during her talk at Refresh Mondays at Canalside.
“We embrace technology and try to incorporate it – and the best part about it is it’s free,” said Peters, assistant deputy director of public services with the library system.
Peters – wearing a button that encouraged reading aloud 15 minutes a day – shared a number of ideas to fill summer vacation for kids with constructive, educational activities, piggybacking on last Saturday’s Refresh cover package, which you can read here.
She focused on ideas to help children maintain reading skills so they can return to school in September ready to roll academically into the new school year.
Her recommendations “to keep kids growing and moving and refreshed” included:
- Encouraging children just learning to read to find inspiration outside of books and computer screens by reading road signs and billboards, and lists of ingredients during breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- A daily, two-hour screen-free period every day, where family conversations can take place, maybe over a walk or some exercising in the yard or a park.
- Read biographies, research travel prospects, check to see if someone with your name ever authored a book, or what happened 100 years ago on your birth date.
- And obvious one for her: “Take your child to a library.”
Libraries around the region have lots of activities this time of year, Peters said.
The best place to start is BuffaloLib.org, where children and adults can download books, music and videos – all for free – with a library card and pin number.
She said a search on the calendar section of the library system website turned up four pages of activities for teens and an equally impressive slate for younger kids.
They include Lego and chess clubs, craft and vacation clubs, and, of course, reading clubs.
Read a list of special library programs this summer here.
Peters also brought three 3D books to her talk – Sea Life 3D, Bugs3D and Princess 3D and quickly called up an app that had adults mesmerized by the floating dolphins and a firefly with an illuminated tail.
“This brings these bugs to life, which may not appeal to some,” she said as Philip Haberstro, executive director of the Greater Wellness Institute of Buffalo, used Peters’ cellphone to read and marvel.
Peters also made special mention of the Launch Pad, a “MakerSpace” in the Central Library that includes 3D books and printers, “cubelets” to build your own robot; and technology to compose a song, create a video or record a podcast. You can make an appointment to learn to use the technology by calling 858-8900, online at the Book a Technology Trainer icon on BuffaloLib.org, or by stopping in to the Central Library Information Services desk.
After her talk, Peters said she sometimes tells people reading books on their e-readers that they could have read them for free by downloading them from the library website.
“I’ve heard more than I’d like to,” she said, “that we’re the best kept secret around.”