DLR Lexicon among libraries benefiting from ‘magic tables’

by Gary Ibbotson

The DLR Lexicon and many libraries across the country has recently seen the installation of ‘magic tables’ to help those with dementia or autism.

The facility, which is actually a box that hangs from the ceiling over a table or other flat surfaces, projects light and animation that allows users to interact and play games.

Erika Csibi, library assistant at DLR Lexicon said that “by interacting with your hand or any of the tools, depending on mobility issues, the censors then interact with your movements, creating the games.”

Ciara McGurl, a librarian at Trim Library where the service has also been installed says that ToverTafel, the official name of the box is great to “ignite conversation, to maybe enhance memory or chat.

“A lot of it is to do with chat. You might have people (that play the games) who are non-verbal or that they have a language barrier.”

The installation of the ToverTafel boxes are part of an eight million euro funding boost for digital services in public libraries with ‘magic tables’ expected to be installed in more libraries by the end of the year.

Ann Marie Mitchell, the director of nursing at Ashford House says that it’s “a great, fun interactive tool designed for residents with any stage of dementia.

“It definitely lifts their wellbeing.

“I find that when we come here with the residents there is a great atmosphere, that they become very settled, very content.

“Actually, that well being lasts quite a while after we go back to the nursing home. A conversation then takes place: “I was catching butterflies, I was bursting the balloons,” they say. It gets all the memories going.”

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