New tablets and language software free through Anne Arundel libraries

Kids test out Launchpads at the library.

LaunchpadsSummer starting to drag? Here is some new fun with a bit of learning to the rescue. Kids can now check out special tablets with educational apps from all Anne Arundel County Public Libraries. The libraries are also now offering Rosetta Stone Library Solution so both parents and kids can start to learn a new language.

Playaway Launchpads — previously available at just three libraries — are now available at all branches. Launchpads are Android tablets for children that feature high quality, pre-loaded learning apps. More than 372 Launchpads have been distributed to the libraries, adding to the 105 already housed at the Brooklyn Park, Eastport-Annapolis Neck and Maryland City at Russett community libraries that took part in a pilot project.

“We are pleased to be able to offer more of these popular learning tablets, said Hampton “Skip” Auld, Anne Arundel County Public Library CEO. “Not only will Launchpads help even the playing field for parents who can’t afford high-priced electronics, but the devices will appeal to all families who are reluctant to allow children to use tablets with wireless access.”

The devices have advertisement-free apps designed for children ages 3 to 7 years old. 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. The content supports early literacy and STEM education, as well as helps children to learn about the world around us.

“Along with reading, Launchpads can keep young minds focused on language and math activities all summer long,” Auld says.

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 cents a day.

Learn a language

The Rosetta Stone software courses are offered in 30 languages, including English, which will be especially valuable to thousands of families who speak a language other than English in their home. All levels of Rosetta Stone courses will be offered through Anne Arundel County Libraries.

Library cardholders can access Rosetta Stone through any computer with speakers and a microphone, or from an Android mobile device. Step by step instructions on how to use the software are available on the library’s website at

“We are pleased to offer Rosetta Stone to our customers,” Auld said. “It’s part of our continuing effort to provide the best educational resources to the residents of Anne Arundel County.”

Rosetta Stone is provided by Sailor, a project of Maryland’s public libraries that provides broadband Internet access for public libraries, schools and local government in Maryland, and an extensive collection of research databases for the use of Maryland public library customers.