We welcome the media's interest and coverage as part of our mission to inform area residents of Library services, resources, events and classes. Questions? Please contact Communication staff listed on this page.
Now your Hennepin County Library card can do even more. In addition to checking out books, movies and music, it can check out iPads for up to two hours of in-library use.
Walker and Roosevelt Hennepin County libraries re-opened recently with a dozen iPads each for patron use. These iPads are supplementing desktop computer corridors and letting patrons of all ages use technology from sunny window seats and colorful reading nooks.
As of June, eight more Hennepin County libraries are offering iPads for patron use: Brookdale, Champlin, Franklin, Eden Prairie, Hopkins, Nokomis, Rockford Road and St. Anthony. The two iPads at each of these libraries are specifically for use by adult-child pairs. They are pre-loaded with a selection of early literacy apps designed for 2- to 5-year-olds.
“Exploring carefully selected apps together with children can help them get ready to read,” said Library Director Lois Langer Thompson. “Apps on our iPads are selected by library staff for their excellence in encouraging parents and caregivers to talk, sing, read, write, and play together with kids. Like a print book, an app can be a jumping-off point for conversation and imagination.”
The Library’s latest set of iPads was purchased with funding from the Minnesota Department of Education through a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services as part of the Library’s “iPads and Prereaders” pilot program. The grant is also supporting app advisory materials and related library events for parents and caregivers.
“We are thrilled about this chance to share tablet technology with our patrons, including those who may not have access to it at home,” said Librarian Amy Luedtke. “We are working to raise awareness of the most effective ways to explore technology together with young children to build early literacy skills and foster school readiness.”
Participating libraries were chosen to reach diverse communities with a high number of families with young children and to represent libraries of varying size and location across Hennepin County.
“Library staff are learning alongside patrons about ways to make ‘tech time’ an engaging and language-rich experience,” Luedtke said. “We know children learn more from interactions together with caregivers than from an app alone. Using apps together can supplement the non-digital ways parents spend time with their kids.”
iPads were the chosen tablet because of the variety and quality of apps available for the device. Some apps selected for library iPads are also available for Android devices.
The Library is evaluating its “iPads and Prereaders” pilot program this year for potential expansion to other locations in the future. Staff iPads at other Hennepin County libraries are already being used to enhance storytimes and other library services.
“Providing iPads and apps for patrons is one way we are expanding access to technology at our libraries,” said Thompson. “As a system, we continue to look for ways to respond to our patrons and bring value to our communities.”
For more information about using Hennepin County Library iPads, ask us in person at any of these 10 library locations or online at www.hclib.org/askus.