APL receives grant for 14 new computers

Published 12:02 am Thursday, April 12, 2012



There are 14 new computers available for use at the Andalusia Public Library, thanks to the nationwide broadband opportunities program.

The selection replaced five old computers, as well as provided for five new desktops and four laptops, said library director Karin Taylor. Funds for the purchase were made available through a $4.6 million award to Auburn University by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“The money is to be used to expand the availability of broadband technology in Alabama’s rural libraries and public schools,” Taylor said.

Under the programs guidelines, it works to improve public access to broadband services in underserved areas of the state in order to bridge the “digital divide” between low-income rural areas and wealthy urban areas.

Taylor said she applied for the funding in November. The laptop computers will be used to help with onsite tutoring, she said.

“This is a great opportunity for small libraries such as ours to increase our technology services for our patrons,” she said. “Patron use of our computers has increased dramatically during these trying economic times. We hope to receive more computers through this initiative in the coming months.”

Taylor said the library’s new website is now available onsite and work is under way to “go live” in the coming months, making it possible for patrons to check out electronic books.

“We will be fine tuning the configurations for it today with our library software vendor, and hopefully it will be ready for access offsite very soon,” she said. “We are in the final phase of training for our EBook service. We are part of a consortium that consists of several libraries throughout Alabama. We expect the service to be available sometime in June.”