The Stratton Public Library has been awarded federal funds for a public computer center as part of a statewide grant led by the Colorado State Library. The full $3.3 million grant includes funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to open new and upgraded public computer centers in 76 communities, including Stratton. The grant includes $3030.00 for Stratton Public Library that will be used to purchase 2 laptop computers, I printer, 4 headphones, and cover planned service contract costs; planned security software costs and planned office software costs.
“Providing greater access to free computers and high-speed Internet is critical to advancing our education and job training goals in Colorado,” said Gov. Ritter. “Congratulations to the State Library and its many partners for winning this important grant to help Colorado bridge the digital divide.”
“Education is a life-long pursuit and these labs and training will help those with the most need gain the education and skills to succeed,” said Commissioner Jones.
Eugene Hainer, Assistant Commissioner of the Colorado State Library, said: “These additional computers will reduce wait times in public libraries and allow state and local agencies to provide training and support for those with highest need.”
The grant was awarded in a competitive process through the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA). The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided $754,000 in financial support and local libraries and community organizations provided matching and in-kind donations worth $316,234 for a total of $3,345,760.
Participating communities were selected based on a formula that examined poverty, ethnicity and current public computer access. Along with computers, the grant will increase public training on computer use, job skills, health resources, e-government and education.
The initiative includes many partners, including the Colorado Department of Labor, local work force centers, the community college system, College in Colorado, Adult Education/Family Literacy and GED and the National Library of Health. Local partners in each community will help provide economic development and support for small business development, employment resources, online training for firefighters and genealogy assistance.
For more information visit the Colorado State Library website —http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdelib/btop