New Technology Engagement Center Opening; Your Help is Needed

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Families with children, temporarily homeless and small businesses will all be major benefactors of the Rutherford County Library System's new Technology Engagement Center which opens this spring on Minerva Drive.

Aimed at helping the 41 percent of community households who lack access to the Internet, the ground-breaking center will provide free service with 36 computer workstations, meeting rooms, children's area and 3D printing capabilities plus technology and innovation classes.

The library's foundation is reaching out to the public to help provide funds for the initial operating costs of the new, unique center.

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"Pave the Way to a Better Community" campaign asks members of the community to sponsor a paver on the center's entrance patio. The 8x16-inch pavers are available for $350 each and can be engraved with three lines of up to 20 characters per line.

"The TEC is a huge step to help members of our community across a broad range help themselves through the immense resources of the Internet," Ben Weatherford, Linebaugh Foundation chairman, said.

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Weatherford noted the need for the TEC arose from a library system community retreat three years ago that revealed the challenges for the unexpectedly high percentage of households without home Internet access or computer.

The TEC will provide access to families with educational and other needs, job-seekers and small businesses facing technological changes.

Construction and equipment costs for the $2.1 million facility were covered by generous grants from the Christy-Houston Foundation and City of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County governments.

The library system must cover the increase in operating expenses the center will require.

While about half of the center's operating budget will be covered re-allocation of staff and resources by moving existing technology services from the main library branch, the center faces a shortfall of some $200,000.

Efforts to date have raised approximately half of that amount.

To sponsor a paver, a form is a available at https://rclstn.org/news/tec-paver-donations-now-being-accepted, or see attached.

Forms with payment should be submitted to:

TEC Paver Project

ATTN: Rita Shacklett

105 W. Vine Street

Murfreesboro, TN 37130

The Foundation is also seeking larger contributions to help offset the operating fund shortfall. Anyone interested in assisting with this new initiative, can contact Mike Pirtle at michaellpirtle@comcast.net.

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