By now, even if you haven’t visited, you’ve probably already heard a lot about the Austin Central Library: its unusual architecture, its plentiful meeting spaces, the enormous amount of print and digital offerings.
But you might not have heard about the Technology Petting Zoo. Sitting up on the fifth floor (you can do it! Climb those Harry Potter-style stairs!) is an area where patrons can check out some gadgets they might be curious about, but haven’t actually owned or tried out.
These items include tablets, a voice-activated Google Home device, Phillips Hue smart Wi-Fi lights and even a large-scale 3-D printer that can churn out good-sized fabricated artwork and models.
This month, the Tech Petting Zoo is adding a Spire Studio device that the library purchased and will have on hand for visitors to try out. The Spire Studio, as reviewed here on 512tech, marks the beginning of a partnership between the Austin Central Library and the American-Statesman. About once a month, we’ll be reviewing gadgets that will then make their way into the Petting Zoo for library patrons to try out.
Will all the reviews be positive and urge you to go out and buy a particular piece of technology? Absolutely not! Part of the fun (and frustration) of reviewing tech gadgets is when they don’t quite live up to their promise. The products on display at the Petting Zoo will be a cross-section of great, and perhaps not-so-great technology that you can be the judge of yourself with some hands-on time.
The Tech Petting Zoo is in addition to the array of tablets and laptops that can be borrowed at lending stations throughout the Central Library.
Give the Technology Petting Zoo a visit, and let me know what you think. What kinds of products would you like to see reviewed and on display there for the public?
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