Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL) officials today began offering special Android tablets for children featuring high quality, pre-loaded learning apps. As part of a special pilot program, the library is allowing customers to check out the touch-screen devices, called Playaway Launchpads, which compliment the system’s early literacy programs designed to help prepare children for success in reading and school.
While the pilot program designates that the 105 devices are housed between the Brooklyn Park, Easport-Annapolis Neck and Maryland City at Russett Community Libraries, customers can place holds on the Launchpads and pick them up at any branch. The devices can be checked out for seven days and can be renewed up to five times if there are no holds. Fines for overdue devices are $.30 a day.
“We believe the Launchpads will help even the playing field for parents who can’t afford devices and will appeal to all families who are reluctant to allow children to use devices with wireless access,” said Hampton “Skip” Auld, Library CEO. “It is also a great way for parents to try out educational apps without any expense,” he added.
The devices will feature advertisement-free apps designed for children ages 3-7 years old and are grouped by age and grade level. Featuring a 7-inch high-definition touchscreen, external speaker, universal audio jack and a protective bumper, the tablet is free of Wi-Fi and camera capabilities for a controlled user experience.
The library hopes to purchase additional Launchpads to be housed at each branch in the next six months. The Anne Arundel County Public Library is among the first in the state to offer these tablets to customers.