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The library will come to you

Jackson County library unveils DART, a high-tech van with a mission
The Jackson County library's new DART van will make its appearance Saturday at Pear Blossom Park during a Juneteenth celebration.

Jackson County Library Services will roll out its new high-tech van for the first time Saturday at the Juneteenth Celebration at Pear Blossom Park in Medford

The Direct Access to Resources and Technology (DART) van comes equipped with a hotspot that will provide free Wi-Fi for people within a 300-foot radius, along with a large screen on the van’s exterior.

The inside of the van can be reconfigured depending on the event but can have bookshelves and books, carts with laptops, tablets and Kindles and other items that can be used for workshops like STEM kits.

The primary purpose of DART is to help bring the library and its resources to community members who don’t have easy access to the library, said Claudine Taillac, assistant director of public services for Jackson County Library Services.

“We could’ve added more technology to our library buildings,” Taillac said. “But we thought the greater impact would be if we created something where we could reach people to make it easier for them.”

During the summer DART will be on the road four days a week. When school is back in session, teachers will have the opportunity to request it.

Taillac said she hopes that DART will let people know that the library has more resources such as computers, databases and audiobooks and is more than books.

“We’re hoping to expand people's understanding of what the library is,” she said. “A lot of people just picture books when they think of a library, but we have a lot of other resources.”

Reach Mail Tribune news intern William Seekamp at wseekamp@rosebudmedia.com.