TOPEKA -- The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library is helping to upgrade computer labs at community centers thanks to a joint venture with Shawnee County Parks and Recreation Department.
Thirty-six new PCs will include Internet browsers, Microsoft Office, resume software and, of course, access to the library catalog. The community centers receiving equipment, including a print station, in 2013 are Rice, Central Park, Garfield, Crestview, Hillcrest, and Oakland. Shawnee North and Velma Paris Community Centers are scheduled to receive computers and printers once a broad-band Internet connection is established in those locations.
“The library has no branches, so this is a cost-effective and innovative way to deploy library services, collections and programs to make sure all Topeka and Shawnee County residents have access to their library,” said Gina Millsap, Library CEO.
“The existing computers for the computer labs are in very poor condition. Most of them have outlasted their life expectancy. There are several computers at each computer lab that are not working and it has caused longer wait times,” said Randy Luebbe, Director of Recreation, Shawnee County Parks and Recreation.
The library and county will share the cost of an information technology employee to maintain the technology and provide training as necessary. The salary and benefits of this position will be split between the two entities.
The public will also see cross-promotion of library and county programming and eventually expanded programming at community centers as a result of the new partnership.
The Library Board of Trustees approved the memorandum of understanding at its mid-November board meeting, followed by Shawnee County Commission’s approval November 29th.
The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library has about 170 public computers, offers free Internet and Wi-Fi access, and provides free computer training. Your library is a 21st-century, landmark library, and features the Alice C. Sabatini Art Gallery, the Millennium Café, Chandler Booktique and meeting rooms. More information is available at www.tscpl.org.