The Priaulx Library now has two digital screens which will allow visitors to access its archives more easily.
Each year, Ravenscroft sponsors the library’s garden exhibition and as part of its support, the investment services group has donated a digital kiosk and a large screen. It has also covered the cost of Spike Productions to upload information about the library, its collections and exhibitions.
‘We have wanted to introduce new technology to the library for some time as part of our aim of ensuring Guernsey’s history is as accessible as possible. Our priority for our budget has to be on preserving the books, newspapers, artefacts, paintings and memorabilia we hold. As a result, we have been unable to find the money required for digital signage. We are overwhelmed that Ravenscroft has recognised the value and benefits of us having this technology. We are indebted to them and Warren Mauger from Spike Productions,’ said Sue Laker, chief librarian at the Priaulx Library.
The digital kiosk is located on the ground floor of the library and includes an electronic floor plan, information on specific collections such as the photographic exhibition or newspaper collection and activities for those who only have a short time to explore.
‘The library is housed in a very traditional Victorian building and our diverse collection is divided between small areas all over the library. This can be daunting for first time and more casual visitors. The kiosk will provide an attractive and readily accessible introduction to the library,’ said Ms Laker.
The large screen upstairs will be used either in conjunction with an exhibition or as a stand-alone exhibit.
‘All too often, Guernsey’s heritage is seen through the mirror of static images or text, but this screen will bring alive historical events via archival footage from the British Film Institute; British Pathé and BBC Archives,’ she said.
‘We also have a platform called Digital Priaulx which will include digitised newspapers; photographs, maps and delicate ephemera. We have uploaded 7,500 items so far but we just do not have the sophisticated technology which allows people to view them easily. The new screen will make a huge difference.’
One of the first uses of the large screen is an electronic version of the garden exhibition which is entitled Hidden Treasures and charts the social history of Guernsey and the interests and occupations of local people over the centuries.
Toby Peatfield, director of stockbroking at Ravenscroft, said that this year’s exhibition showed just how special the library was.
‘Year after year, it never ceases to amaze us what is included in the exhibition and this year is no exception. We know from talking to the team at the Priaulx Library how many fascinating pieces of our Bailiwick’s history they have and how much they want people to see and learn from them. We hope this new technology will make the library more accessible,’ he said.