Library introduces videoconferencing pods for public use

Library introduces videoconferencing pods for public use

Espanola Public Library


Rosemary Rae, CEO of the Espanola Public Library. is excited about the two new pods installed recently at the library. They will allow people to access video-conferencing for appointments in a private setting. The Sudbury-Mantioulin Board partnered with EPL to enable the purchase of the pods for public use.

The pods have arrived at the Espanola Public Library (EPL). If you are wondering what a pod refers to, it is a means to provide private video-conferencing capability to the public. Inside the library there are two white units with blackened glass doors, each one large enough to accommodate a person. Inside the structure is a computer that can do video-conferencing. People might use it for zoom meetings, medical, legal or social services appointments, or a meeting with a specialist some distance away. The unit is sound deadening to provide for privacy when in use.

The Manitoulin-Sudbury Board (DSB) partnered together with EPL to provide this service to the com-munity, especially vulnerable populations. The bulk of the funding came from DSB through a special grant that allowed the library to purchase the equipment and the pods, with the agreement that the library will provide the space and provide support services as needed. One does not need to be a member of the library to use one, or any of the available computers. The public computers are available for the public whenever not already in use, the pods with the video-conferencing capacity need to be reserved in advance by contacting the Espanola Public Library. There is no cost to use a pod or the public access computers at the library.

The pods arrived in July and are being set up to begin operation in August. Donna Stewart, Associate Chief Administration Officer with DSB, has been working with EPL since last year to facilitate the pur-chase of the pods to add to com-munity services available. Rosemary Rae, CEO of the library said "We are thrilled to able to offer video-con-ferencing capacity to the community and with our extended hours, for the units to be available in the evening and starting in September, Saturdays as well."

The library staff has the expertise to support usage of the computers which could be beneficial to those individuals who need some assist-ance with technology. The system is connected to the library's network to allow for internet access and printing. EPL will be tracking the usage of the pods and reporting the numbers to DSB. If you are inter-ested in making a reservation or have a general inquiry, please contact the Espanola Public Library at 705-869-2940.