TECHLink Dixon powered by Aramco is the first new construction library of its kind in Houston. The library serves as an example of one of the best new library models in the nation, incorporating digital and information technologies. Left, Kenneth Thomas, technology service specialist, TECHLink, composes, records, and produces music in the Music Studio.
Houston — Aramco Americas’ collaboration with the City of Houston made possible the first new construction of a high-tech library concept, called TECHLink, in the city’s north side neighborhood of Trinity Gardens.
Officially named “TECHLink Dixon,” and powered by Aramco, the company fully funded the rebuild and all the state-of-the-art technology inside as part of its comprehensive response to the Houston community after hurricane Harvey.
“We looked and listened closely to how we could help the city to rebuild with lasting impact after Harvey. This facility is a natural fit for a city with such a strong tradition of innovation in energy, engineering, and technology,” said Nabeel I. Al Afaleg, president and CEO of Aramco Americas, during a virtual ribbon cutting ceremony. “It is also a natural fit for Aramco where we are big believers in STEM education and applying creativity to solving energy challenges.”
The facility, rebuilt in the same location, bridges the technology divide with the latest interactive technology to enhance learning. Features include free access to computers and the internet, technologies to enhance learning, music and video production studios, digital animation, graphic design, photo editing, and multimedia presentation capabilities.
“The City of Houston is extremely proud of the new TECHLink Dixon and thankful to Aramco for its generous investment that will provide Houstonians equitable access to digital resources and services,” said Houston mayor Sylvester Turner. “TECHLink Dixon will be a game changer for the Houston library system and will take us one step closer to closing the digital divide in our city.”
The high-tech modern design incorporates a lot of technology in a small space with flexible space to adapt over time to new technologies and equipment. The library serves as an example of one of the best new library models in the nation incorporating digital and information technologies.
The library incorporates Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) sustainable building practices throughout, including material selections, building placement on the site, use of north facing glass to reduce heat gain and improved energy efficiency and LED lighting throughout to reduce energy consumption.
On the outside, the design utilizes surface drainage as much as possible to increase infiltration and improve storm water quality. The library’s finished floor is elevated above the prior height to help protect against future water damage.
The library opened in 1972 and was named in honor of community advocate Amanda E. Dixon, serving the community for nearly 50 years until Harvey hit.
“This is a reality because of you, because you [Aramco] stepped up to the plate to fund this project, your legacy will be inextricably tied to our success for years to come,” said Super Neighborhood Trinity-Houston Gardens #48, president, Huey German-Wilson.
Aramco Americas received the Houston Public Library (HPL) Foundation’s 2020 Igniting Impact Award for its support of HPL’s vision for serving the community.
“Aramco’s corporate investment in the under resourced Trinity Gardens community bridges the technology divide and goes light years beyond free access to computers and the internet. They are changing the future through their social investment,” said Licia Green Ellis, chairperson, HPL Foundation, who presented the award to Aramco.
— The Arabian Sun: February 3, 2021 | Vol. LXXVI, No. 5