On And Off The Shelf

    Sometimes I see advertisements for a product for which I want more information, so I research it online.  Often, I keep in touch with my family members through social networking sites.  And, weekly, my children’s school sends home a parent newsletter, often with an announcement directing me to check information online.
    Fortunately, I have high-speed Internet at home and can easily check these online resources.  Equally as important, my husband and I both have the computer skills necessary to navigate online.
    But, for many in our community, high-speed Internet may be out of reach.  First, high-speed Internet is not accessible throughout the county.  Even if it is accessible, some find the monthly fees for high-speed Internet beyond their means.  Some may not have the skills … even if they do have access to high speed Internet.  So, people turn to libraries because access – access to information, to computer resources, to government services, to the internet – is what we do!
    In addition to the internet-capable computers at each branch, the library offers computer skills classes and one-on-one instruction throughout the year.  A variety of topics are covered in sessions including basic internet, basic computer skills (keyboarding and using a mouse), computer maintenance, social networking, Excel, Word, and more. 
    Children’s computers are outfitted with fun and educational games as well.  School may be over … but learning and fun continue!
    This June, the Indiana State Library is hosting a Broadband Summit for Indiana public libraries about the availability of high-speed Internet and the role libraries play in bettering our communities.  As Internet usage at Indiana public libraries continues to climb, broadband access becomes increasingly important for providing that parent-school connection, as a way to offer life-long learning opportunities for all ages, or simply to continue providing a safe place to “play.”
    The Adams Public Library moved to fiber last year and we continue to see high usage.
    For more information about classes and other library services, come in to your library, call 724-2605/368-7270, or go online at www.apls.lib.in.us.
Kelly A. Ehinger,
Adams Public Library System
With locations in Decatur & Geneva