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
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:
http://www.co.hernando.fl.us/ 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.