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Take a look: £1m new Stafford Library is in touch with new technology

Touchscreen tables, 3D printers and giant computer tablets - Stafford's new £1million library looks more like an art gallery or technology hub.


The new Stafford Library is taking shape and as these photographs show, cutting-edge technology will be at the forefront of what is on offer at the venue when it is unveiled in the next few weeks.

Sue Ball with a children's touch screen table

Gone are lifeless signs and notice boards which traditionally greet library-goers, instead those visiting the new facility at Staffordshire Place will be met by a large state-of-the-art touchscreen display which resembles an iPad.

The six-foot tall information point will show activities happening on the day, promote what is going on at other libraries, display family history events and even recommend books to loan.

Library development manager Sue Ball in the new innovation suite
Shelving goes up in the main library area

The vision set out by Staffordshire County Council, which will run the site, is for it to be a centre of excellence and the Innovation Suite will be at the heart of that ambition.

Much of the digital-centric facility has the Government's new STEM - Science Technology, Engineering and Maths - agenda in mind which is aimed at enhancing the next generation's computer science skills.

Learning and skills boss Councillor Ben Adams said: "The new library will be a good example of how libraries can be revitalised to be at the centre of people's lives now and in the future, whether they want to live, work or socialise.

Staffordshire Place, Stafford
Lyndon Cheney from ITC support with the new welcome touch screen display

"The library, including the new Innovation Suite, with the latest technologies will be a vibrant and attractive space for local businesses, community groups, schools and individuals to explore, learn and be inspired.

"Supporting children and parents to access education, information and reading also continues to be our priority and the new space and facilities will help motivate and inspire young people, while developing their skills in technology, engineering and science.

"The new library will also complement the exciting redevelopment in the town centre, while supporting local businesses, promoting skills and learning and helping to grow the local economy."

Touchscreen digital tables will be located around the venue with a wide-variety of uses from learning more about local history to playing educational games.

The library will be equipped with tablets for web-browsing and reading as well as Raspberry Pi devices which are credit card-sized computers for children that teach programming skills.

One of the eye-catching new additions is the 3D printer where people can see their designs come to life before their eyes.

Lyndon Cheney from ITC support is sure to be showing lots of intrigued visitors the endless possibilities of the technology whether it be creating something for a school project or a prototype business product worthy of Dragon's Den.

PCs are a standard requirement for any modern library and there will be plenty on offer.

While visitors, whether they be local students or businessmen and women, will be able to bring in their own devices and connect them to the internet via Wi-fi which will also include the ability to print without plugging in a single cable.

And of course there will be books. The shelves have now been installed and are ready to be fully stocked with a vast selection for all ages with dedicated sections for adults, teens and children.

The new library is set to open in early September to coincide with the Stafford Art's Festival but the date is yet to be confirmed.

The current site at Market Street will remain open until a week before the opening of the Staffordshire Place venue to allow for the move.

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