Guest Blog by Donci Bardash
Sarah, Jennifer and I realize that we need your monthly reports for two reasons: first, to meet our federal obligations; second – and more importantly, to live through your stories while we all work from cubicle-land. Thank you for sharing your stories with us, keeping us motivated, and giving us the opportunity to celebrate with you!
Below are some of our favorite highlights from this quarter, that illustrate what a difference you are all making:
- In one short month, Livingston-Park Library’s laptop check-outs sky-rocketed to 67 after they began promoting their laptops to patrons waiting for workstations.
- A Livingston library patron with Parkinson’s Disease began using the new larger mouse on the ADA-compliant machines the very first day it was set up and ready to go. He was thrilled! He was easily able to navigate the mouse and do what he wished on the computer. He has an extremely difficult time with normal computer mice. In addition, younger computer users are enjoying the larger mouse and keyboards on these machines. One Saturday, three young girls came in (ages approx. 10-11) and wanted computers next to each other. The only choice was for an area that included an ADA-compliant machine. When asked who wanted to use that particular machine, they all raised their hands. They ended up taking turns on that one because they all wanted to use it.
- Bozeman Public Library has started coordinating with the MSU Association for Women in Computing for technology training. They have also promoted their resources and workshops to their local women’s shelter.
- Belt Public Library staff taught a man how to use the internet for job search, type a resume and submit for job openings. She gave him a thumb drive on which to store his resume and explained how it is used. He had never used one before.
- eReader training demand has been so great in Butte that they’ve added more classes! Splitting the eReader training into sections by type of device (Apples, Kindles, Nooks) seemed to work very well for their patrons, although some of the classes were still very large.
- A Carnegie Public Library patron stated “If it weren’t for the library and the new computers my family of six would be lost! We live 25 miles out of town. The library is a hub for my family to hang out when we are waiting for each other and all of our activities. We all use the computers every day. The librarians are geniuses and work horses. I get educated when I come here.”
- Carnegie Public Library: Every Saturday a former resident and her high school aged son drive 35 miles to use our computer lab because the computers are updated and well maintained. They say it is a better experience than the computer lab in their new town which is not a BTOP library. The laptops are used for extended time projects like resumes, job applications, tax filing, etc..
- Carnegie patrons are very pleased to have a place to work without worrying about a time limit.
- Carnegie has had 18 successful on-line tax filers so far!
- Darby patrons with training needs are grateful for the volunteer computer helper who works one on one with them using the patron laptop received through the BTOP grant. This allows them to work in a quiet corner or in the conference room so they do not disturb…
- The Hearst Free Library computers were used non-stop during their Dr. Seuss Pajama Party on March 1st.
- Several Laurel patrons are excited to learn that (with E-Device training) they can navigate digital checkout on their home computers. One new laptop user says that FB and email will open up a whole new way of communicating w/family.
- The Parmly Billings Library is partnering with United Way to provide income tax filing assistance. The Library provides the space and the computers while United Way provides the expert volunteers.
- Parmly Billings Library staff have been doing many eReader demonstrations – both in groups and individually. They get comments several times a week from patrons who are so happy to be able to make their device work with Montana Library 2 Go.
- Preston-Hot Springs Town/County Library received an $ anonymous donation $ that is credited to the fact that the library has established the expectation for continual improvements of patron services and striving to meet the needs of patrons.
- The reasons I like the library are because it is a quiet place to do homework or read. Most of all because the computers. Since I live out of town and have no Internet, it really helps me a lot to look something up for school. Or even to just have fun on. I really love the library.” Carnegie patron, aged 14