A new kind of library is opening in Murfreesboro. State and civic leaders, community representatives and residents are coming together to celebrate the ribbon cutting on Wednesday (July 18) at 10 a.m. The Technology Engagement Center, or TEC, will serve residents as a technology training center and provide meeting and maker spaces for all ages.
Library System Director Rita Shacklett talks about some of the technology you'll find in the new facility:
The TEC is a branch of the Rutherford County Library System and is one of only a few fully digital public libraries in the country. Instead of books, patrons can use computers, tablets and 3D printers, with many more services planned. And since it's part of the library system, the TEC is free to those with a RCLS card.
"There have been some who call this a bookless library," says Gary Green, TEC Committee Chairman, "It's really a shelf-less library. Books are still very much a part of this library, but the opportunities provided by the TEC are too numerous to list." Green explains that "the TEC will provide something for almost every citizen in our community, and we believe it will become a model for other public libraries across our state and nation."
"We strongly believe that the TEC will enhance workforce development for our citizens," says Rita Shacklett, Rutherford County Library System Director.
Kathleen Tyree, who has been with Rutherford County Library System since 2009, is the TEC's manager. Tyree, a long-time resident of Middle Tennessee, earned her Master of Information Sciences at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville last year, with emphasis on public library management and information technologies.
The TEC is located on the campus of Hobgood Elementary School, a Murfreesboro City School recognized for its science and technology programs. The building, designed by Johnson & Bailey Architects and built by Boyce Ballard Construction, is intended to be versatile with technically advanced meeting rooms. The building was constructed and is operated by a combination of public and private funds, including support by the City of Murfreesboro, Rutherford County, the Christy-Houston Foundation, Linebaugh Library Foundation, the Friends of Linebaugh Public Library and individual contributions.
The Rutherford County Library System (RCLS) is comprised of five branches and a Bookmobile, serving the Greater Rutherford County community. RCLS receives funding from three cities (Eagleville, Murfreesboro, and Smyrna) and Rutherford County, though governed by the Rutherford County Library Board.