Technology ‘petting zoo’ to honor Apple cofounder

Posted: August 9, 2014

Star staff report

Photo by mashable.comSteve Wozniak

What better way to celebrate the birthday of Steve Wozniak — American inventor, computer technology pioneer and co-founder of Apple Inc. — than bringing out the latest technology devices for people to explore firsthand during a technology petting zoo?

A technology petting zoo is a collection of electronic devices (such as tablet computers, e-readers, smartphones and portable music players) that can be used for individual training. Patrons get to “pet” the electronics through hands-on instruction.

Handley Library will be hosting this special event on Woz’s birthday on Monday from 4 to 7 p.m. at 100 W. Piccadilly St.

Participants can receive instruction and hands-on experience with a variety of technological devices, such as e-readers and tablets. The event is free and open to the public.

The value of attending a technology petting zoo is having the opportunity to try out new devices before you buy them, getting answers to all sorts of technology questions, and learning how to checkout free e-books and audiobooks from your library.

David Robinson, technology zoo instructor, recently said: “A certain level of both technology literacy and information literacy is essential for one to access many of the library’s resources.”

Library Director John Huddy added: “The amount of information that can be gleaned from the library’s website through today’s digital technology is staggering. With some basic training in the use of computers and electronic devices, virtually the whole world is available to citizens in our service area, and for many of these resources you don’t even have to leave your home.”

There is no danger that libraries will go paperless in the near future because books are still extremely popular with all age groups. However, there are many advantages for patrons who can access digital resources.

For example, through Handley Regional Library, a card holder can learn new languages through Mango Languages; read books in electronic format; set up free digital access to more than 50 popular magazines; prepare for the SAT test through the Testing and Education Resource Center database; download free, legal music through the Freegal music service; and explore the Britannica Spanish language encyclopedia.

Visitors can also see videos and photographs; get lesson plans in the Lands and People database for lesson plans and homework assignments; research a new product through Consumer Reports; search more than 400 full-text encyclopedias, dictionaries, fact-books and atlases and 300,000 images and 200,000 audio files; and search FindIt VA for magazine and newspaper articles, TV and radio transcripts, encyclopedias and other reference works.

The products that will be featured at the petting zoo at Handley Library on Monday include:

E-Readers: Kindle, Kindle Keyboard, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle DX, Kobo Touch, Nook Simple Touch, Nook Glowlight and Sony Reader.

Tablets: Kindle Fire, Asus Transformer, Google Nexus 7 & 10, Sony Tablet S, iPad & iPad 2, iPad Mini, Nook HD and Microsoft Surface RT.

Laptops and Operating Systems: Apple MacBook Pro and Windows 8.1.

Other devices: iPhone 5S and iPad Air.

Wozniak, known as “Woz,” is an American inventor, electronics engineer and computer programmer who co-founded Apple Computer with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne.

He single-handedly designed both the Apple I and Apple II computers in the late 1970s.