Friends of the Library to host technology gala

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The Canton Library will be aglow the evening of November 21 as the Friends of the Canton Public Library host the James P. Moran Technology Gala. Moran lived in Canton for many years and gave of his time to the town by serving on a number of committees and town boards. He passed away in 2006, and his widow, Mary, and daughter, Maureen, have donated $5,000 toward the goal of $25,000 that the Friends have set in order to help the library increase its technology resources and to create a “maker space” for residents.

James P. Moran

James P. Moran

“We came to a mutual decision about what would really enhance life for Canton citizens, with the library being a center of community life,” gala planning committee co-chairperson Peg Mead said of focusing on technology.

Mead went on to explain that a maker space will be a place in the library where residents will have the opportunity to be creative by using technology such as a 3D printer or potentially through art or another medium.

There will be several presentations of technology applications during the gala, including a 3D printer. Terrasa Ulm, a professor at Becker College, and some of her students will bring a maze game that simulates free falling.

“You will feel like you’re base jumping,” Mead said.

Drones will fly through the reference room to demonstrate how they are used in photography. Guests will be able to use virtual reality architectural software to learn how to develop architectural plans.

Virtual reality reporter Maria Korolov will be at the gala, and guests will have the opportunity to play virtual reality games. Mead credited planning committee member Joanne Wheeler with lining up the presenters.

“She’s done an incredible job of reaching out to these people,” Mead said of Wheeler. “I think it’s going to be very cool.”

The Friends hope to raise enough funds to purchase a 3D printer and software for music and movie editing. Mead said that final decisions about purchasing materials for the library are not made by the Friends.

“The Friends raise money,” she said. “It’s up to [Library Director Mark Lague] and the librarians and the Board of Trustees how they want to spend it. We don’t dictate.”

The Moran Gala, which is for adults ages 21 and older, will begin at 7 p.m. at the library. Hors d’oeuvres and desserts will be served and a cash bar will offer beer, wine and soft drinks. The jazz quartet Four and More will entertain guests as they move through the technology demonstration stations. The Friends will also raise additional funds that evening through Bites for Bytes, offering restaurant and food gift certificates that guests can bid on in a silent auction format.

Tickets are $30 for non-members and $25 for those who are members of the Friends, with a $5 rebate at the door. Tickets are being sold at the circulation desk of the library and online at library.canton.ma.us. The Friends are encouraging people to purchase tickets by Friday, November 6, and to bring their smart phones to the event.

The fundraiser was originally named Books and Bytes, but changed following the donation from the Moran family. Mary Jane Mangan, co-chair of the gala planning committee, said, “This is a wonderful way to remember Jim Moran, who did so much for our community.”

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