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New Technology With an Old School Feel

The Harrison Library is using an old fashioned approach to gauge interest in a new reading product.

Before voting booths, Gallup Polls and online polls, there was a more simple approach to casting a vote. People would simply take a rock or other object and drop it in a basket marked "yes" or "no".

Who knew that method would one day be used to measure Harrison residents' interest in reading children’s books on a portable animated screen?

The Harrison Library will soon be offering about 10 Playaway View reading systems residents can borrow for children's reading books. There are also portable audio book systems from the same company that offer more adult books—50 Shades of Grey included—for the older crowd. The technology is expected to be available within the next week or so, said Harrison Librarian Galina Chernykh.

But before thinking about buying more of the product, Chernykh said the library staff was looking for a fun way to measure the interest Harrison residents have in the product. The staff setup a display this week with a bucket of balls and two clear containers, one marked "yes I would use it", the other marked "no not for me".

"We're just putting it on display to ask people if they will use it or not," said Chernykh, who added the library is always looking for new technologies that might get people reading a little more often.

"We try to get new technology and more cool products for the library," she said. "This is something we wanted to try."

The display is also up because August is one of the town's biggest vacation months. With plenty of road trips for Harrison families coming up over the next few weeks, the portable children's books could be a hit for kids in the backseat.

But before getting too carried away with the new idea, the library staff figured why not gauge the interest with a little old fashioned voting. So if you want to participate, stop by the library and drop in your vote. Or, you can cast your opinion in our poll below.

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