Carson City Library gets computer upgrade
March 10, 2009
Patrons of the Carson City Library now can speed down the information superhighway, thanks to an upgraded computer system and 21 new machines.
The library received $41,000 to replace 13 outdated computers. The Friends of the Carson City Library donated $35,000 raised through used book sales. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave $6,000.
Sara Jones, library director, said the old computers, installed in 2001, were slow and often freeze.
“We were actually pretty lucky every day when I walked in the door and it was still working,” Jones said. “Seven years is a long time.”
Patrons now can sign up electronically to use the computers. And instead of being limited to 30 minutes, patrons can use most of the new computers for hourlong sessions, and two of the computers for three hours. Three Internet-only computers are available for 15-minute sessions.
Wireless access also is available in the library now.
The number of computer users will likely jump from 3,000 a month to at least 4,000, Jones said.
The library hopes to be able to add to the six computers in the youth section soon when it gets more donations, she said.
The better computers and longer sessions will help people hurt by the slow economy, she said.
Many employers require online applications, she said, “and you could imagine if you had a half hour to go find a job to apply for.”
Jones said the new system could be moved into a new library that she hopes to support with a 2010 election ballot question.
Frieda Ford of the Friends of the Carson City Library said the library simply didn’t have the money in its budget this year for the new computers.
The computers are worth “a big chunk” of the annual $50,000 volunteers raise, Ford said.
“The minute the doors open, there’s people coming in to use the computers,” she said.
Volunteers have just approved another $3,000 for computers, she said.
Libraries are the “cultural centers” of cities and people need to support them through hard economic times, she said.