The receipt of a $161,852 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Opportunity Online Hardware Grant provided much-needed funds to upgrade and purchase additional computer equipment for 17 of the Library’s 40 branches. The Gates Foundation has long been a supporter of computer access in public libraries. This Opportunity Online Hardware Grant was designed to help libraries enhance and add public computer workstations for customers in communities with high concentrations of poverty and where a library’s computers are at risk of becoming outdated with limited capacity for users.
The grant-funded computers offer several new features, including sound, video, USB ports, and Microsoft Office 2007 software (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel). There are also scanners and a touch screen print release station, as well as the ability to print in color.
The following branches received expanded and enhanced computer equipment: Avondale, Clifton, Covedale, Corryville, Deer Park, Elmwood Place, Forest Park, Greenhills, Northside, Norwood, Pleasant Ridge, Price Hill, St. Bernard, Walnut Hills, West End, Westwood, and Wyoming.
“We are grateful to the Gates Foundation for enabling the Library to improve the quality of free computer access used by our community,” said Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Director Kim Fender. “This enhanced technology provides a critical resource for our customers to find important information, search and apply for jobs online, and benefit from online tools they are unable to access elsewhere.”