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Arlington: The East Library and Recreation Center’s Innovation Zone expands public access to the Internet and technology

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March 19, 2021

Residents’ access to Wi-Fi and technology has increased thanks to the Innovation Zone of the East Library and Recreation Center, which recently opened in eastern Arlington.

In the East, residents can use their library cards to access public computers for free and print, copy, fax and scan for a small fee. Adults can check out their Chromebook from their laptop dispenser and use it in the building during their visit. With Osmo educational software and complementary activities, the iPad is available to children in both the children’s area of ​​the library and the recreation center. Alternatively, you can book a gathering in a high-tech public room or study.

An additional amenity for this new facility is an outdoor pod with full power and connectivity for outdoor work and meetings. Other technology-based activities include resources such as Kindles, Leap Frog tablets, 3D pens, 3D printers, and Sphero robots with a collection of e-books. A unique feature of this new facility is the Lu Vue Giant Interactive Playground. It encourages young people to become active and enhances learning through light, sound and video.

In addition to all the resources already mentioned, young patrons can also participate in dynamic programming, including bilingual storytime and exploration of STEAM concepts. Young people can also explore technology through the Discovery Station and access homework and educational games via designated children’s computers. There are also adult computer classes and adult educational opportunities.

State legislature Chris Turner helped secure a $ 750,000 Texas Library and Archives Commission grant for the Library’s Innovation Zone. With this grant, Arlington was able to increase the availability of the Internet, create a technology-centric community in indoor and outdoor spaces, and enhance its technical capabilities within the building. The Innovation Zone is a positive step towards increasing access to unique technology experiences and breaking the digital divide in East Arlington.

Located on 1817 New York Avenue, the 46,249-square-foot facility is the city’s first communal library and recreation center. Arlington voters approved $ 26 million in the 2014 bond elections to replace the former Hugh Smyth Recreation Center and the former East Branch Library.

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