The library section mostly used for youth programming will be updated with a new layout and updated technology including and two 3-D printers. Sheri Regnier photo

The library section mostly used for youth programming will be updated with a new layout and updated technology including and two 3-D printers. Sheri Regnier photo

Trail library receives $69,000 for digital technology

16 projects receive nearly $480,000 from the Trust’s Community Technology Program

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.

Previous: Murphy Family Foundation donates $20k to Trail library

“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.

Other recipients include:

Varied Opportunities Have Ongoing Impacts

The Invermere Public Library will install stations to create and edit photos, videos and audio; a station to convert old formats like VHS tapes into digital formats; several laptops and tablets; Ozobot and Dash robots; and more.

“People in Invermere will have free access to many technology‐based components that they might not otherwise be able to use,” said Nicole Pawlak, Director. “And library staff will be able to offer instructional programs that will lead people through the basics of using and creating with this equipment and software. They will then be able to transfer these skills and manage their way through other technology that they encounter in their daily lives.”

A Reading Room Branches Out

In Riondel, the Senior Citizens Association Branch 96 will work alongside the Riondel Reading Room to install a computer lab with printing and scanning, a video editing station and a virtual reality lab at the Riondel Community Centre.

“The range of equipment and programs will appeal to all ages and skill levels,” said Frances O’Rourke, Association President. “The activities available through these technologies will provide mental stimulus for our senior members and will provide opportunities for intergenerational activities with the community’s youth, contributing to a stronger, more integrated community.”

Opening Doors for All Users

The Valemount Public Library will purchase items like equipment to create and edit videos, robotics kits and virtual reality technology.

“Students will have more opportunities to access programs outside of school hours,” said Hollie Blanchette, Technology/Event Librarian. “Adults will have free access to new technologies. Robotics, coding and virtual reality help develop skills and promote creativity, communication and collaboration. The possibilities are endless as this equipment will open doors for everyone in different ways.”

Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, and how it helps deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit ourtrust.org or call 1.800.505.8998.



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

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