Southwest City Library To Get New Computers
The Anne Croxdale Memorial Library in Southwest City will soon get new computers, thanks to a grant from The Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Retha Mitchell, interim director of the McDonald County Library and branch manager at Southwest City, said, “Back in early summer (former library director Kim Schneider) contacted Tyson and asked if they would replace the computers at Noel. But we’ve been here seven and a half years and never had our computers replaced, and that’s a long time. Lately, we’ve had several issues with slowdowns and freezing up, so we’re anxious to get it fixed.”
She said they found out in early August that they had been awarded the federal grant for $14,158.
This is the third grant the McDonald County Library has received from IMLS this year.
Mitchell said, “One was the summer reading grant. It was $12,000. We had programs through the summer for children, teens and adults. We’ve been awarded that grant for at least 12 years now.”
The library also received the Public Library Collection Development Grant, which gave the establishment $4,800 to purchase any needed materials to supplement the libraries in the system.
“That was really fun to have that,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell said she also found in the grant for the computers a provision where she could hire someone to oversee the grant and write the required reports. She put in a request and received an additional $500 to hire the person, she said.
For all three grants, the total came to more than $30,000, she said.
Amy Wallain, the new director who starts Nov. 6, is in the process of filling out the grant application for 2018 summer reading, Mitchell added.
As for replacing the computers at Southwest City, Mitchell said, “I’m so excited. We’ve really had some issues in the last six months. We’ve had to shut them down, bring them back up, something that we haven’t had to do in the past. It’ll be great not to have to do that.”
The grant will also allow for the replacement of the server at the main library which controls and monitors public access for all library patrons, Mitchell said.
“The server is currently having major hardware issues. It was only a matter of time before it completely shut down. That would just close public access completely until it was fixed,” she said.
Mitchell said some patrons use computers to look for jobs and are applying online because many companies have policies that only allow online applications. Others are doing their taxes or creating resumes. Children like to play games after school and visit Facebook, she said.
“Some people are so afraid of computers. They thought they could get by into retirement without them, and they’re finding out they’re a necessity now,” she said.
“We usually have to help them because they don’t know anything about computers,” she said, noting she wants to offer some beginning computer classes after the first of the year.
Mitchell said the computers at Southwest City will be replaced within the next couple of months.
Retha Mitchell, interim director of the McDonald County Library and branch manager at Southwest City, is pictured at the Anne Croxdale Memorial Library in Southwest City, where the computers will soon be replaced, thanks to a grant.