The new Technology Engagement Center in Rutherford County is now open to all county residents.
Since it is a fairly new concept, it is understandable to not be exactly sure what a technology engagement center is. Quite simply, The Rutherford County Technology Engagement Center, which is often referred to as a “shelfless library” or a “digital library,” gives convenient internet and computer access to those who don’t own a computer. Technology engagement centers are the wave of the future and bring libraries into the digital age.
Rutherford County is carving the path to the future. "This seems like a direction everyone at the public libraries have been embracing," said Kathleen Tyree, a TEC branch librarian. "And we want to continue moving forward. We're a big city in Tennessee and we're not getting smaller, and we need to give our community what they want.
Also, the exaggerated notion that book reading has diminished is false. Instead, they are simply reading in a different manner. Ebooks are currently trending and will almost certainly stay popular for years to come.
What Does It Offer?
While the list of services offered by the Rutherford County Technology Engagement Center is fairly extensive, a few main features include: free computer access to both MAC and Windows, free computer classes(from basic all the way up to advanced) and multipurpose rooms with TVs and MAC minis.
The TEC is also fully staffed that are able to provide computer assistance. It also is equipped with free wifi, printers, scanners, fax machines and a community bulletin board and information center.
Not only is the Rutherford County Technology Engagement Center a fantastic place to work and read, but it also provides entertainment, including a lounge with charging stations and TVs and a kids makerspace with toys, tablets and e-readers.
Are There Books?
So how does a library operate without books? While it is true there aren’t any physical books, the Rutherford County Technology Engagement Center does offer reading materials, including books, by virtue of computers and other electronic devices.
While the traditional library offers physical books and is seen as a quiet zone for reading, the Rutherford County Technology Engagement Center transforms and modernizes the way people use the library by offering 36 iMacs and 24 Mac Powerbooks.
Location, Cost and Hours of Operation
The new Rutherford County Technology Engagement Center is located at 306 Minerva Drive in Murfreesboro, which is near Hobgood Elementary.
It is open Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
For those with an RCLS card, the Technology Engagement Center is completely free.
Rutherford County Expects to Set a Trend
Although many libraries still offer the traditional book only environment, Rutherford County believes many other counties will begin to follow suit. “We believe it will become a model for other public libraries across our state and nation,” said Gary GreenTEC Committed Chairman.
With the increase in digital technology, I find it highly likely that they might be right.
Annette Masterson is a licensed broker with EXIT Realty Bob Lamb & Associates in Murfreesboro, TN. She has developed one of the most successful real estate teams in Rutherford County, known as Masterson Network, that specializes in new home construction and residential listings and sales throughout Middle Tennessee. You can email Annette at email@example.com or call her at 615-896-5656 (Office) or 615-533-1660 (Cell) for more information.