I have a friend named Phil Shapiro who works in the computer lab at the Takoma Park Library. In his spare time he writes for OpenSource.com mainly about how libraries can do everything from teaching people how to be computer literate to saving the world. (Okay, I’ll admit that I made that last part up. But if you read the articles he’s written for that site, such as this one, you’d could be forgiven for being left with a similar impression.) In his spare time he rehabilitates old computers by installing Linux Mint on them along with other open source software applications then giving the computers to underprivileged families in the DC area and he tutors people in how to use computers and open source software.

Well, anyway, he wanted to check out the Howard County library system because he heard that this system has even better computer resources than the library he works at. So he hired me to just go to any library located in Howard County, take pictures and notes, and let him know what I’ve seen. I ended up choosing the one in Savage because it’s relatively close to my home and I was feeling too lazy to go on a longer trip to places like Columbia or Ellicott City.

So I showed up at the Savage Library and I was amazed by this modern state of the art building with a sign saying that it’s not only a library but it’s also a STEM center as well.

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That library has some really cool looking furniture, brightly painted walls, and nice carpeting.

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The next two photos show a children’s classroom.

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This glass display case shows the various hi-tech capabilities of this library, including a few sample 3D printed items.

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I was raised with the idea that you must never eat or drink anything int the library (except for making a visit to a water fountain). This library has a cafe. Granted this cafe consisted of vending machines but it’s still impressive compared to my childhood memories of going to the Harundale Library in Glen Burnie or my trips to the libraries in Greenbelt and Hyattsville as an adult.

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The STEM wing of the library has skylights.

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They have conference rooms named after famous people in technology, such as Carl Sagan.

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The main room in the STEM wing has state-of-the-art computers as well as other things I’ve never seen in a public library before.

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This room has an actual recording booth that’s available to library patrons.

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Library patrons can borrow musical instruments like electric guitars and keyboards.

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There’s even a professional microphone that one can borrow for use in some multimedia projects.

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I also spent some time with my laptop surfing the Internet using the library’s free wifi while eating some chips I purchased from the vending machine in the cafe. This library felt so homey and cozy.

After the library I went on to Savage Mill because it’s located just a mile or two away and I like going there. I took a few pictures doing my time there.

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