Local Studies interactive touch table

Article image - Local Studies interactive touch table A new platform is delivering an engaging way for library visitors to explore the people, places and events that make up the fabric of Georges River Councilís diverse community.

Georges River Council, New South Wales, recently launched a new Local Studies interactive multimedia collection at the Hurstville Library and Service Centre. 

Building on a successful Local Studies Blog, the interactive touch table provides an immersive and social way for the community to access curated collections from the rich cultural memory of the Georges River area.

The table has a Wi-Fi network connection to enable easy repositioning or relocation at alternative locations, and uses software that allows it to be displayed on handheld touch screen devices such as iPads, to assist outreach activities.

Local Studies collections include delicate and unique items, and digitisation of these items allows people to preserve them and make them readily accessible to the community and researchers, both locally and across the world.  

The interactive touch table is part of the Library’s strategy to increase the ways they provide and promote digital access to collections. 

It is big enough to allow multiple users to browse and interact with content at the same time, from any side of the screen. 

This shared interface is also ideal for tours or guided discovery – where staff can teach, provide service and research side by side with customers. 

Promoting exploration and serendipitous discovery of information, the table is reminiscent of searching through a box of photographs or leafing through a diary – recognising that our customers prefer alternatives to basic keyword searches which assume that you already know what you are looking for.

The table provides a space where related multimedia content can be grouped together – allowing customers to open digital ‘envelopes’ on a topic to view photos, read handwritten notes, listen to oral histories and explore
library research.