Three Shelby County libraries receive new computersPublished 9:40am Tuesday, July 19, 2011
By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer
Three Shelby County community libraries received more than 10 computers each from the Broadband Opportunities Program offered by Auburn University.
According to the program overview, the U.S. Department of Commerce gave Auburn University Outreach $4.6 million to provide 1,180 new computer workstations and replace nearly 915 computers in rural libraries and public schools across Alabama.
The Vincent Public Library, the Parnell Memorial Library in Montevallo and the Vernice Stoudenmire Public Library in Wilsonville were the recipients of new computers to better serve their communities.
The Vincent Public Library received five new desktop computers and five new laptops.
“This is wonderful for this small community,” said Mary Hedrick, a technician at Shelby County IT who worked to install the new computers. “It’s going to provide opportunities they’ve never had before.”
Sandra Berry, Vincent’s librarian, said the library only had three public access computers in the past, and a waiting line of customers was the norm.
“We’ll have basis 101 classes on the laptops, and maybe more in-depth classes later on,” Berry said.
Berry said the library holds computer classes for community preschoolers twice a month during the school year. The class, for 4- and 5-year-olds, works to develop the children’s fine motor skills using different appropriate websites.
The Vernice Stoudenmire Public Library received 12 new computers, according to the Broadband Opportunities Program service map.
The Parnell Memorial Library in Montevallo received eight new desktops and seven new laptops.
“The city has ordered more tables that will house more computers. We’ll have the eight new computers and four existing ones. We’re doubling capacity,” said Christi King, the library director.
King said residents use the computers for job searches, resumes, social networking and “really anything.”
“Kids use them when school starts back. They come over straight from the elementary school, and the middle and high school kids get off the bus at the library,” King said. “Most people don’t have computers at home, and several people don’t have access to high-speed Internet.”
For more information about the grant, visit Auburn.edu/outreach/cgs/BTOP/BTOP.html.