When page and screen collide

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Lawton, Duncan and Garland Smith Public Libraries feature modern technology, including digital entertainment, online databases and internet education.

In libraries once composed soley of paperback books upon wooden shelves, area libraries strive to integrate technology.

Located at 110 SW. Fourth St. in Lawton, the Lawton Public Library brings together all Lawtonians.

Sydney Perry, a reference librarian, said the library serves to comfort and entertain people who are homeless.

“They can come in here when it’s cold and rainy and have a place to be,” she said, “[and] use the computers.”

She said the key draw of the library is the computer lab “for either people whose printer isn’t working or don’t have a computer.”

Despite the popularity of technological devices, including kindles and iPads, Perry said some people still check out paper and hardback books.

“Some people prefer the old fashioned kind of books that you just open and read,” she said. “They’re not interested in the eBooks or anything.”

The Duncan Public Library, located at 2211 U.S. Highway 81 in Duncan, caters to people worldwide through online databases.

Jan Cole, director of the Duncan Public Library, said “people in India, people in Hawaii [and] people in China all have cards,” so they have access to the databases.

The databases offered include Brain Fuse, Mango Languages, Britannica for Kids, Gale Virtual Reference Library, EBSCO Host, AR Book Finder, America’s News, Free Permit Practice Tests, Ancestry.com, Heritage Quest and Fold 3.

Cole said Brain Fuse tutors people in their academics.

Individuals from pre-k to adulthood “can get one-to-one tutoring between specific hours,” she said.

Mango Language includes over 60 foreign languages.

“You can do translations,” Cole said. “You can watch foreign films. You can work your way up in a language through two levels.”

Cole said the Virtual Reference Library has over 50 reference books.

“They’re online textbooks you can access,” she said, “and we’re getting ready to add 900 more after the first of the year, and they’re all up to date … 2010 forward.”

She said The Duncan Banner is listed on America’s News.

The news database “has over 1,500 newspapers across the United States,” she said. “You can look for trending topics … They’re archived every day.”

Fold 3, which presents military records and primary source scans, is useful for history classes, Cole said.

Garland Smith Public Library, which opened on Nov. 1 at the new location of 702 W. Main St. in Marlow, offers services that help people become more tech savvy.

Patty Ellsworth, a technology librarian, said she will teach computer classes, starting in January.

“We focus a lot on the elderly because that’s the bulk,” she said. “They come in, and they don’t know how to use the internet. They don’t know how to search to sign up for the healthcare initiative.”

On Tuesday and Thursday nights, Ellsworth provides technology assistance.

“People can come in,” she said, “and if they have a kindle or an iPad … or they don’t know how to put numbers in their phone, they can call and schedule a one-on-one appointment.”

Ellsworth said there are many people in Marlow who don’t have internet access in their homes.

“We also offer free Wi-Fi, 24/7, like even when the library’s not open,” she said. “They can come sit out front and still get access without passwords.

You don’t have to have a library card to access the internet – that’s for anyone, so if any emergency personnel or anything … happened, everyone knows they can come to the library and get on the internet.”

For more information about the libraries, call 580-581-3450 for Lawton, 580-255-0636 for Duncan and 580-658-5354 for Garland Smith, or visit the libraries’ websites.




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