Libraries and Apps

The world is turning digital, people. Even in Papua New Guinea digital is taking over. When I was in college I got a call from my mom on my cell phone while she was in the village standing under our makeshift clothes line - from HER CELL PHONE!!!!! That might not sound that crazy to you but believe me, IT IS!!!!!!
I grew up having a two way radio as our "phone." You had to schedule a sked or time to talk if you wanted to connect with someone. Every morning you'd turn on the radio to hear Rafael from Ukarumpa reading through the scheduled skeds. Everyone had a call sign. We were A426 or pronounced Alpha426. I forget what other people had but the important thing is we knew we were A426. Every morning Rafael would read the schedule and we would need to listen to see if anyone had scheduled a sked with A426.
Then, when you were going to have your asked you'd get on the radio, and hold down the receiver button, say their call sign followed by your call sign. And after everything you said, you'd have to say Over so the other person would know you were done talking. Remember the movie Hitch? Its like a low tech version of the radio's Hitch used to talk with his lovely to be girlfriend when he was asking her on their early morning Sunday date (that ended up backfiring TERRIBLY...)
Let's say I was chatting with my friends who's call sign was A444. Here's how a convo might start.....
Me: A444, A426 standing by
Static. Wait five minutes.
Me: A444, A426 standing by
Static.
Radio: A444. Hi Joanna! Good to ****STATIC***** voice! How are you ****STATIC**** ****STATIC***** Over.
Me: Hurray! You made it! Its pretty staticky so didn't catch everything you said. But I am doing well! How do you copy? Over.
Radio: I hear you loud and clear. How do you copy? Over.
Me: that was better! So what have you been up to? Over.
Radio:  oh, missed that. Got a huge buzz there. ****STATIC*****
Waiting for an over... none comes.
Me: um. Its pretty bad. I missed the last bit you said. Over.
Radio: youth group. The ****STATIC**** although I'm not worried. Over.
Realized I was talking while they were talking. Should have waited for the stupid over.
Me: we were talking over each other. Can you repeat? Over.
Radio: Sure. I was just talking about how I went to youth group last week and there was a new kid who moved here with his family from Australia. He seems nice. I said it seems like he was having a bit of trouble fitting in, but I'm not too worried. Over.

And the conversation goes on, full of statics, what did you says, overs and do you copys. The sked was scheduled in half hour slots, so generally it would be a half hour. Sometimes if you scheduled an hour sked, and the static was awful, you'd only talk for a few minutes before calling it. It's really hard having a conversation full of "huh?" and ""Say what?" and "oops, I was talking over you."
We didn't have any Internet in the village. We had a computer, but it was run off of solar panels on the roof. If it was a cloudy or rainy day, no computer. We actually never played on the computer in the village. We would have an hour (maybe it was just a half hour?) a week to play one of our chosen computer games. My favorite was always SimSafari where you could make a huge African safari with all the African animals. I also liked ZooTycoon. :) Anyways, some days, generally during the dry season when the sun was out all day, more than one of us could play on the computer, sometimes multiple times during the week, but that was definitely not the norm. The computer was mainly used for translation. During the rainy season months, if one of us got to go once a month we were lucky!
I remember when we got the Ham Radio. Dad had to get licensed by taking this huge test. Then mom got licensed too. By having the ham radio, we could get email in the village. Wow - that was crazy! I remember writing to a friend of mine from my dad's computer in the village - crazy times.
So - that gives you a bit of an idea of how I grew up. You can read about more of my growing up herehere or  here or just go back to some of my older blog posts. But generally if you read anything I've written in this blog, you can find something about how I grew up because its such a part of who I am and I talk about it a lot.
Anyways - what does all this have to do with libraries and apps? Well, these days EVERYTHING can be found in an app. I love libraries. They are fantastic. I am not a huge book reader but I always have loved going into libraries and going to the non-fiction areas just to look at all the how to books and info books. Then I always check out the kids books, teen section and most importantly, CD section.
These days I find it hard to get out to the library. With my little kiddo in tow, it makes doing quick trips not so quick and the ability to stay quiet in a library is pretty much gone. I was a bit disappointed because I really did enjoy going there. Well, I actually found an app through GooglePlay that actually lets me check out books from the library as an e-book! and, actually, you can check out "cds" or music as well! The coolest thing about it is that the books are automatically returned (or deleted from your library) when they hit their due date. IMPOSSIBLE to get fined! That's my favorite part!
The app is called "OverDrive." Check it out here.
You just use your library card and then click the library its a part of, and then you get to check out their expansive e-book and music library and check out a max of 15 books/musics! Its actually pretty darn amazing :) I've checked out everything from how to books on green smoothies to natural birth to soap making. It's the best! When I was nanny, I even checked out some kids books. The kids had recently gotten into a Mickey Mouse rut and wanted to read every book in the world about the high pitched mouse boy. So after we had read everything in the house, I checked to see if my library had any e-books, and sure enough, they did! So i checked it out and we spent the rest of the week reading it! The kids loved it. I also used it to check out some Curious George books and Peter Rabbit. I highly recommend looking into getting the app if you have a library card, and if you don't have a card, go get one so you can look into getting the app! :)
So, yaay for technology. Although sometimes I miss the simplicity of no technology Yemli....
Wait... no pictures today? Ok, hold on..... Here's a bunch. Hang on TIGHT!!!!



























If you want to know more about these pictures, stay tuned!