Library to expand Internet access
(St. Petersburg Times; 07/29/98)

A state grant will pay for a computer kiosk for the  public in the county 
 government center, among other things. 

    BROOKSVILLE - New technology will give residents more  access to local 
 information. At least that's the hope of  some county employees who are trying 
 to expand public  Internet availability.

    A kiosk containing four computers, offering limited  Internet access and 
 links to the public library and some  county departments, will soon be 
 available in the county  government center lobby. The kiosk is part of the  
 library's plan to give residents more access to the  Internet. 

    "It's the direction in which the country and our  community are going," said 
 Laurel Solomon, director of the  county's library system. "It's a library 
 without walls." 

    The project is being paid for with a $60,000 state  grant the library 
 received to help modernize its computer  equipment. Most of the state money 
 will be used to buy 11  new computers and six printers for the library's 

    New digital phone lines also will be installed to run  all the library's 
 Internet machines to allow faster, more  reliable access. Some of the new 
 computers will offer both  Internet access and a connection to the library's  
 electronic card catalog. 

    The library just doesn't have enough computers to  keep up with the demand 
 of patrons, Solomon said. 

    "Our biggest problem is logistical, trying to get  people scheduled" to use 
 the computers, Solomon said.  Another problem is lost connections because of 
 erratic  phone lines. 

    The library has been offering connections to its  electronic card catalog 
 for months. Anyone with a computer  and a modem can dial in to the library's 
 system, look for  books and reserve them. Internet users can find  information 
 on how to access the library's system through  the county's web site:  lib/catalog.htm   "We have a lot of people who 
 say they  reserved (books) at home," Solomon said. "It's an obvious  step that 
 someone with a PC and modem can access our data  base." 

    The system was set up by the county's Technology  Services Department. Garry 
 Allen, the department's  director, said the idea of both online library access 
 and  the county's expanding Internet site is to make public  information more 
 available to residents. 

    Besides the $14,000 or so set aside for the new  kiosk, the library will 
 place several new computers at its  branches. The main library soon will have 
 four computers;  the West Hernando/Staffordene T. Foggia branch will have  
 five. Both the East Hernando branch and the Little Red  Schoolhouse will have 
 two, while the Rock Cannery and  Istachatta locations will have one each.

Thanks Kinetic!

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