Wrapping Up While Keeping Going

Susan Burkholder, our BTOP reports expert, completed her work for the project on June 29. She will be back to do some final close out however in the interim, she sends this FAQ with important information for the BTOP participating organizations.

Colorado's Public Computer Center: Quarterly Update

Earlier today, Susan Burkholder sent this out via our e-newsletter to stakeholders...

Curious minds have been asking...

  • "Have you topped 3 million computer uses yet?"
  • "So what do people do on your computers anyhow?"
  • "Are you going to have any more fun projects as you wind down the grant?"

Here are answers to these questions, and more!

How many people use the computers and take classes?
Through December 2012, the 88 Public Computer Centers have provided computer access and training to residents throughout Colorado:

  • 3,026,937 computer uses in the Public Computer Centers
  • 341,901 one-to-one computer help sessions
  • 3,913 public classes with 25,430 participants trained

How are they using the computers? What are they learning?
To find out, we administered over 7000 surveys to Public Computer Center users and computer class participants. The results showed that during open lab time, respondents were most likely to be using the computer to:

  • communicate with someone (52%)
  • look for employment (38%)
  • use the printer, scanner, or fax (33%)

One open lab survey respondent said, "Probably the most valuable resource, dollar for dollar, available to community. I have found jobs... researched... located tax information , and have done school work over the years. Thank you!!" Another said that, "Accessing the internet is super important in our modern world. In a rural place... high speed internet can be either very expensive or impossible to get. I very much appreciate the ability to have endless information and communication opportunities."

Public Computer Centers offer a variety of computer classes, but the most common outcomes after taking a computer class were:

Digital Creation Stations Grant

As we talked about in the webinars, the application for the mini-grant is ready!
The deadline to apply is January 30, but earlier submissions are really welcome.  Rural libraries are encouraged to apply.
Think about your plan for programs/use, partners, etc. and your ability to spend the money in the limited timeframe, and willingness to attend training in 2013 and share your successes with others.

Remember, only some libraries will get this extra funding for the Digital Creation Station.

There has been one change, the AWE Early Literacy computers will require a local match of $500-$700 (dependent on how many folks want them).  These are all-in-one computers that require no Internet connection and are preloaded with educational software. You can check them out at: http://www.awelearning.com/en/markets/libraries/in-the-library/the-early-literacy-station/  

To apply for the Digital Creation grant, go to: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dFV3dllTcGZibUZtdkpkQ0UxZGZxaUE6MQ

Only one application per jurisdiction!

To have a peek a the equipment lists and kit possibilities, check out: http://coloradovirtuallibrary.org/btop/content/looking-digital-media-kits

For more information about libraries making Creation Stations, check out these links:

Making a short story long - or 3d printers and libraries

I have been stuck in my head lately.  Usually I am not a real deep thinker; I know that sounds odd to admit, but the big “Why?” has never much haunted me.  My TV works, how exactly, well, I don’t really know.  The meaning of life? Heh, get up in the morning and, to quote Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming.”  But lately I have found myself pondering, “What is library?” Not, “what is a library” though I have pondered that too… but what is the role, goal and end all purpose of a library?  I know, this might be too big a topic for one blog – especially one blog that is supposed to be about 3D printers.  But see, in a way, it is the 3D printer that has pushed along my thinking in this ponderous what-is-library-I-need-a-beer sort of way.

3d printers…where to start…Okay, see, I love technology, I also like working with my hands… creating things.  Let’s face it; a previous job has been auto mechanic, I took blacksmithing classes, I built my own house – these things say tool user.  I had internet before I had running water in my home.  I am a geek.  My excitement about 3D printers, and really the whole idea of libraries being places where folks can go to print off a plastic doodad that fixes their dishwasher comes from this place inside me, this hands-on making place.  

Sign on. Submit. Benefit.

 

Colorado PEAK, the online website for self-sufficiency benefit programs information, potential eligibility, application and checking of benefits is continuing to see significant growth in its use.  This success is through, in part, the efforts of libraries across the state to provide access and support to clients accessing the PEAK system.

In April, 2012 the “Laptops for Libraries” project secured funding for more than 40 laptops, placed in libraries statewide,  and used by individuals interested in food, medical and cash assistance programs.  In October of this year, 7,315 applications were submitted online.

The PEAK Outreach Team has delivered customized training on the PEAK system to 22 library districts around the state.  Some of these trainings were singular to a given district and its personnel, from the media center staff to reference Librarians.  Other trainings were convened by a specific library district and included both library personnel and community-based organizations that serve the populations in need of self-sufficiency benefits.  These collaborations have been a wonderful example of organizations coming together to best serve the needs of the community.  If your library is interested in discussing a training opportunity or would like to schedule one in your area please contact CO PEAK Outreach Team at peakoutreach@bouldercounty.org. Keep up the great work in supporting those in need within your communities. 

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