CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — The Cedar Rapids Public Library is rolling out a new service this summer: a Mobile Technology Lab.
Instead of a traditional bookmobile, the Library’s new van is fully loaded with all kinds of technology, from laptops and e-readers to Ozobots – tiny robots designed to help kids learn coding.
The Library is partnering with Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation’s Rollin’ Recmobile to visit four Cedar Rapids parks a week throughout the summer.
The idea will be to introduce kids and community members to the technology, which could include things like learning to design and print a logo on Cricut vinyl cutters or how to record their own podcasts.
The van was made possible through community support. The Giacoletto Foundation helped purchase the van and all shelving and modifications, and additional support came from Collins Aerospace, the Alliant Energy Foundation, ITC Midwest, and the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation.
The van won’t stop rolling when summer ends. The Library’s programming staff are designing curriculum using the technology on board that can roll to classrooms and other community organizations this fall. Those programs could include things like taking a podcasting class to an elementary school or taking lessons on how to check out digital materials to a senior center.
If we want to be a truly equitable, accessible library, we can’t expect, in a 72-square-mile city, for people to come to one of two locations,” Cedar Rapids Public Library Programming Manager Kevin Delecki said. “We will come to you with the van.
Look for the van all summer long, four days a week:
- Mondays, except July 5, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Jacolyn Park, 198 Jacolyn Dr. NW
- Tuesdays, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Hayes Park, 1924 D St. SW
- Wednesdays, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Cleveland Park, 1600 Eighth Ave. SW
- Thursdays, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Greene Square, 400 Fourth Ave. SE
For more information on the Cedar Rapids Public Library, visit CRLibrary.org or call 319.261.READ.
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