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Local Librarians Talk Technology in Mamaroneck

MAMARONECK, N.Y. – The role of today's librarian is evolving with new technology, not going away, according to a panel of four local librarians at the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Local Summit meeting Tuesday.

Tina Pantginis, Mamaroneck High School librarian, views the library as a classroom and believes it is her job to "teach students inquiry." Although technology has put more research tools at students and all library patrons' fingertips, that role hasn't changed.

"As school librarians, we consider ourselves classrooms," said Pantginis, who has been at the high school since 1995. "We're training our students to use libraries."

The Local Summit is a group of citizens that meet once-a-month to address issues affecting the community.

Linda Costelloe, library media specialist for Rye Neck's Daniel Warren School, believes those tools can also enhance student's in-class work. A second-grade class at Daniel Warren uses a program called Voice Thread to record audio and video of themselves working in class. One student in the class had family in Israel, who was able to see it almost immediately.

"Everything we do is connected to the classroom curriculum," Costelloev said. "We can really enhance learning and deepen the understanding children have."

Susan Riley, the new Mamaroneck Library director, and Laura Eckley, the new Larchmont Library director, have a different focus because they don't have to follow a curriculum. Their focus, Riley said, is acting as a community center by providing services for all ages. Riley believes all people need a home, a workplace and a "third place," where people can gather and make connections. The library is that third place, she said.

During National Library Week April 8-14, the Mamaroneck Library will promote digital literacy by holding a "technology petting zoo" of e-reader devices. Riley said they hope to teach people, who may not be tech-savvy, how to use these devices.

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