Launchpad launch at Jefferson County libraries

Kids love tablets. I use one in my classroom and I don’t know how I functioned before I had it. They’re the closest thing we have to a magic carpet (that, yes, will take you to a whole new world). But I don’t like handing the thing to my students. Safe search only does so much, and as unsettling as a lot of the content that comes up on image search can be, it’s the ads that really irk me in the hands of children.

Maybe I’m crazy for having dreams of an inherently advertisement free device for kids to have fun while developing their brains and preparing themselves for this world where humans and devices exist like Philip Pullman-world humans and their daemons. Then again, if you want to make it so, dream it.

Playaway launchpad

I am not claiming to have invented the Playaway Launchpad. I honestly didn’t know what it was until very recently. But it’s super cool. Pat Ryan, Executive Director of the Public Libraries in Jefferson County, let Bham Now know that these neat little pads are now available at Jefferson County public libraries.

launchpad tablets at library

The library official statement is as follows:

The Public Libraries In Jefferson County announced today that Playaway Launchpad tablets are now available at most locations for patron checkout. The Library Cooperative (made up of 40 locations) received a $25,000 federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Alabama Public Library Service, Montgomery, AL.

Playaway Launchpads are designed especially for youth and are pre-loaded with high-quality, ad-free apps that are both fun and educational. Apps are grouped onto Launchpad tablets by subject area, theme, grade level, and age, making it easy for parents and kids to choose a tablet with the content most appealing to them.

Every Launchpad is 100% secure, providing hours of interactive learning and play without the risk of exposure to unintended content. The Launchpadcontent collection spans subject areas from math and science to critical thinking and creativity, and features themed learning packs including animals, princesses, fantasy, nature and more. A custom designed user interface gives children the opportunity to make every Launchpad experience their own by creating a personal avatar, plus an informational console gives parents and educators feedback about time spent on the tablet. Launchpad is powered by an Android operating system and features a 7” high-definition touch screen, external speaker, universal audio jack and a durable, protective bumper.

Launchpads are also available at some libraries for teens and adults. Various subjects are available. As with all Playaway pre-loaded products, patrons can simply check out a Playaway Launchpad tablet and begin learning, while having fun, the same day. No connectivity or downloading is required for use. For more information about titles available call your local library or visit

This is a really great opportunity for Birmingham residents to enhance learning experiences for themselves and their children and puts the best technology in the hands of everyone. And that’s just getting a little closer to a utopia, isn’t it?

Liz Brody
Liz Brody

ASFA grad, BSC senior; I write about Jewish stuff, food, and Jewish food.

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