The city's public libraries are reminding the public of their latest technology services, including new early literacy iPads, upgraded 3-D printing services and the addition of wireless internet hotspots available for checkout.
AWE Early Literacy Stations in library children's areas have been replaced with pre-loaded iPads containing 20 educational apps that support early literacy skills, such as reading, writing, speaking, playing and introducing science and technology concepts.
Ideal for children ages two to six years, the iPads are available now for in-library use on a first-come, first-served basis.
Funding for the Early Literacy iPads was provided by a $14,324 grant from the Friends of the Virginia Beach Public Library.
The libraries are also upgrading and expanding their free, 3-D printing services so that customers with a public library card can have access to free 3-D printing at Virginia Beach's Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library and the TCC/City Joint-Use Library. These locations are adding new MakerBot Replicator+ printers this month and will each have two printers in operation until the four-year-old models currently in use reach the end of their capacity.
The new printers are expected to be added at the Great Neck and Bayside and Special Services branches by fall 2018. For more details on the service, visit Virginia Beach Public Library's 3-D printing page.
Wireless internet hotspots are now available at Central Library, with a roll out to all branch locations expected later this year.
Customers may reserve the devices and pick them up at any Virginia Beach public library.
An initial 11 devices will be available during a pilot program at Central Library and by the end of 2018, 110 hotspots will be available throughout the library system.
This service will be especially useful for people who have no internet access at home and for families and professionals who are on-the-go and have a need to access the internet for work, school or connecting with friends and family.
The hotspots are the latest item offered as part of the libraries' Take Home Tech collection.
A young library-goer uses an Early Literacy iPad
at Windsor Woods Area Library.