One of our success stories has been the use of the Learning Center by a home schooling parent. This home schooling parent brings her three children into the library two days a week for library instruction. The parent does not have access to a computer except for the Family Learning Center. Through our Learning Center, she now can provide computer instruction to her children. She regularly gives her children assignments which they have to answer using the computer.
Another success story involves the video "chat" with Mr. Gates. One of the students at a local after school program was very enthusiastic when learning he could ask Mr. Gates a question. This particular student composed more than 60 questions for the video chat. He was thrilled when Mr. Gates selected one of his questions.
A medical professional, not accustomed to using a computer, was looking for employment in his field. He found several on-line sites of interest relating to his work. He used Microsoft Word to compose his resume and sent it to prospective employers via E-mail! We just learned he got the job!
Young and old are looking forward to using the great new computers in the Family Learning Center!
We have had several requests from other county library systems wanting to have a tour of our Family Learning Center! They want to see how the Internet works on the public floor and what challenges we have had to face with having the Internet available for the public. They also are very interested in having a "Family Learning Center" in their own library system. Of the outside library systems who have visited, all have been very impressed and want a center of their own!
The Essex library's circulation has been decreasing over the past few years. This past month we had an increase in circulation. I am convinced that part of the increase was due to the fact that the Family Learning Center has been attracting "non-traditional" library users. While the users of the center are waiting to use the computers, they tend to browse and check out materials.
Credits: Submitted by library staff during 4/96 and 5/96.