Award-Winning Storyteller, Charlotte Blake Alston

Telling Stories at the Moline Public Library

charlotte blake alston storyteller

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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.

Learn Your Library Resources – Gale Courses

Gale Courses

Preparing for the LSAT? Practicing your creative writing skills? Learning graphic design? Looking for an introductory course on alternative medicine? 

If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, we can help. If you answered ‘Yes’ to none of these questions, we still might be able to help. If you answered ‘Yes’ to all of these questions… we can still help, but you might want to narrow your focus just a bit.

Welcome to Gale Courses!

Gale Courses SCGale Courses offers easy access to lifelong learning opportunities including professional development, technology, and personal enrichment courses by providing more than 365, six-week long online programs taught by college instructors who are experts in their field. The courses cover a wide variety of topics, arranged into twelve categories ranging from Accounting to Personal Development to Technology. All you need to sign up for any of the courses is your Moline Public Library Card number and the desire to learn and grow as a person. Or just a library card number. But it will work better with both.

You can find the link to Gale Courses on our website on our list of Online Resources. If you have any questions feel free to stop by the reference desk at the library and ask.

What’s the difference between a fiddle and violin?

Who cares? Neither one is a ukulele!

ukulele connection holiday concert

Okay, because I’m a librarian…

There is no difference between a fiddle and a violin.

According to johnsonstring.com, “A violin and a fiddle are the same four-stringed instrument, generally played with a bow, strummed, or plucked. They are identical in their physical appearance. What distinguishes a violin from a fiddle is the style of music that is played on the instrument; it’s all in how you play it.

The term violin is most often associated with classical music, orchestras, symphonies, and chamber music. Fiddle, in contrast, is associated with a wide variety of music styles including Cajun, bluegrass, folk, and country.”

The Only Stupid Question Is the One You Don’t Ask

That said…

It’s Ask a Stupid Question Day!

Burning Questions

Got any burning questions? … See what I did there?

Originally started by teachers in order to encourage their students to be curious and to think about and question the things around them, it translates quite nicely to a library setting.

Teachers in school teach in a proactive way, planning ahead of time what their students will learn and the best way to accomplish said learning. Librarians teach too, but we’re more reactive than proactive. We don’t plan out what knowledge to impart to people. We wait for them to come to us looking for a specific piece of knowledge and we either find it for them or help them to find it for themselves. So what better place to ask a “stupid” question than at a library?!

When did synchronized swimming become an Olympic sport? What are the origins of “Tuesday”? Why can’t I give my dog chocolate? What happened to the dinosaurs? What time is it in Dublin? Why do you drive on parkways and park on driveways? Whatever question you’ve got, come in to the library today and we will either find you an answer or do our level best to point you in the right direction.