Learn Your Library Resources – “I-74 River Bridge: A Virtual Experience”

The Moline Public Library is thrilled to be hosting the “I-74 River Bridge: A Virtual Experience,” a virtual reality tour of the new I-74 bridge, from Friday, February 16 through the end of May.

New I-74 Bridge

A rendering of the completed project. Photo: Iowa DOT

All are welcome to participate! Access to the virtual reality experience will be available on a first come, first serve basis from the time that the library opens at 9:00am to one half hour before closing (7:30pm Mon-Thur & 5:00pm Fri-Sat). Please stop by the second floor reference desk or call us at (309) 524-2470 with any questions or to get you started with your virtual experience.

A Unique, Immersive Experience

Inspired by cutting-edge virtual reality technology, the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) partnered with Iowa State University’s Institute for Transportation and the university’s Virtual Reality Applications Center to develop a fully immersive experience of the I-74 Mississippi River Bridge.

Imagine hopping into a car and driving across the new four-lane I-74 River Bridge, walking along the multi-use path and getting a gorgeous view of the Quad Cities from the scenic overlook, standing on top of the arch to get a bird’s-eye-view of the reconstructed interstate, or diving into the river to see the wildlife that is an essential part of the river’s ecosystem. Through creative collaboration, Iowa DOT and Iowa State University provide you with an unforgettable way to experience, engage with and explore the reconstruction of one of the most important regional interstate systems.

Once you put on the virtual reality headset, you’ll be able to “fly” through the corridor and explore the new I-74 River Bridge. The above video is a sample of what you’ll see. 

Diving into the Mississippi River

The Mississippi River is full of wildlife, including species on the federal Threatened and Endangered Species list. The Iowa and Illinois departments of transportation led a large-scale mussel relocation as part of the I-74 River Bridge project and received an award from the Federal Highway Administration in 2017 for these efforts. Now, you will be able to “interact” with these mussel species and learn about their importance to the ecosystem. The virtual reality display takes the viewer into the river environment to “pick up” each mussel as a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologist provides information about the species. Using virtual reality to present educational material related to the endangered mussels in the Mississippi River is an innovative and exciting way to learn about our environment.

Explore the Mississippi River under the bridge and “pick up” mussels to learn about each species.

Reshaping the Way We Learn

Virtual reality is a powerful tool to share information about infrastructure projects and natural resources. The intense, immersive virtual environment makes it possible for the Iowa DOT and other agencies to give you a more complete understanding of how infrastructure projects will look and interact with the surrounding environment. The I-74 virtual reality simulations use 3-D models developed by the Alfred Benesch & Co. engineering consultant team, and new 3-D content developed by the Iowa DOT’s Office of Bridges and Structures and Iowa State University. The I-74 virtual reality program was made possible through a variety of federal and state funds.

Originally published in River Action’s Eddy Magazine – February 2018.

Advertisements

It’s NaNoWriMo time again!

NaNoWriMo

 

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. 

On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.

And if you need a place to write you can always drop by the library on Mondays from 2 to 7pm for our Write In sessions.

Post Censored Due to Unfit Content

It’s Banned Books Week!

Banned Books 17

What is Banned Books Week?

That’s an easy one. It’s an annual celebration of your right to read whatever you want.

And why is it important?

This answer is longer, but still pretty easy. I’ll keep it to three main points.

First off, in this country and at this time, it’s pointless. To begin shutting down or cutting out ideas, perspectives and lifestyles that a specific person, or group of people, doesn’t understand, identify with or approve of solves LITERALLY NOTHING. For anybody. Including those that are attempting to challenge or ban the material. Nothing makes a book shout, “Check out what I’m about!” louder than someone else shouting not to check out what it’s about. Plus, even if “they” hypothetically manage to ban a book from a library or school there are hundreds of other places that a determined reader can go to get it. Pointless.

Second, one persons obscene or unfit material is another persons broadened horizons. Reading about something does not make you automatically believe what you have read, but it does help you to be aware of and consider other perspectives. There is evidence that reading encourages and increases empathy. Empathy – generally listed as a positive human quality… by, like, everyone. The other big reason that a lot of books with violence or sex or bad language or “adult situations” and so on, are challenged, especially books for teens and younger readers, is to “protect the children!” But here’s the thing, when those topics are addressed in books for younger readers they are done so from the perspective of younger characters and talked about in a way that is accessible and appropriate to that age group, helping the reader come to terms with and learn about the fact that whatever it is exists in the real world. Ignoring it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen and censoring it will just create kids who are blind-sided by it when they encounter it as they get older.

Banned Books 17-2

Third, no one likes to think about human rights and civil liberties in “use ’em or lose ’em” terms, but… It’s a potentially slippery slope – 1 banned book can become ten banned books, can become one hundred, can become state approved reading list only. It’s a little dramatic, I know, but it has happened, and, historically speaking, cultures (or, call a spade a spade, regimes) that make a habit out of banning books are often just around the corner from burning and destroying them (and occasionally their readers). Also, not typically super-happy places to live. I’m just saying.

So, there you are. Banning books – pointless, counter-productive and oppressive.

Support your right to read what you want – READ A BANNED BOOK TODAY! 

If you need help finding one (there are lots) you can find lists here.