A digitization station, a portable classroom to deliver digital literacy lessons, and two 3-D printers, will soon grace the public library in the Trail Riverfront Centre thanks in part to a $69,000 grant from Columbia Basin Trust.
“So much of our lives revolves around technology these days,” says library director Samantha Murphy. “The library is excited about offering new opportunities for its patrons by creating barrier–free, tech-enabled spaces that will provide many benefits to the community,” she said.
“The new equipment will provide opportunities for learning, creating and staying up to date with digital literacy. “
Building enhancements will be taking place in various areas of the library to accommodate the new equipment and learning opportunities.
New classes and workshops will begin in early 2020
“It’s exciting times at our little library,” Murphy said. “And our staff is really looking forward to starting this project.”
Trail was one of 16 Basin communities to receive money from the Trust’s Community Technology Program.
Funding nearing $480,000 was recently dispersed into projects for locals to better their digital prowess with the opportunity to access state-of-the-art technology – for free – as public facilities purchase items such as high-tech recording and digitization equipment, robotics kits, 3-D printers, scanners, and software. Once installed, staff at those facilities will teach the public how to use the new technology.
“This program helps communities meet the evolving needs of the people who live in them, increasing opportunities to access the latest technology and improve their digital literacy,” said Nicole MacLellan, Trust Manager, Delivery of Benefits.
“The ability to access and use technology is a must in today’s world. We were particularly pleased with the response from so many small and rural communities that are working to increase access and bridge the digital divide.”
Announced in fall 2018, this program provided grants to registered non-profit organizations, First Nations communities and local governments that operate public spaces like libraries and community centres. This final intake adds to the nine communities that received support earlier this year, bringing the program’s project total to 25 tech-enabled spaces.
Besides computers, specialized software and other equipment, the grants also enable the organizations to renovate their spaces and buy furniture to create suitable venues.
Recipients may also use the funding to train staff and volunteers so they can help residents use the new technology, and to provide barrier-free programming and training to the public, such as classes and workshops, one-on-one coaching and online resources.