Scottsdale’s Bond Election and Your Public Library

The Friends of the Scottsdale Public Library would like to ask for your support in the upcoming Special Election on November 5.

Bond Question 1 asks for the authorization of $50.4 million to go towards parks, libraries and other community facilities. Voting “yes” to this question would provide the library with some of the funding it needs to begin the planning and construction of The Discovery Zone, a high-tech learning center at the Civic Center Library for children 12 and under.

This will be an important community resource because nearly four out of every 10 children in Arizona do not have a computer at home. Furthermore, within five miles of the Civic Center Library, there are seven elementary schools noted as Title 1 (free and reduced lunch). Studies continue to show that low-income children have less access to the Internet, computers and other digital devices than those from higher income homes. These children may have access to some digital content through their schools, but in a classroom environment there is not always time for children to “play” with the technology, get comfortable with it, and develop new skills.

The National Institute of Museum and Library Services’ recent task force on 21st century skills reported, “Success in today’s society requires information literacy, a spirit of self-reliance, and a strong ability to collaborate, communicate effectively, and solve problems. Combining strengths in traditional learning with robust investment in modern communication infrastructures, libraries and museums are well-equipped to build the skills Americans need in the 21st century.”

The Discovery Zone will promote this extended definition of literacy through the provision of child-friendly computer environments complete with the software needed to view and create digital content. Areas for quiet reading, study, computer use, multi-media use and production, tutoring, gaming and fun are all essential parts of The Discovery Zone.

Again, we ask for your support to make this vision a reality. To learn more about the items on the ballot, please visit http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/elections.

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