Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

‘Touch the Past’ at the library

PAT_4095e

DEE OWENS, El Dorado County Historical Museum volunteer, left, demonstrates the history kiosk during an event at the Veterans Memorial Building in Placerville. Jerry Culver, left, and Jon McCabe check out the "Touch the Past" icons. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

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From page B2 | January 08, 2014 | 3 Comments

The annual El Dorado County Historical Museum Volunteers’ Recognition Luncheon in December was livened up by a little modern technology as a 6 1/2 foot kiosk bearing the title “Touch the Past” invited people to do just that.

Wave a hand in front of one of the icons on the front of the kiosk and a video begins with a voice-over giving a historical and current perspective of each segment. The videos are set to music obtained by El Dorado County Library Director of Library Services Jeanne Amos. The segments flow seamlessly from history to modern day and back again.

Amos saw a similar kiosk in Southern California.

“I had to have one for the library,” she said. With funding from the North Net Library System, a consortium of 40-plus Northern California libraries, of which El Dorado County Library is a member, Amos set about making a kiosk happen.

“They had money for Innovation Grants this year,” said Amos. “Innovation Grants are for something new and different and unusual; something to show other libraries what can be done. We thought the kiosk would be a perfect innovation and we applied for the grant.”

The library was awarded an $11,701 grant and then Amos had to figure out how to build the kiosk.

“I didn’t know the first thing about video or how to put this together but Mary Cory found Dee Owens, one of our volunteers who is a retired teacher from Buckeye. She had made a fabulous video of John Studebaker and when I saw it, I was wowed.”

Owens used the Ken Burns technique of blending vintage photographs and present-day video and photographs to  build eight video segments about “Logging,” “Apples and Wine,” “Gold Rush,” “Then and Now,” “Recreation,” “Railroads,” “Lake Tahoe” and “Museums.”

“I do this all the time,” said Owens, who got her video start as a fourth-grade teacher, videoing her class’s theatrical productions. “That was back in the day when you edited with two VCRs.”

Owens went on to make a susquicentennial video and videos for Channel 2, the public access channel, before becoming a research volunteer and Webmaster for the El Dorado County Historical Museum.

“I love helping people locate the right research avenue and finding the answers to a mystery,” she said.

A company in New York built the kiosk but the beautiful kiosk background is from a photograph on the El Dorado County Website.

Library staff and museum volunteers wrote the scripts for each segment, vintage photos were pulled by museum volunteer Jon McCabe, voice-overs for each segment were done by museum volunteers and present day photos by Harry Critchfield were used.

The kiosk will be at the El Dorado County Historical Museum until mid-January and then it will travel to the El Dorado Hills library for a month or so before going to the Welcome Center in El Dorado Hills and then around to each of the county’s libraries in turn, allowing access to everyone in the county.

“We’ll have a reception at each hosting library,” said Amos, “to let everyone know where the kiosk can be found. We want everyone to see it and we want to demonstrate this technique of  a simple display that anyone can do.”

For more information contact the El Dorado County Library at 530-621-5540

Contact Wendy Schultz at 530 344-5069 or wschultz@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @wschultzMtDemo on Twitter.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 3 comments

  • Fran DuchampJanuary 07, 2014 - 5:13 pm

    http://mvls.org/members/what-is-northnet-library-system/ What is NorthNet Library System?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Fran DuchampJanuary 07, 2014 - 5:14 pm

    http://northnetlibs.org/ Site Information

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Fran DuchampJanuary 07, 2014 - 5:34 pm

    http://northnet.lib.overdrive.com/3D07663D-120E-4DE3-A293-C108BA0E582D/10/50/en/Default.htm money for buying ipads--to show customers how to use them to download books. Broadband...central hubs will be libraries and schools for wifi. New gadgets need a base central to all. the way of the future is online--since libraries are to become "hubs" for technology--why have them...spend more toward schools--while we still have those. I went to a broadband meeting...this was atopic. shutdown libraries...put more into schools..once the young are gone for the day--have adults come in to study...shut down more schools. As in this article--this kiosk is not a "new idea"...it wasnt even built here<---im sure if Ms Amos had tried--she could have found someone in our county to build it. Perhaps another teacher and some students. Heads up to the teacher working with her kids at one time in her teaching life. Money. It will be interesting when it comes to Pollock--I hear many of our documents have been lost...such as the booklets about Camp Snowline or items from Iron Mountain. I am sure Pollock is included--since so many powerful names were here once upon a time. How much did the item cost? How many librarians and/or staff have been let go in the last few years? I wonder how they feel about all the money being spent on a variety of interesting choices by the director. Whatever...lolololol

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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