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Tech-loaded Saturday at the library

The Suffolk Public Library is inviting people to a celebration of exciting technologies that are designed to entertain, educate and make the world a better place.

“Flip the Switch” will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the North Suffolk Library, 2000 Bennetts Creek Park Road. This all-ages event is free and does not require a library membership.

The library will be divided into four activity zones with help from community partners such as ECPI, the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy Robotics Club, Paul D. Camp Community College’s Sustainability Coordinator Carolyn Ashby and a drone photographer.

The “code and cogs” zone will feature a slew of activities for children and their parents with virtual reality, electromagnets and more. The “green scene” will showcase tech that helps reduce the environmental impact made by human beings, allowing for a cleaner, more sustainable lifestyle.

“We’re going to have a pedal-powered activity, where people can pedal to charge their phones,” said Emerging Technologies Librarian Bill Edwards-Dodmer, along with an art project using old discarded tech that will be led by an artist from downtown’s OnePast7 art studio.

The “gaming zone” will have both modern and retro videogames to play and a high-score contest for games like “Super Mario Bros. 3,” “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Tetris,” while the “make and create” area will offer art activities using different devices like Sphero robots.

Also, if readers meet the library’s Winter Reading Challenge goal before the event, then new tech will be purchased using a Friends of Suffolk Library donation that will be unveiled at the Saturday event.

“Our goal is to sort of make the Suffolk Public Library a place to explore new technologies,” Edwards-Dodmer said. “A place where they can experience new things that they can’t experience at home.”

Visit suffolkpubliclibrary.com for more information.