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★★★ Open House ★★★
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VR in the Library: What's hot in Mediatech this summer; Learn about Caves
“Roll down the window -- quickly -- listen to me. There’s toxic gas so you have to be quick. Hurry. Yes! You’re good.” Two teens working on a VR puzzle in our library.

I like to think of a library as a time portal. Ours is a classic brick and mortar building on Main Street, but it's full of magic on the inside.

Any seasoned librarian or teacher knows that when the right book or game meets a curious mind, it can create a spark; transporting a child into another time or place.

This basic idea has shaped the design of Mediatech (our tech center located in the second floor of our library) and it has been working effectively this summer. Every day, dozens of children come to watch videos and talk to friends as they use our iPads, huge wall-mounted screens, laptops, a 3D printer, a flight simulator and most recently a PlayStation VR headset, running “I Expect You to Die,” reviewed in this issue, and pictured on this month’s cover.

You can watch a group of children collaborating to solve one of the puzzles, at and you can see how this type of “material” helps our library sparkle. We choose games that are social, and pull in a wide variety of people. Our PlayStation VR works because everyone can see what the player sees. We also prep the center so that novices experience instant success, by having screens cued up before the center opens. Here are some other things Mediatech has taught us this summer? 

• Scratch ( is more popular than ever, thanks to our morning “Coding Camps.” Groups of children stay into the afternoon, working informally together to polish projects. Scratch works well on our $220 Asus Chromebooks.
• Super Smash Bros. is a constant favorite. Make sure you keep a lot of controllers charged, so that up to eight can play at once.
• Fortnite is hot this summer. Mediatech gives children multiple platforms, so they can play together to share tips and tricks. While one child plays on the big screen (on the PS4) others gather to watch, or play along on tablets.
• Our trusty flight simulator keeps chugging along. It’s fun to see children learning to fly realistic airplanes

The recent cave rescue of a soccer team in Thailand has created an increased interest in caves. How much do you know about these dark holes in the ground?  See page 3, or visit

Save the date for Dust or Magic 2018; featuring Jesse Schell
Nov. 4-6, 2018 in Lambertville, NJ