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Check it out! Libraries have iPads

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Photo submitted Sarah Pope, Hotchkiss librarian, is one of the many friendly staff members who can help with checking out an iPad from Delta County Libraries.

In a world of rapidly changing technology it is an enormous task to stay on the cutting edge. Pathways to finding information become more complex and vast. Tried and true resources, like books, are joined by new, innovative technologies, like iPads. Libraries are hubs for information-seekers of all kinds and therefore have a duty to adapt with the times.

Delta County Libraries has been checking out books to inquisitive library patrons for years. In 2015, over 90,000 books were available for circulation in Delta County. And while there will likely always be patrons who choose to utilize their libraries primarily for the printed word, held in hand in the form of a book, there are a myriad of other resources that have been made available on the shelves over the years. Magazines, newspapers, audio and visual materials, electronic resources, and computers are all available at Delta County Libraries.

Markee Travis, technology manager for Delta County Libraries, is determined to make sure that up-to-date technology and support are easily accessible to library patrons. "Within the walls of the five district libraries, you can find a small, one pound rectangle containing enough information and entertainment to keep you busy for an entire lifetime. Patrons can now check out iPads for in-library use as well as one-week checkouts in the home."

Travis is adamant that iPads are user-friendly and can be enjoyed by all ages. She is also excited to share all of the ways using them can benefit patrons. "Books, magazines, audiobooks and music can be downloaded for free. Through the library website, patrons can access our database which includes encyclopedias, learning sites, legal forms, language lessons, auto repair, history and genealogy resources, homework help, journals, newspapers and much more!"

Travis' positive message about iPads reached Cedaredge patron Lynn Oliver loud and clear. Oliver was taking a basic computer class at Cedaredge Library when he was first introduced to iPads. "We were shown a few basics about iPads. At first I thought it would be difficult to learn, because I was struggling with the computer. A short time later iPads became available, some classes were held, and I became quite interested." Oliver decided to check one out for a week and was not quite ready to return it when the time came. "I asked how soon I could check it out again and they said 'right now.' I did that for 3 more weeks and decided to buy my own."

Oliver has now joined Travis in encouraging others to take advantage of this valuable, user-friendly resource. Library staff at all five locations are ready to assist patrons in the process of getting started. Though many would argue that nothing will ever replace the feel of a book in hand, with the iPad check out program, Delta County Libraries offers yet another cost-effective way to have a world of information, quite literally, at the fingertips.

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