Yesterday, two girls approached the front desk at the Homer Babbidge Library. “Something is wrong with the printer,” they said, “The screen is frozen or something; it’s not working.”

Unsure whether I could solve the problem, I went upstairs with the patrons, swiped their card to pay for the print job, and when the screen came up to select their print job – I watched them do something amazing.

They pawed at the screen with their fingertips.

“See – it’s not working.”

I reached across and moved the mouse. The cursor responded. “Which print job is it?”

They were stunned. Then they erupted in embarrassed laughed.

Media engagement is changing, along with human expectation. Computer screen touch technology is making its way to museums. With the beta release of Omeka Everywhere, there is hope for low-budget agencies of public memory and knowledge (such as museums and libraries). Museums and libraries often have large collections, ripe with metadata – and for those whose digital collections are hosted on Omeka sites, the software just got better.

Museum and library curators are constantly seeking ways to make content easier to access, reliably sourced, and more engaging for their patrons.

As a UConn student in the Digital Media and Design program, I see the grant work being done by my mentors, advisers, professors, and community. It’s inspiring to learn about the incorporation of Omeka Everywhere beta testing into research and curation efforts in the Fine Arts department. Patrons can interact with digital collections curated in the Omeka content management system in a whole new way – by touch.

That said… let me be a circulation specialist at Homer Babbidge Library help desk for a moment…