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Technology innovation center THINKspot opens at Mesa library branch
Brandon Williams, library technology administrator for the Mesa Library, shows a computer screen, special glasses and stylus for a 3-D holographic computer to RaeAnn Fox, vice president of programming at the Arizona Science Center, as Polly Bonnett, library staff member, looks on. They were at the grand opening of the THINKspot at the Red Mountain Branch Library, 635 N. Power Road (Photo courtesy of Richard H. Dyer, special to Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA).

The south side of the Red Mountain Branch Library, 635 N. Power Road, once had two community rooms separated by a divider.

The area has been renovated and technology added for a collaborative work space for library patrons, students from Mesa Public Schools and local business people, city officials said.

It’s called THINKspot.

“We had a budget of $300,000 and the majority of that was actually the construction and turning the room into what you see today,” Heather Wolf, library director, said Oct. 1. “And then the rest of the money went for the equipment and furnishings. We have the 3-D printer, we have a 3-D holographic computer, we have the media-scape tables so people can set up their computers and display things on the monitor and work together on a project right there. We have the video-conferencing room and capability and we have a smartboard and then we have the green room with the cameras, lights and recording equipment. And then on the other side of that we have the iMac equipped with the software to edit whatever they recorded.”

THINKspot is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Friday and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday. Its website can be found here. See video here of Mesa City Manager Chris Brady, video here of Mesa Councilman David Luna and video here of the open house.

“The library right now is open more hours than THINKspot but eventually, hopefully in two months, we’ll have it open all of the hours the library is open,” Ms. Wolf said.

A grand opening of the space was held Oct. 1 and included comments from Mesa City Manager Chris Brady and Mesa Councilman David Luna. (See videos of the grand opening

“As we all know, the world around us has been changing dramatically and it certainly has affected even how we think about libraries and what their role might be as we continue to change in the world of technology and how we access information and those resources,” Mr. Brady said.

“Frankly, what we hope is that all of you participate and share about this concept because really this, in some ways, is a pilot program. We want to see if it works. Is this what our residents, our students, our businesses are interested in? Because ultimately, if this works, the idea is to take it and move it out and replicate it in other places,” he said.

Having a space set aside for students, business people and library patrons came out of discussions with the city’s iMesa program, Mr. Brady said.

It is a grassroots improvement effort where residents submit, vote and comment on ideas that transform the community, according to the iMesa website.

Newly appointed Mesa City Councilman Luna, who represents the area that includes Red Mountain Branch Library, said he liked what can be done in the new space.

“It’s a great opportunity to see some innovations in action and it truly warms my heart,” he said at the grand opening. “This truly is a great day for District 5 and for the Red Mountain library. It’s hard to believe that something like that began as an iMesa idea, which to me is incredible. This is a beautiful facility. Wait until you go into that room and see the things you can do,” he said.

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