Aiming to be your place for technology firsts,Roanoke County Public Library (RCPL) is unveiling NextLabs at their Glenvar and Vinton locations in the coming weeks. RCPL’s NextLabs are designed with the most modern technology available to encourage education and play for patrons of all ages, and eventually will be open at all locations.

Glenvar’s roving NextLab GV features Misty, a robot a little over one foot tall. RCPL is working with Misty Robotics in a beta testing program. Misty will give patrons the opportunity to learn about Artificial Intelligence(AI),coding, and robotics.

Stop by for a fun meet and greet with Misty and library staff on Thursday, August 29 at 5pm. NextLab GV will be adding several other new technologies in the coming months.Vinton’s NextLab VN will highlight a Glowforge machine for programs,and for patrons to use on an appointment basis.

The Glowforge is a precise laser engraver with endless possibilities for makers, crafters, and small business owners. Hundreds of materials can be used with the Glowforge,among them wood, leather, fabric, cardboard, and acrylic. The machine engraves, cuts,and scores materials.

The Glowforge is being tested behind the scenes now, and will arrive to Vinton mid-August. We are excited to be providing cutting edge and unique resources to the community. We feel a responsibility to always try to think beyond what is currently being done to what is next, thus our choice for naming the labs.

Both of these labs are just the beginning of NextLabs across Roanoke County Public Libraries. Be sure to stop by these locations this fall and watch our event calendar for programs around the NextLabs.

The Glenvar Library is located at 3917 Daughtery Road in Salem and the Vinton Library is at 300 S. Pollard Street in Vinton.

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