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RACINE – Racine Public Library (RPL) staff and community friends celebrated a big birthday in a big way Friday evening that included the launch of the state-of-the-art Techmobile.

The library opened for the first time exactly 125 years ago on Sept. 9, 1897. It was originally a reading room, developed by the Racine Women’s Club, located in the building that now houses Divino Gelato Café at 3rd and Main Streets in Downtown Racine.

Three numbers – 1, 2, 5 – had special meaning for Racine Public Library visitors on Friday. – Credit: Paul Holley
The RPL’s 125th birthday celebration included story time for the kids. Ali Michalek, a children’s librarian shares a storybook. – Credit: Paul Holley

The celebration outside of 72 Seventh St. (the library’s home since 1958) included hands-on crafts, story times and food.

The party included an opportunity for hands-on craft making. – Credit: Paul Holley

Introducing the Techmobile

But the event’s real star was the Techmobile, a custom-built vehicle funded by donations from the community and built by LDV of Burlington.

The Techmobile’s interior has plenty of space for technology workshops, tech help sessions and training. It will also serve as a free wifi hotspot. – Credit: Paul Holley

The new mobile technology station joins RPL’s traditional bookmobile and book bikes as part of RPL’s Go! Initiative to take library resources beyond the library walls.

The bright blue Techmobile will be stocked with a number of technology items that visitors can use and borrow including hotspots, laptop computers, programmable robots and books about technology in English and Spanish. It will also house some of the library’s 3-D printers and laser engravers for workshops and training.

The Techmobile vehicle is stocked with all things technology, including 3-D printers, programmable robots, laptop computers and a selection of computer/software books. Plans call for it to operate on a pop-up basis at schools, community centers and special events. – Credit: Paul Holley
Melissa Donaldson (white shirt, center), Racine Public Library’s head of digital services and innovation, explains some of the new Techmobile’s equipment. – Credit: Paul Holley

The Techmobile will operate on a pop-up basis throughout the Racine community stopping at schools, community centers and special events. To host the Techmobile at your location or event, visit the Library GO! page on the RPL’s website.

The Techmobile will be open to visitors in Downtown Racine during Party on the Pavement next Saturday (Sept. 17).


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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...