As one would expect of any library, Olin Library on the Cornell University campus is a treasure chest of stored information, in the form of books, periodicals, and online resources. With the expansion of the Internet as an additional resource and touch screen technology, we see more and more libraries trying to incorporate these devices in their services.
Mann Library has done the best in intertwining technology, information, and place of all the libraries on campus. Aside from offering both Apple computers and PC’s to cover all its users, Mann Library has display screens spread throughout the building that serve as digital bulletin boards. Users can find out about any announcements, special events, or even the weather from the displays. Right in the lobby of Mann Library is also a digital smart map kiosk that has all the information any new visitor to Mann Library could possibly need to find a book or other resource.
While Olin Library does not have even half as many computers available to students as Mann Library, Olin has seen changes in the past few years. The new digital display catches visitors’ attention as soon as they step foot in the door when it was first placed there. To some who frequent these libraries, the screens are a source of useful information. To those who are too used to them now, the screens have already blended successfully into their lives so that they don’t even notice them anymore.
These screens have made information available to us so that we don’t even need to ask it. Information is constantly streaming towards us – it’s only a matter of whether we need it or not. If we do, we will turn our awareness of these technologies on. If we don’t, we will continue to tune them out as if they weren’t even there.