Two Grants Power up Public Computing Projects at Anythink Libraries

Rangeview Library District Receives Two Important Grants for Public Computers

Two recent grant awards given to Rangeview Library District will greatly improve Internet access and computing skills for children and adults in two Adams County communities.

In September, the Colorado State Library announced the award of a $26,551 grant for the installation of a laptop computer station at the renovated Anythink Commerce City library. The grant funding will provide 12 laptop computers on portable work stations, a classroom laptop projector, printer, scanner, webcam and headphones. Also included in the laptop inventory is a specially designed computer workstation that can be easily adjusted for use in special needs situations, such as use with a wheelchair. Renovations and expansion work on the Anythink Commerce City branch are approaching completion. The library will reopen to the public on November 13, and the laptop work stations will be available at the library later this fall.

The Anythink Commerce City laptop project grant award was part of a $2.3 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to open new and upgraded computer centers in community centers, tribal and public libraries in 76 U.S. communities that have limited access to free public computers and high speed Internet service.

“Providing greater access to free computers and high-speed Internet is critical to advancing our education and job training goals in Colorado,” said Gov. Bill Ritter. “Congratulations to the State Library and its many partners for winning this important grant to help Colorado bridge the digital divide.”

The grant was awarded in a competitive process through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunication and Information Administration. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided $754,000 in financial support, and local libraries and community organizations provided matching and in-kind support.

Rangeview Library District received additional funding in October to create and operate a mobile computing lab at its rural branch in Bennett, Colo. A $22,528 grant was awarded to Anythink Bennett by the Colorado State Library as part of a $400,000 Federal Library Service and Technology Act (LSTA) that provides 10 public and educational libraries in Colorado with funding for innovative educational projects designed for people with disabilities, ethnic populations, institutional residents and populations underserved by libraries.

The grant award will be used to purchase 20 laptop computers, a screen, projector and Wireless Access Point equipment to outfit a mobile computing lab operated by library staff from Anythink Bennett. With this equipment, mobile computing lab programs will be presented in small communities in and around the Bennett area. The lab will be used to teach participants basic skills related to finding a job and improving employment readiness.

The Anythink Bennett mobile computing program is funded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services which administers the Library and Services Technology Act. The Anythink Bennett mobile computing lab programs will begin in early 2011.